In Lonn, you play as Lonn a bounty hunter living in a sci-fi future city, one day while on a job you accidentally stumble upon something much larger than expected an evil corporate conspiracy and you get dragged into the mists of it and must help stop them to save the city and yourself.
Lonn is a physics-driven action adventure game its inspirations range from Bladerunner to boneworks and Half-life Alyx.
The game has three modes a campaign which took me about 5.3 hours to complete and two more replayable modes "Arena" and "Parkour"
throughout this review, I will probably be mentioning quite a bit of janky features or elements of the game but because I'm not sure how well this will come across in text I just want to mention that in spite of the bugs and roughness I still had a really good time while playing and that really none of the issues I encountered really brought down my experience.
At the time of writing this review, the game is on patch 7 and the developers are currently actively fixing issues and listening to feedback so some of the issues in my review may already be fixed when you are reading this.
The game was also made by Just three developers which is crazy impressive just how much they were able to do in this game with the limited man power.
I played this game on the following specs
Intel I7 7700K
HP Reverb G2
Graphics & Presentation
Starting off with graphics I thought the game looked great really the fidelity was not the absolute highest I have seen on a VR game but it was more than acceptable and was brought up even better by the great visual style and presentation the game has a very blade runner look so big city, rainy dark nights lots of neon and what not.
The game also has a good variety of different levels and locations from city to sewers to overgrown malls
on my PC I did have some performance issues that were improved by later patches but not completely fixed in the end I used the vrperfkit by fholger to eek out a few extra frames which helped.
for the first few levels, you are brought back to this city hub world of sorts which looked really cool it had NPC's walking around storefronts and even a TV that played News stories of your last mission, however, it does not serve many purposes as you can only go to two shops and none of the NPC's can be interacted with.
Enemy animation is a little stiff it's not too bad but noticeable on two enemies the headcrabs whose legs should have it crawling like a spider but instead its legs are front and back making it move like a rocking horse.
and the heavy soldier who has no reaction to being shot and thus hard to tell if you are actually doing any damage at all.
Sound FX & Music
The music in the game was quite good it always fit the theme and sounded pleasant I did notice a small looping issue as some of the tracks were short and you would often get to the end of them before new track would start up (for a story or new locations)
Voice acting was something that impressed me while the NPC's in town cannot interact with the game does have voiced NPC's for missions and the arms dealer, it's pretty impressive really the voice cast was probably triple the dev team's size.
in addition to NPCs the player is also voice and its pretty good quality professional voice acting, part of what impressed me beyond just voice acting was that having such a large cast and NPC's Lonn actually has a fairly developed story and world-building from this, this, by contrast, was my number one issue with boneworks which had a much larger team but lacked NPCs and much of any story at all.
but Lonn is very different in its approach and having characters and a world made up a lot for level design and gameplay faults as it just made the game much more compelling to explore and discover.
Gameplay & Immersion
Gameplay is really this game's biggest issue, the game is physics driven from character movement to weapon handling which does allow for some really cool encounters and ways to traverse the map which is very fun, gameplay pretty much has to elements of platforming and combat.
starting with combat melee weapons are all a bit too weighty and clunky for blunt weapons like the bat or crowbar its okay however this feeling also persists in bladed weapons like the knife and katana, there is some ability to dismember the enemies but more often than not I felt like I was beating them to death not slashing.
Then there are the guns which feel better overall bit smaller guns like the pistol and shotgun really feel only slightly different from the SMG or Rifle they are fire about the same really with the shotgun firing a spread, and all use the same ammo leading to a feeling of a lack of variety, they all also have the same two upgrades avalible laser sight and laser dot.
speaking of ammo its a bit of an odd one the game sort of implies that you should be keeping your spent ammo to recharge at a later point but there are only really select boss stages that i found these recharge stages with made the need of keeping extra mags redundant, you also keep spent and full mags in the same slot making it difficult to fully remember just how much ammo you have left.
the game also has a currency which you use to unlock more weapon blueprints and upgrades however a lot of collecting is made pointless by a late-game parkour challenge which pretty much gives you all the money you will ever need
moving on to the platforming mantling over objects takes a bit of figuring out it's not the clean action of pulling yourself up as in a game like STRIDE but instead a more awkward kind of baby crawl type mechanic to really safely get on a platform, I got the hang of it but ladder and ropes were never quite as seamless as I felt they should have been.
The point of exploration in-game is also a bit off, the levels are mostly linear but do often have short extra paths to climb and explore that often yield extra ammo or money but apart from that there really seemed no point to level the path, as far as I can tell and as far as achievement is to be believed there are no secrets to be found and while I didn't mind making personal challenges to get to odd places the game's lack of storytelling through the environments really make it only for your own personal satisfaction to search every nook and cranny.
Controls were notably janky as I mentioned climbing but also your weapon slots are not adjustable which might be a problem for some and I found more of a problem when crouching.
control customization is also limited I made a personal binding on the steam page for swapping the movement and turning controls.
After a patch, the devs also added an option to swap the ammo position from left to right.
other than that though the game is mostly interacted with physically through levers and buttons which felt smooth and intuitive.
Value & Replayability
The game's campaign like I mentioned only took me about 5.3 hours to complete but it had been noted I seem to play these games a little faster than the average, and while the playtime might be a bit short the 5.3 hours is spent on an enjoyable story rather than just highly repetitive levels is a good five ours in my books.
plus combined with the arena and parkour mode and the ability to replay levels at the price of $34 local currency I think that is a decent value.
Overall in spite of the janky and roughness of the game I had a great time in lonn I like the world-building and aesthetic of the world, traverse while clunky was fun to climb around and explore, and a storyline that was fully voiced with NPC's was very welcomed and surprisingly well put together made for a great time.
and I suspect after some more patches I will come back for a second playthrough.