Week 8 – Main Post – Lethal Company

A screenshot showing the title menu of Lethal Company, a video game.

Danger. Darkness. Dwarves. No wait, that’s the wrong game. There’s just a whole lot of danger and darkness in this one.

One of my favorite aspects of gaming is doing so with friends – especially when it comes to cooperative games. According to Bartle taxonomy of player types, I fall heavily in the Achievers archetype, however, also heavily overlap with the Socializers archetype. As you might have recognized by the first statement in this post, one of my favorite cooperative games is Deep Rock Galactic. And these last couple of weeks, I discovered Lethal Company which seems to scratch a similar itch.

According to the Steam store page, Lethal Company is a 4-person “co-op horror about scavenging at abandoned moons to sell scrap to the Company.” The screenshots really caught my eye due to the strange art style; the graphics were muddy and rough – some might even call them bad – however, there’s something about this aesthetic that holds a special place in my heart. I find that there’s a certain character to them. Seeing that it was a Steam top seller for a few weeks now and it being a horror game, I wanted to go into it as blind. So, I quickly hit up a few friends and convinced them to buy it with me. After all, it’s only $12.99 CAD.

The first play session was intriguing. At this point I had only convinced one of my friends to download it, so we attempted to play as a team of two. Granted that didn’t go too well in terms of being successful employees for The Company, however, it was a blast nonetheless – I’ll dive deeper into this further into the post. Both of us having no knowledge of the game, we first played using voice communication over discord. We launched a server, put on our spacesuits, and found ourselves in a claustrophobic little spaceship. An automated voice recording began to play over the ship’s intercom.

“Welcome to your first day on the job, this is your very own auto-pilot ship where you will eat and sleep for the duration of your contract. Make yourself at home. To complete the onboarding process, you will want to read the instruction manual and sign into your ship’s computer terminal. We trust you will be a great asset to The Company”.

It then began to repeat “great asset, great, great asset” in song.

The ship was decorated with old-school propaganda posters containing messages about being a good employee, contained a storage locker, a shelf, a command station for the ship with some monitors and a rudimentary terminal. Being instructed to read the instruction manual, we picked up the clipboard and looked it over. The clipboard is difficult to read if it’s simply being held in your hands, however, you can zoom into it to read it properly. This set the tone for our gameplay. Yes, you can zoom in, but zooming into it REALLY zooms into it – imagine looking at a PDF on 300% zoom and having to pan left, right, up, and down to make out the contents. Something about the it, mixed with the song that first played made everything feel silly – a juxtaposition being we’re playing a horror game. We were already cracking up and making jokes. It seems we’ve established a rapport as new hires already.

A screenshot showing from Lethal Company, a video game. The screenshot depicts a first-person view of a person looking at a spaceship's control center.

The clipboard contained some basic details, describing the controls and how you can press right click at any time to scan your surroundings. Anything highlighted green is a place or object of interest, anything yellow indicates a piece of scrap that should be collected for The Company, and red indicates biological lifeforms. Simple enough. Furthermore, it details how you can route the autopilot to various moons using the terminal, and how to use the terminal’s bestiary to read about any lifeforms you scan on your adventures.

Most importantly, it contained some very specific instructions about the procedure of selling items to the company.

A screenshot showing from Lethal Company, a video game. The screenshot depicts a clipboard with written instructions.

For the most part we disregarded the miscellaneous tips and were eager to get to work. The instructions mentioned we can purchase supplies from the terminal, as we were instructed to sign into the terminal, that was the next order of business.

Booting up the terminal we found that it truly functioned as a terminal. The screen simply displays a black background with green text. There is no GUI, and you cannot make any selection with your mouse – it’s fully controlled by entering commands and making selections. Personally, I loved this aspect of the game already, it continued to set the overall mood of the experience. Looking over the store page, we noticed there were walkie-talkies available for purchase – this is where we clued in that we shouldn’t be using external communication such as Discord, however, we decided to skip the in-game communication until we figured out how to play. The store contained flashlights and we decided to buy two using our limited funds.

We noticed one final detail. Above the ships controls there was one monitor displaying a quota and a second monitor displaying “3 days remaining”.

All the preliminary steps were completed, feeling successfully onboarded it was time to get to work. The ship was already set to route to a moon, so we pulled the lever and were on our way.


