Lethal Company is a solo developed, self-published game by Zeekerss. It is available to play on PC – Steam. The game was released in early access on October 23, 2023. It is already a huge success. A survival, horror co-op adventure game that has been dominating the streaming space, and is all over social media. People are streaming the game, making adorable fan art and sharing hilarious clips.
Late Stage Capitalism
Grab yourself a copy of the game, a group of friends you trust, and prepare to scream and laugh your way to the bank. And if you are just shy of meeting your quota, don’t worry, bodies are worth five dollars…
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The gameplay in Lethal Company is fairly straightforward – you and your crew (of up to three friends if you’re playing without mods) get three days of exploration on desolate, deserted moons to find as much scrap as possible to bring back to The Company to sell. Your adventure starts on a sparsely furnished spaceship. Walk yourself to the terminal to choose your destination. Within the terminal you’ll also find a store, a paltry starting allowance of 60 dollars, and an empty bestiary.
Once you’ve selected your destination, you pull the lever on the console and descend to the moon. It’s got a new randomly generated structure filled with stuff for you to collect. Remember that empty bestiary back on the ship? You have a device that lets you scan a small radius around you. It not only detects useful scrap, but it also has the added benefit of collecting information about the many horrors that await you!
If you have one friend who is a little too skittish to dive into the depths but still wants to get in on the fun, there’s an important role that they can still play! On that same terminal that you used to navigate to the moon, you can type “view monitor” and it will give you a bird’s eye view of the player of your choice. The monitor will show you loot (yellow triangles), enemies (red dots of varying sizes) and other hazards (represented by alphanumeric codes). You’re able to swap between your team members by typing “switch [playername]” and guide them towards the loot, disable turrets, and help them steer clear of enemies (or not).
Graphics & Audio
The graphics are pretty low-res, but it doesn’t detract from the quality of the game. Despite some of the monsters looking a little more goofy than scary, the game is still able to create incredible moments of tension and fear. Long, maze-like pathways brimming with darkness, and cluttered with pipes. Running from a monster feels frenetic and terrifying – hitting dead end after dead end. Frantically wracking your brain, trying to remember how to get the heck out of the dungeon. But for me the it factor, the reason that the game has become a giant success, is the proximity chat and directional audio.
The audio in the game is what makes the experience so immersive. Running heavily along the steel floors, hearing your own metallic footsteps echo around you as you try to discern which direction you’re being chased from. Sneaking stealthily while straining to hear the breathing of a sightless monster so you can avoid its path. Calling out to your friends because there’s safety in numbers, only to hear their screams stop abruptly.
Lethal Company feels endlessly re-playable, even before adding modded content. The gameplay loop is short and sweet, but also has that addictive “just one more run” feeling. This is one of those games where you make a lot of your own fun. The gripping tales you get to tell of your narrow escapes from death. The bitter defeat when no one makes it back alive on the last day before quota. The sweet victory of hitting quota on the first day!
Similarly to the last review I wrote for Spirittea, I struggled to get this article finished because I just wanted to get back to playing it. The mix of horror and comedy made the game accessible for me, a self-proclaimed scaredy cat. Playing Lethal Company with different friend groups, or using it as a game to introduce people to each other has been an absolutely delightful experience.