Lethal Company came to Steam Early Access in October, but it’s only more recently that the game has been taking the internet by storm. While the game can be played solo, it’s meant to be played in teams of up to four – more friends equals more potentially terrifying and/or hilarious scenarios. The premise of the game is a simple one: you’re employed for the mysterious Company, who assigns you a spaceship and a quota you must reach every three days. To reach this quota, you and your team will travel to various moons that once had facilities presumably built by The Company, but have long since been abandoned for… reasons. Any scrap metal or other valuable materials that may be found in these facilities can be sold back to The Company, thus fulfilling your assigned quota. Failure to do so would be… unwise.
Even though the objectives of the game are pretty straightforward, the scenarios in which you and your crew will find yourselves in are not. There’s any number of creatures, both passive and hostile, to be encountered in a facility or just roaming around outside your ship. Your ship’s computer will tell you everything you need to know about the moon and facility you’ve chosen, including its hazard level and current weather conditions. Both play a big factor in difficulty, as flooded weather conditions make it harder to travel to and from your ship and run the risk of drowning, and a greater hazard means more dangerous creatures.
As your crew reaches quota and The Company sends rewards in the form of a paycheck, you’ll be able to buy equipment that will increase your chances of success. The staples are a flashlight and walkie-talkie, as you’ll encounter many dark rooms while exploring the abandoned facilities. Those dark rooms may or may not be home to a threat, so it’s best to be prepared. A walkie-talkie is also essential, as Lethal Company utilizes proximity chat, meaning that you’ll be able to hear your fellow crew members when close by, but not when they leave to go exploring on their own. Proximity chat can be circumvented by deciding not to use the game’s built-in voice chat, but where’s the fun in that? There’s lots of other helpful equipment that can be bought from the store using the ship’s computer, including a teleporter and spray-paint can for marking off areas. The ship’s monitoring system is one of the most useful pieces of equipment, though, and it doesn’t cost anything. You can monitor other players’ position inside a facility and scan to see nearby valuable items or threats. You’ll be able to disable turrets and open locked doors, and can often be helpful to leave a crewmember behind at the ship to help guide the others.
I’ve played Lethal Company quite a bit with my friends so far, and it’s the friends that make the game. Every time we play, the scenarios we find ourselves in are different, and we work together to try out a new strategy. Talking to someone over a walkie-talkie then hearing their last screams before the channel is cut off will always be as funny as it is scary. And while the tone of the game is spooky and often mysterious, there’s little lore beyond the scattered logs from a former Company employee players can find and read from the ship’s computer. The game is still being developed, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next. Now that’s enough rambling, I have a quota to reach!