Let me give you a brief overview of an average day on the job in the co-op horror game, Lethal Company: I’m trapped inside a dark, maze-like, subterranean industrial facility with nothing but an old shovel and a broken flashlight to keep me alive. My friends are screaming at me over the radio to grab the rusty teapot and make a break for daylight, but thanks to all the man-eating spiders around, I’m not sure I’ll make it that far.
With no light or weapons, I decide the best thing to do is run around in a panic until I either reach the exit or pass out from stress. Unfortunately, I was completely conscious throughout the whole ordeal as I bolted around boiler rooms and up crooked stairs, bumping into human-sized spiders, which then began to chase me. Amidst my wailing, I managed to make out one of my friends over the radio telling me to take a left; luckily, this led me to the outside world and our trusty spaceship. I had made it out alive with no dignity left, but at least I had my prize, a rusty teapot.
While it may seem a bit horrific, scenarios like this really are a regular occurrence. Lethal Company sees players operate a spaceship and land on various small and deadly planets in search of precious scrap metal. While a rusty teapot or a broken engine won’t seem like much to some, it could be the difference between surviving another week or being thrown out the airlock, as you and your team need to make the company quotas by gathering and selling scrap, otherwise, you will be fired in more than one sense of the word.
Like many co-op horror games (and a few of our best horror games), you can purchase various tools and equipment to make your life a little easier, including walkie-talkies and different strength torches. You can also spend your hard-earned cash to go to more profitable moons and planets. However, you need to be careful about how much money you spend because if you splurge on too many products and don’t save enough money to pay your bosses, there’s a fair chance you’ll miss your weekly quotas. Unfortunately, at one point, one of my teammates spent too much on a fancy new boombox, resulting in us being fired and thrown out into the cold abyss of space.
The beginning of something special
Currently, Lethal Company is in Early Access, but that doesn’t stop it from being a fantastic co-op horror game to dive into right now. While the timeline is a bit loose, the developer, Zeekerss, suggests that Early Access will last another six months, or at least until the game is in a satisfactory state, and ready to launch.
There are presently seven planets, nine creatures, and eight tools to purchase, so there is a lot to enjoy. Each world has various weather conditions and other obstacles for you to overcome. My friends and I have encountered killer swarms of insects, gigantic dog-like monsters, and sand storms that restrict your vision to about one foot / 30cm in front of you.
The developer Zeekerss also plans to involve the community in the process of getting Lethal Company through Early Access. “At this point, Lethal Company could go in many directions. Your feedback will help me focus on the game's design. I will mainly be looking at reactions on our Discord and Patreon, as well as watching video playthroughs. I may also use your ideas for new creatures and items to add to the game,” Zeekerss said on the official Steam page.
Lethal Company is everything you could hope for when it comes to co-op horror: it’s hilarious, terrifying, and incredibly fun to play time and time again. While I did feel as if each adventure into the menacing abandoned industrial zones took 10 years off my life, it’s still worth it just to experience the pure joy of finding an engine or a rusty teapot lying around. If you enjoy games like Phasmophobia or Devour, which demand teamwork even in the most horrifying of moments, then this co-op horror game should be on your list of games to play next.
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Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications.
Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.