I shouldn't be scared of pixels. Especially not big, blocky ones that come with an overlay of static. But I am. I so am. Lone Survivor evokes many of the emotions that the original Silent Hill conjured in me. Abject terror, for example, is one of them.

Like the progenitor of the eponymous franchise, Lone Survivor is less about things that go boo and more about the soft, shuffling sounds of the monsters that may or may not be under your bed. More than anything else, Jasper Byrne's upcoming survival-horror game is about 'what ifs'. What if you opened that door? What if it opened into a room full of the twitching, skeletal zombies that populate the building? What if you're the last person left on a God-forsaken Earth?

What if your flashlight dies for real?

There are shades of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend in Lone Survivor. Both protagonists are apparently the last of the human race. Both fight a losing battle for their sanity. But unlike the lead in I Am Legend, Lone Survivor's hero is no scientist-vigilante frantically searching for an elusive cure. He's just someone intent on surviving, intent on finding others in the post-apocalypse wastelands. He's also someone who appears unusually cognizant of the fact he might be losing his mind. From your interactions with the radio to the walls of writhing flesh you eventually encounter, the game constantly alludes to the possibility our hero might be totally insane.

It's a nice touch. Few protagonists are ever this self-aware. In spite of its visuals, Lone Survivor seems to take realism rather seriously. Ammo is limited. Batteries are limited. Between shooting zombies and trying to escape, you'll also have to keep your avatar well-fed and rested. Health bars? No such thing. A straightforward exposition? Good luck on that.

I suppose that might be one of the reasons I found Lone Survivor so unnerving. Games in this visual style shouldn't be terrifying. At best, they should be moderately disquieting. Expectations like these work well in Lone Survivor's favor; it adds to that overwhelming feeling that something is very, very wrong.

No official word has been given yet in regards to a release date but I can assure you that it'd be well worth the wait. As for me, I think I'm going to go stare at a generic comedy until I stop being so bloody traumatized.

Lone Survivor's website can be found here.