PAX EAST 2020 | "The Red Lantern"
Sometimes you need to press that reset button hard in life. Timberline Studios knows this well, as evident in their upcoming game The Red Lantern. Mixing a deep narrative with an Oregon Trail-like gameplay style, Players embark on a journey towards a big escape from the city life and into the quiet forests up north. But as one can imagine, getting there won’t be so easy.
In their PAX East booth, I was able to experience a sliver of what one can expect from The Red Lantern. After a brief drive with my furry four-legged friends, I embarked on a long journey via sled to reach our destination. As The Musher, I had to choose which directions we were to take, when to search through woodsy areas, when to hunt, and — most importantly — set up camp. With meters measuring the dogs’ strength, your health, and your hunger, I had to decide when it would be an appropriate time to take a rest or hunt an incoming animal.
There is a lot to watch as you play through this game. Keeping an eye on your food, supplies, and bullets, you’ll have to figure out the perfect strategy to survive this long trip through the cold wilderness. Feeding your dogs, starting a fire, and taking appropriate rests when the time calls for it can lead to some good sides of this journey. However, for every positive outcome comes a negative side effect, such as when you grow hungrier whenever you take a nap.
However, you don’t exactly have a means of failing in The Red Lantern. Each time you go too far off the beaten path, you reawaken from a dream and back in your car. As such, each “bad” ending is more of a “what-if” scenario to what could go wrong. The object of the game is to get to a point where your journey doesn’t become a losing scenario, where the destination is reached and you are left satisfied by what you’ve experienced.
Thus far, The Red Lantern looks impressive. With its deep storytelling, as well as the promise of various scenarios from the perspective of your pets, the journey from the city to the country side is shaping to be one of the sharpest indies in recent memory. The Red Lantern arrives on PC and consoles in 2020. And yes, you can pet all of the dogs!