Lethal Company Preview – Looter/Screamer

Viral sensations. When they are bad, like COVID-19, they suck major balls, but sometimes they hit the spot and set the world on fire in a good way as Valheim did. No one could even remotely predict why some indie games rapidly infect millions. They pop out of nowhere and begin to dominate the discourse, outshining anything and everything. Big publishers hate them, but their rage is impotent.

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Lethal Company is a pretty extreme example of the little nobody who came and conquered. The game is a true slumdog millionaire ware, created by a single person, who used to make a living from Roblox videos. Chai Wallah in question is Zeekerss, and he insists on anonymity, stealthy dwelling on the outer matrix like Satoshi Nakamoto. This human is responsible for the finest co-op survival game in recent memory. No small feat all things considered.

Is it really Lethal?

Lethal Company Preview walkie talkie

What, exactly, is Lethal Company? Four-person, sci-fi survival extraction looter (not a shooter) with minimalist visuals and great ideas. It’s currently stewing in an early access program on Steam, and it’ll probably remain in a “zero comma something” state for a while. At the moment, it’s stuffed with placeholders and potential, attracting the audiences captivated by its raw vibe. Part of its charm is the total unpredictability of the experience and the necessity of figuring things out on the fly. Lethal Company doesn’t hold your hand. Rather, it hovers the comically large weights over your head, giggling in anticipation of the drop and the screams.

In Lethal Company, you and your online/LAN chums work for the company that specializes in collecting bizarre loot from vacant industrial installations on abandoned moons. When you embark on a job, you get three days to collect enough stuff to reach the minimal value quota. If you fail, you’ll be unceremoniously vented through the airlock. Every moon, from the relatively easy ones at the beginning to the far more deadly later on, works the same way. You’ll land on the surface with predefined features, and you’ll need to make your way to the installation with the procedurally generated layout. There you’ll be collecting said loot, avoiding danger, and more often than not, screaming while being dragged into darkness by some monstrosity.

Scream Bloody Gore

LC 01

Seventy percent of Lethal Company’s charm lies in its proximity-based voice chat module. Until you can afford walkie-talkies for everyone, your vocal coordination will be limited to very short distances. Listening to your crewmates call out dangers from the deep bowls of the dark, abandoned installation is terrifying. But even more ghastly is your counter-yelling while trying to find each other, which can easily sic monsters on both of you. The game is full of ad-hoc horrid hilarities such as this. Walkie-talkies simplify things, but the device takes one of four precious item slots and costs money. Some people play the game using Discord, bypassing all vocal mechanics and limitations, completely missing the point.

Every day on the planet’s surface lasts eleven minutes. At midnight, the ship automatically lifts off, leaving you to perish on the surface. Additionally, after dark, the creepy crawlers wake up and start hunting everyone, which sucks if you are weighted down by accumulated loot and trying to reach the ship. In some cases, even nature itself is dangerous. Running with big metal loot in both hands during the storm on the surface can (and will) attract the lightning. And puff, no soup for you. Although there are ways to dispatch some enemies, 99 out of 100 times you’ll have to give in to flight impulse.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

LC 03

Some foes are blind and rely on the sound you make, but the majority will chase you the second you enter their visual range. The bestiary is, like everything else in this game, both frightening and hilarious. Escaping eyeless dogs, baboon hawks, giant Forest Keepers, and other outdoor freaks means reaching the instanced installation. There, you can expect likes of bunker spiders, Coilheads, loot bugs, sentient slimes, and whatnot. Almost every type of mob has one or more peculiar quirks. Coilheads, for example, only move when a player doesn’t look directly at them. Ghost Girl haunts one player at a time, flickering the lights, loudly breathing and laughing, none of which affect teammates. Every moon in the game has its outdoor menagerie, but the “internals” are mostly random.

As I mentioned, every loot run lasts for three days. Before time runs out, you need to visit the company HQ moon to sell the loot, as the quota is measured in money. You can use those funds in later expeditions, buying gear and cosmetics for your shuttle. Some purchasable goodies can greatly help you in the field. Flashlights are pretty much essential, and the same goes for walkie-talkies. Stun grenades are useful when you try to escape the pursuing mobs. They work even better in conjunction with shovels – one player stuns the beast and the others shovel it to death. Some mobs, like Coilheads, are immune to physical damage, so it’s not a universal solution. Also, every gadget takes one of four item slots which are shared with the loot.

Emergent gameplay and rustic visuals


Lethal Company’s basic visuals won’t appeal to everyone, but they are charming in a very rustic way. The same goes for the ship interface which relies on DOS-like manual inputs. As of yet, the game also doesn’t have any coherent story. To be fair, many placeholder objects are suggesting some sort of narrative arc, so we can probably expect some surprises in the future. But even in this early stage, the game is enormous fun due to its emergent gameplay and unpredictability. The fact that it costs less than ten bucks also helps its immense popularity.


  • Emergent gameplay full of open-ended hilarity and mayhem.
  • Excellent vocal communication module with strong gameplay repercussions.
  • Figuring things out via trial and error – if you are into it.


  • Figuring things out via trial and error – if you aren’t into it.
  • Rustic visuals won’t appeal to everyone.
  • Lacks story content.
Preview platform: PC
Review platform: PC
Developed by: Zeekerss
Published by: Zeekerss
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Author Serge profile picture
Having games be part of his life since Commodore 64 it was only natural that Serge co-founded GosuNoob.com. With every new game he travels from being the Noob to being Gosu. Whether he does coding or editorial work on the website he is still amazed by the fact that gaming is what he does for living.