Flatline is another in the long running Lifeline series that puts you in the role of a ‘lifeline’. You’re are tasked with offering guidance & instructions to a character normally in dire need of help. The main story of the series focuses on the character Taylor & his fight against the alien force known as The Greens.
The three games starring him have all been exciting experiences however the non-Taylor stories have lacked the same impact. You can read all our reviews of the serious so far below:
Flatline, the latest in a non-Taylor story, rights a lot of the wrongs but falls down in one very important department.
Before I get to that though…
The Lifeline series of games are text adventures. Narrative driven, a character speaks to you via a means of communication. In Flatline it’s via an implant inside main character, Wynn’s head. She wakes on an operating table in a lot of pain & in a facility that seems to have been attacked & partially destroyed. Her memories are foggy & she has no idea how she got there. The only thing she knows is that she was searching for her sister who had been working for a mysterious company.
What’s interesting about Wynn is how little she trusts you & how your responses can make her feelings towards you even worse. Unlike other Lifeline games, here your responses really seem to affect the main characters mood & behaviour. You can really behave like a bit of a dick towards Wynn!
The dynamic is different & interesting even if she has a terrible habit of asking for advice then arguing with you about it. She’s a difficult character to warm too.
What is far easier to warm too is the exceedingly good story laid out in front of you. As you & Wynn explore the facility you uncover horror after horror each seemingly worse then the last. Flatline is easily the most visceral & violent of the series so far. As the plot advances you’ll begin to get a better picture of just what has happened & how it ties into the series as a whole. It really is exciting, tense & filled with revelations that will have wide-reaching consequences for the series overall.
Almost sounds like the perfect Lifeline game, right? Well it’s not, simply because of how often you’ll see these words:
The game pulls you from the story so often that it becomes really difficult to want to carry on. You’ll get a notification that Wynn needs you. Open up the game & have a brief chat with her before you have to wait again. The waits aren’t too long but they come so often it really detaches you from the experience. It’s a real shame as this is arugably one of the best in the series.
It’s just hard to really enjoy when you have to close the game down 5 times an hour & wait. You’ll end up trying to find a way to kill Wynn just so you can activate ‘fast mode’.
That frustration aside, Flatline really is a step forward for the series. The choices you get to make feel more life & death. It’s interesting to see how those responses affect her heart rate & even the inhibitor that first seems pointless ends up having a use.