Expedition Zero – Review
Follow Genre: Survival horror
Developer: Enigmatic Machines
Publisher: tinyBuild
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Expedition Zero – Review

Site Score
Good: Great atmosphere, Visuals look advanced for an indie game
Bad: Very short, Lots of bugs
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Expedition Zero is a bit of a strange title to talk about. Developed by Enigmatic Machines, it’s the studio’s first game and already it was an ambitious project. The latter shines through in a lot of elements, most of all the fact that the game had to be constantly patched during the first month since its release because it had a ridiculous amount of bugs. On the other hand, the quality of the graphics and the number of gameplay elements remind us more of a triple-A title than an indie game. So we took a deeper look to see what Expedition Zero is really about.


Expedition Zero is set in a rather bleak forest. This is the northern anomaly zone, a large area that has been cordoned off from the outside world by a giant wall. The game starts with a short cutscene, making it clear why the zone is walled off. Something terrible happened here, and now strange creatures roam the snowy woods. Our protagonist would do anything to get out, which happens to be a good thing when he’s contacted by a stranger on the radio. The stranger offers a way out, but in exchange they want our character to retrieve some samples and uncover the military experiments that had been going on in the area before. As you might guess, these experiments and the creatures are not unrelated.

In addition to the main plot you get through completing missions, the game is littered with notes and other optional lore you can find that reveal the secrets of the zone and its previous inhabitants.


Especially for an indie title, this game looks really good. From the scenery to the lighting, the visuals might be the most impressive thing about Expedition Zero. A lot of the horror elements in this game rely heavily on atmosphere, with the shadows being dark and impenetrable, always hiding something terrible beneath. The places you visit really display the tragedy of a civilization where something terrible and deadly happened, and the enemies are downright frightening at times. The UI for the inventory and crafting system is also nice, and not as bulky as they sometimes get in these kinds of games.


Any good horror game thrives on sound effects and music, something Expedition Zero does get right. That same atmosphere that the visuals establish is further driven home by the sound design. Footsteps, creepy noises, and somebody breathing down your neck, if it gives you the shivers, this game has it. The game comes with pretty decent voice acting, though you’ll be spending most of your time running around the woods without other people around so it’s not as prominent.


Expedition Zero is a survival horror game that pits you against dangerous enemies lurking in the woods as well as the elements of a frozen wasteland. The game is narrative-driven, giving you a simple set of objectives to follow and complete, which nudge you to follow along with the story. As you walk around, collecting items to craft and upgrade your suit will be the main priority aside from progressing the plot, since it helps you to survive.

The first thing you’ll be dealing with in this wasteland is the harsh conditions. When you get cold, you’ll need to make a fire or shelter to stay warm, or hypothermia can do you in quick. You also need to keep an eye on your health, stamina, and electricity. The latter you use for your flashlight and similar equipment. While you travel, you collect resources to craft with later. Since you only have a limited inventory though, you need to be smart about what you pick up. The game does not have an open world but instead a series of locations you can fast travel between with your sled.

The more dangerous things you’ll face out there are the creatures that lurk throughout the anomaly zone. You can choose to hide from them, sneaking around in the cover of darkness and hoping to get past them undetected. If that should fail, you can always fall back on your trusty rifle. Enemies are fast and vicious, so knowing when to fight and when to flee is important. The game allows you to save freely and set your spawn point at beds, so death doesn’t have a ton of consequences.

Overall, what drags the game down is its short length. For all its potential, you can still easily complete this title in a few hours and that feels like such a waste for all the world-building and gameplay mechanics it tries to shove in. The result is that the plot feels rushed and not enough of the mystery is resolved in a satisfactory manner. Things end just as they start getting good. Similarly, while the game was patched a lot since release, the enemy AI is still buggy and sometimes locks them in place, which is a real shame as all scariness evaporates like snow in the sun when you can just approach the horrifying creatures and hit them with a crowbar.


Expedition Zero is an interesting game full of potential, though the execution leaves something to be desired. In the end, it feels like an unfinished project. If you’re a big fan of horror, you could give this one a go. Just know you’ll be getting an unpolished but creepy experience that won’t take more than an hour or three to get through. We suggest getting this one when it’s on sale. We do hope some content gets added in the future.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Expedition Zero - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.