There’s simply wearing influences on one’s sleeve, and then there’s using those influences to craft a fully realized vision of horror. And ten years later, Jasper Byrne’s Lone Survivor is very much the latter. 

In Lone Survivor, the player traverses a world ravaged by an unknown plague being made all the more hellish by encountering monsters that define one’s perception of reality. From a distance, Lone Survivor may seem like just another 16-bit indie side scroller, but that would be a disservice to the game’s attention to atmosphere and surreal approach to storytelling. 

Lone Survivor goes to great pains to take influences such as Silent Hill’s oppressive atmosphere, David Lynch’s dreamlike sense of reality, and Resident Evil’s survival horror mechanics and blends them into an experience far more unique than it indicates on the surface. 

Jasper Byrne is able to take these influences, some more hardcore than others, and compartmentalize them into an experience that is far more accessible than I was anticipating. Because at its core, Lone Survivor is indicative of someone that not only understands horror but strives to attach varying emotional responses to the horrors they have created. This ultimately makes the game far more memorable than JUST another survival horror experience. 

So, for this week’s episode of Safe Room, Neil and I unpack the game’s handling of its influences, the role that music plays, and the expert crafting of an oppressively atmospheric world that makes Lone Survivor a standout ten years later.

Safe Room is a weekly horror video game discussion podcast, premiering on all major platforms every Monday. Feel free to browse our LinkTree for a complete list of services here.

Feel free to follow the show and hosts on Twitter:

Safe Room – @SafeRoomPod

Neil – @Nezzko

Jay – @NotFunnyJ

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