The third game in the Lifeline series is a direct sequel to the first game bringing back the character Taylor having been rescued from the moon he crash-landed on.
The Lifeline games play out like old-school text adventures or those choose your own adventure books from your childhood. Text scrolls up the screen as the character interacts with you via an intercom & periodically you’ll have to respond with 2 options appearing on screen.
These responses help shape the game & decide how the character will progress, in this case the returning Taylor.
In the first game Taylor crash-landed on a seemingly deserted moon in the deep dark reaches of space & set about trying to find a way off it. There were a number of ways in which the game could have ended (most of them bad) but Silent Night goes with the best case scenario, Taylor made it off the moon along with the injured Captain of his doomed ship. You see the moon wasn’t uninhabited; there were alien parasitic life-forms that took over their host’s body, in this case the crew of the downed ship.
The Lifeline games play out in real time so if the character is doing something you’ll have to wait until they are ready. This can take hours (turn notifications on & they’ll let you know when they are ready) but makes them feel like real people that you’re communicating with.
Keeping Taylor alive in the first game was very difficult & I failed on numerous occasions, it’s no easier here in Silent Night.
Firstly it was a pleasure to see Taylor make a return, I had gotten really attached to him in the first game & after the disappointment that was Arika he was a welcome return. The deep space story just works better, it’s easier to picture & gives plenty of room for your imagination to run wild.
So Taylor contacts you again & just as he is telling you about the crew he sees a light out of one of the spaceship windows. After talking with the Captain & crew of the White Star ship it turns out to be another ship but it’s not responding to their calls & is on course to intercept them.
The first thing you’ll notice about Life: Silent Night is how many more characters now talk. Coming up in different coloured speech it’s fun to offer Taylor responses to some of their questions & answers but it does detract from the more personal experience the first game had. Taylor feels a lot less alone & less reliant on you this time around.
Anyway, after getting some sleep he is woken up suddenly by a loud bang that jolts him out of his bunk. The power is out & the ship has gone quiet, as Taylor makes his way through the dark corridors it becomes apparent that something has gone wrong…could it have something to do with the other spaceship that was following them?
Lifeline: Silent Night gets many things right & a few things wrong. For starters the location is great & feels very claustrophobic, the addition of a map really helps create a picture of exactly where Taylor is.
The continuation of the story told in the first game was great & it really added even more layers of threat to the alien parasites. This time around I wanted to see Taylor not just survive but beat these beings & it was good to see him have a new found confidence about him particularly towards the end of the game.
The music is great again…it sounds spacey, dark & deep with echoes of silence that resonate well within the game.
The mis-steps come with the bulk of the story…it doesn’t connect as well as the very first game. It feels a bit more rushed & is a lot shorter, some of your answers don’t seem to matter as much & after several play-throughs I found that different answers would often end up with the same result.
It’s still an improvement over Lifeline 2 thanks to a character you can actually relate too & I look forward to seeing how the series progresses form here.
Lifeline: Silent Night