A few moments later we arrived. The ship landed and the large doors in the back opened to reveal a dusty, abandoned planet. The structures felt human. Old metal water towers, industrial buildings and an arid haze covering the planet.

A screenshot showing from Lethal Company, a video game. The screenshot depicts a first-person view of a person on an alien moon.

We waited a few moments for our airdrop of flashlights to arrive – which it did. A dropship landed and began to play the classic “ice cream truck music” to signal its location. The game continued in its lighthearted nature, and we started cracking up once more.

One quick scan displayed “Main Entrance” in blue. Clearly that was the correct way to go, however, we wanted to first explore our surroundings. Veering off to the left we climbed a few hills and found ourselves staring out into a vast, empty desert – there was a sign planted in the ground depicting a man sinking, however, being the intelligent individuals, we are we simply ignored it. I took a few steps further and quickly found myself sinking in quicksand. Mashing all my buttons in a desperate attempt to escape showed no results and I sunk further and further into the ground until… death. My newly met colleague simply stared in horror as the hazardous terrain swallowed me – and my flashlight – whole.

A screenshot showing from Lethal Company, a video game. The screenshot depicts a first-person view of a person looking at a hazard sign which depicts a person drowning in quicksand.

I was now spectating my friend in third person and had an onscreen display showing I’ve died. For the sake of immersion, the moment I perished I went quiet on voice comms despite trying to contain my laughter. “Hello…? Hello… Radu…? What happened, where did you go?” After a half minute of silence, I couldn’t contain myself any further and burst out into laughter. I explained that I think the sign was depicting quicksand as the ground had me for lunch. He joins me in laughter and – learning from my mistake – heads back towards the area that was shown to be the main entrance.

At this point he enters the building only to find himself surrounded by darkness and tight corridors. He turned his flashlight on only to complain that it hardly makes a difference. Nonetheless, we have a job to do – despite being one man down he must find valuable scrap to bring back to the ship. He makes his way deeper into the facility, scanning along the way and manages to find some sheets of scrap metal and a blocky V8 engine. The engine being heavy must be carried with both hands, so he decides to backtrack towards the entrance with the goal of returning our newly found loot. Sadly, a noise started to play and one jumpscare later, he was instantly dead.

So, we get our job report. Both our names appear with “Deceased” beside them singling our lack of success. Even worse, our quota was still 0/130 and we now have 2 days remaining.

Alright, so clearly our first excursion was a failure. We decided to go over the training manual again and notice that one of the recommendations is to keep one player on the ship, to watch over the others who venture inside the facilities. It seems the monitor shows an overhead view of where other players are and depicts the location of surrounding scrap and life-forms. Both having covid at the time, we deiced it was appropriate to have one person work from home this time around – OHS reasons and all. Being down two flashlights, I ordered another and set the autopilot to the same moon we first attempted. He decided to take one for the team and work from home, while I went into the facility this time around.


The work from home strategy was panning out. As soon as I entered the facility, he was instantly able to guide me to surrounding pieces of scrap – shown as yellow triangles on his screen. Considering how dark most of this game was, it was nice having someone to guide me through the narrow halls. “Walk to the end of the hall you’re in, take a right, then a left and you’ll find something on the ground in the corner of the next room”. So far so good – all was well until he mentioned there was a large red dot on the screen slowly heading my way. In a rush of panic, I quickly looked for a room and shut the door behind me to remain hidden. Sadly, this blip kept making its way towards me and eventually stopped right in front of the door I had just closed. That being my only way out, and my flashlight quickly running out of battery I needed to do something. I opened the door and took a few steps back – the blip on his screen ended up being a blob of blue slime, slowly crawling towards me. Honestly, with the tension being so high, I expected something scarier – but I figured this lifeform was still dangerous. I scanned it for the sake of adding it to our bestiary and continued to back off as it entered the room as I was in. Luckily, it moved at a snail’s pace, and I was able to kite it, maneuvering around it to safety and sprinting towards the exit.

Of course, the slime followed me, but I was able to outrun it and return to the ship with my haul of various scrap. Giving the loot a scan, it showed to only be worth about 50 credits – not even half of our quota. Unsatisfied with the overall value, I decided to make a second trip back into the facility. This time however, as soon as I entered the through the front door, the slime instantly swallowed me whole. Remember how it was slowly following me on the way out. It decided to remain in the doorway.

