Lifeline

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a game by Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: Playstation 2
Editor Rating: 7.7/10, based on 3 reviews, 2 reviews are shown
User Rating: 9.2/10 - 5 votes
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See also: Action Adventure Games, Anime Games, Games Like Mystic Messenger, Games Like a Dark Room
Lifeline
Lifeline
Lifeline
Lifeline

Mobile games are a difficult market, even though they have the biggest player base compared to any other platform, it is still a tough one to connect with the average gamer. This is because a lot of mobile games require you to spend a lot of money to progress or even keep playing. But it's still undeniable that mobile games are always looking for ways to innovate. And that's exactly what they did at Big Fish Games with their title Lifeline. So, what is Lifeline, and what makes it special? Well, let's talk about it!

About the game

This game puts you in the life of Taylor, an astronaut who gets lost on an unknown planet and makes contact with you through a space radio. Your goal is to help him survive the strange events that happen to him with aliens and escape from the planet, guiding him and advising him on what to do with each step he takes or object he sees.

The interaction is with the mobile, an APP available for Android and iOS. The system is similar to those books where you had to move between guided pages, but this time the possible paths are shown to you in a constant written dialogue, with multiple endings in advance (you decide the action and the character dies) and a canon ending. Taylor will make contact with you and you will be able to respond and give him your opinion on everything he encounters so that he acts in one way or another.

It has not been clarified if it is a boy or a girl, so it is left to everyone's imagination how this person is. Time is real. If Taylor sees something far away and tells you that it will take about 4 hours to arrive, you will have to wait for it until it reaches the goal. When he arrives, he'll send you a push notification so you can keep paying attention to him. If things get complicated and she sends you strange messages, you'll be nervous and stressed about what's happening to her.

Almost certainly, Taylor will kick the bucket eventually in your game, however, you can definitely relax, in light of the fact that you can get back to a programmed designated spot that will stack the game so you can settle on different choices and stay away from some unacceptable one. Be mindful in your decisions and don't allow yourself to be directed by a flurry. Taylor's character is extremely effective, it appears to be a genuine individual. it jabbers, delays, is amusing, feels dread, and even yells (utilizing capital letters). It's comical.

No gameplay?

The word gameplay can have a very broad definition to be applied t this game. for example, it is incredibly hard to define this as a game, to begin with. But at the end of the day, it's pretty much a text-based adventure game in real-time. Imagine if a game like Zork t would require you to actually wait and be aware that the character is actually moving in a tangible space instead of immediately giving you the result of the tasks.

7

It's a pretty cool game with an incredibly original concept. It will keep you hooked to your phone as if you're waiting for a text from your crush. As the game progress, it will get more intense and the events will be more tense and even dangerous. It's important to take a moment to choose wisely what your next move will be.

Pros:

  • Original idea
  • Interesting Story
  • Cool "gameplay"

Cons:

  • Only available for mobile devices

Download Lifeline

Playstation 2

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Released in January 2003 by Sony Interactive Entertainment in partnership with Konami, Lifeline was a one-of-a-kind game at the time. This survival horror game pushed the boundaries of gaming and technology by creating a title that was entirely controlled by the players speaking commands into a microphone. The game received an overwhelmingly positive reception from gamers and mixed reviews from critics. However, the game was a huge success and ultimately qualified for PS2’s “The Best” which is the Japanese equivalent for the American “Playstation Greatest Hits” series.

A Horror In The Stars

Lifeline’s premise was groundbreaking at the time, it reimagined the computer text-based role-playing games, and delivered something new. The game’s contribution to interactive story-telling was huge at the time, firstly for its boldness, and secondly for popularizing the genre.

It is an immersive and unique experience, that opened doors and clearly influenced developers all the way until now. Games such as Detroit: Become Human, Mass Effect, and Dead Space might unknowingly owe some praise to Lifeline.

In the - now not so - distant future a young man travels to a newly developed hotel at the space station. Shortly after his arrival violence and murder take place in the hotel, with most of the guests slaughtered and separated from his girlfriend the protagonist Rio has to fight through the aliens to find safety. Amidst all of this, the players meet interesting characters that help them navigate the space station and better understand the origin of the attacks. As the game goes on players start to uncover secrets and pieces of information that reveal a larger story behind the seemingly random attacks.

Words Are Weapons

Lifeline was a different game from the get-go with the USB headset it required to be played. Its biggest selling points revolved around storytelling, innovation, and its advanced AI fused with amazing speech recognition. Granted, most of those features are now staples and commonplace in most titles, but at the time it was cutting-edge technology. Players would never take control over Rio through a controller, instead, they relied on voice commands such as “stop”, “hurry”, “run”, “dodge”, and “turn left/right” to navigate the spaceship. During combat, players were tasked with aiming by voicing their targets “head”, “stomach”, “mouth”. “Reload” and “heal” to defeat the aliens.

The game has a unique atmosphere, that honestly resembles the movie “The Shining”, and influences of Resident Evil, and Silent Hill games. The space hotel aesthetic isn’t really prominent here with few exceptions, however, the game does a good job providing immersion through storytelling. It is worth noting that voice recognition will falter at times especially if you scream, talk too fast, or mumble/slur your enunciation.

Conclusion

Lifeline is a fun game, and one well ahead of its time, even if it feels like a regular title nowadays, it pushed the boundaries of what gaming was. The game has its faults but delivers a satisfying experience overall if you can overcome the voice-control barrier.

8

Story-wise the plot serves its purpose, it is not a masterpiece, but it is immersive and well thought nonetheless. For players who enjoyed Dead Space, Alien: Isolation, Mass Effect and are willing to overlook the game’s age and experience space horror with a twist this game is for you.

PROS

  • Groundbreaking
  • Immersive Story
  • Well Developed AI
  • Satisfying Conclusion

CONS

  • Voice-Recognition
  • Slow-Paced Game
  • Awkward Combat at First
  • Voice Control Can be a Huge Barrier

Snapshots and Media

Playstation 2 Screenshots

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