The light keeps us safe is a tense sci-fi, survival game that I’d certainly recommend playing with the light on! Robots are ruling these lands and all I have is a pesky flashlight to deal with these bots gone bad! Read on as I preview this new early access title from Big Robot Studios.
Known for titles including “The Signal From Tólva”, and “Sir, You Are Being Hunted” UK based Big Robot Studios return with an interesting twist on the survival genre with The Light Keeps Us Safe.
Starting off in a bunker, a voice comm goes off and I have a Scottish lady fire a warning shot at me about being the only one left and that the majority of survivors fled towards the light. (Clearly, I didn’t listen) Now I pay the price for not heeding those words of wisdom, and my journey towards the safe haven begins.
I soon familiarise myself with the control set up (relatively simple using a gamepad) and manage to safely navigate around the trip wiring and grab my flashlight. Horray, now the fun begins *gulp*.
I embark on bleak road, salvaging components, bandages, medical gear, motes & more. Robots roam the ill-lit environment, some desperately trying to pursue after me. (I almost half expect some sort of badass T-900 terminator robot to spring out of nowhere).
I soon realized the game is very unforgiving, it does little to help you on your journey (outside a basic tutorial) and the A.I can be relentless in terms of gunning you down which for me only adds to the realism of being a survival-focused game.
From a visual perspective the game really does shine (no pun intended), rendering of the lighting and environment effects are great, I had to stop and pause for a few moments early into leaving the bunker, there’s a moment where you cross over a bridge above some water in what appears to be like a cave. The reflections in the cave, from the waters below the bridge to the special effects of a doorway blocked by some sort of technical failure (on fire) have been beautifully designed (I’m excited to see how the impressive visuals improve furthermore as the game moves out of early access).
The atmosphere also plays into the experience greatly, further adding to moments of anxiety whilst panic kicks in. Noises of deranged laughter, flies, robots etc and the dramatic sound effects that play throughout always kept me on edge.
Survival is very much what The light keeps us safe is, at its core. Food and drink are vital in keeping health and stamina levels up, you can sprint in short bursts to escape dangerous scenarios but the game encourages an intelligent stealth approach, running around aimlessly looking for objectives whilst abusing your flashlight won’t get you very far.
A hide and seek approach would be how I would recommend playing this game (from what I have played so far).
You don’t just have your little flashlight (this can be upgraded and required charging) to use to your advantage, throughout the map you’ll come across occasional street lights and deserted buildings which you’ll use to your advantage in avoiding those mechanical terrors.
The flashlight has numerous options to it and as you advance through the game some A.I become immune to the basic light beam you have at the start. Without being able to create and play around with a weapon and item customization the light and charge modes are crucial in progress throughout the game. (I would also advise hurling bottles towards the robots if looking for a distraction).
To summarise I couldn’t fault much with the game at this point (a few hours into the game) having played a small chunk of a game with much more to release near its full retail target of next year, and with the full release some 6 months away I see plenty of reason for excitement if you’re a fan of the survival/solo type games. It looks great, is enjoyable to play, and The light keeps us safe serves up a refreshing and fascinating take on the survival genre.
Many thanks to Simon and the team at kagames for the Steam key, The Light Keeps Us Safe early access is out on 11th October 2018 via Steam.