Two days in, two occurrences of being swallowed whole. We decided to cut our losses and take off with the haul.

DAY 3 – One day remaining.

We needed to make this count. This time around we selected a new planet and set off on our way. To switch things up, I decided to be the one “working from home” and guiding my loyal colleague. We arrived on an equally arid, dusty planet, however this time we were surrounded by tall cliffs. It appears we landed in a valley. Furthermore, finding the main entrance took some exploration – but we managed to do so. Just as before, we communicated well, and I guided him around the facility. He quickly filled up his inventory of four items and returned to the ship. We had nearly made our quota at this point – about 110/130. Seeing as it was still early in the day – around 4pm, and the ship scheduled to remain on the planet until midnight, he made a second trip into the facility. Smooth sailing all around. He found one final piece of scrap and made his way back towards our ship again – however, on the trip back, and outside of the facility I started seeing massive red blips on the radar. He was surrounded by them. I ask him what he sees, but he says nothing. Strange. Being ever so cautious, we I try and guide him around them, however, they really were massive and taking up a whole lot of space. A few seconds later, I see him collide with one of these on the radar and hear him scream.

“What happened?”

“I’m not sure, my screen just went black, and I died in less than a second.”

We could only assume what might have happened, but we concluded that based on this moon’s look and feel, he was eaten by an underground sand worm or something.

Sadly, it was far too dangerous for me to make a trip out into the wild and collect that last piece of scrap – if it was even there anymore. Out of options, I decided to take off and leave.

Finding ourselves both back on the ship again, a voice comes on over the intercom instructing us that our contract is over, and we are to return to the Company Building immediately to cash in our scrap. We stared at each other in silence, knowing that we hadn’t met the quota – but what else were we to do other than follow instructions as a good employee would do. So, I route the ship to 71-Gordion, the moon containing the Company building.

We land to find ourselves in a terrifying location. Darkness. A massive wall stretching as tall and far as the eye could see – with a single dimly lit counter.

Reviewing the clipboard once more, we make sure we understand the selling instructions. Place all our scrap on the counter, ring the bell and take a good few steps back. Doing just that, we hear an awful noise coming from behind the counter – a monstrous noise. Quickly after, a claw, looking like a scythe swipes everything up and pulls it into the hatch from which it came from. We get our payday and… everything seemed alight. A few credits short of the quota, but nobody complained. So once more we get back on the ship and take off into orbit.

And here we are back on the ship. However, it only took a few seconds for the entire mood to shift. The ship went dark, now being illuminated by flashing red emergency lights. A siren began to blare, and a voice came over the intercom.

“As you have not met the proper quota, your performance has been deemed below standard. Welcome to our disciplinary process.”

A screenshot showing from Lethal Company, a video game. The screenshot depicts a first-person view of a person within a spaceship's which is illuminated by red hazard lights.

The ships doors opened, a vacuum is formed and everything on board get sucked into vast empty space. A message appears on screen:


“You did not meet the profit quota before the deadline.”

And just like that, our journey came to an end. Three days of working side by side, adventuring into various dangerous facilities, cut short as we were $20.00 off our profit quota.

This play session alone we barely scratched the surface of the game – however, it was clear that with two people it’s far too difficult to play. The game recommends you stick together in the facilities, however, with just two people and one person “working from home” that’s simply not possible. Nonetheless, we found ourselves cracking up and screaming, having an incredible amount of fun with this game.

We later convinced two more friends to purchase it and join us – and this is where the game truly shined. We switched from Discord to in-game proximity chat. We utilized the walkie-talkies by having one person in the group hold one, and another person on the ship hold one to guide us. We encountered various lifeforms, all with their unique behaviours and mechanics – and all equally terrifying. For example, the “Flower Man” who stalks players closely behind their backs and will attack if you look him in the eyes. Or the “Hoarding Bugs” who scurry throughout the halls of each facility and enrage should you dare pick up any scrap they deem theirs.

A screenshot showing from Lethal Company, a video game. The screenshot depicting three individuals in spacesuits holding various pieces of scrap metal.

The game perfectly balances hilarious interactions with terrifying ones. I genuinely cannot recommend this game enough. Do yourself a favor, find three friends and enlist with The Company to start your journey today.

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