Just a few weeks ago a few friends and I were talking about what a good 2D pixel survival horror would look like and if it was really possible to do it well. It would seem that Jasper Byrne heard our call (and then went back in time 8 years and started making it).
Lone Survivor is without question inspired, for one, by Silent Hill. Even in its quai-minimalism the audio, visual effects and intentional claustrophobic design give it as haunting and scary a feel as any modern 3D survival horror game. The audio cues for the enemies in particular are very similar to the radio static from the Silent Hill games which really adds to the already gritty atmosphere.
As in many games like this, you start off alone and weaponless, throwing you right into a state of frightened vulnerability. Grainy filters and excellent color effects (like the one below) help intensify the emotion evoked by the game. As an added bonus (though not accidental, I’m sure) the “creatures” in this game move in an eerily mechanical way, which lends itself very well to the pixel art design.
I recommend playing alone at night in the dark :)