If you couldn’t get enough of survival games I have some good news for you. There is another one coming out soon on PS4 called The Long Dark brought to you by the folks at Hinterland Games. Instead of surviving zombies, mutants, and other people, The Long Dark is a solo experience that places you in the Canadian wilderness up against mother nature herself.
While the game is post apocalyptic, it’s definitely not hell-fire and brimstone or a zombie affair. It’s much quieter then other survival games but just as deadly. In The Long Dark you’ll have to deal with the environment and it’s effects on you. You’ll have to keep an eye on hunger, dehydration, cold, weight, and even your own energy . On top of all that, the animals in the wilderness are just as hungry and dangerous as ever.
There are two modes included in the game, the first of which is a sandbox mode. This mode is pure survival and exploration. It plops you in a random place in the map (which, by the way, is supposedly about 20 square miles) and lets you go. The game doesn’t do anything for you. Once you’re in it, it’s up to you learn how to survive.
While the map itself is the same, the layout of certain structures and places is randomized. You’ll discover different structures from small shacks to cabins all the way up to small industrial buildings. In these buildings you will scavenge for supplies and/or tools. Supplies will help with the aforementioned ailments and include things like firewood and food. Tools will help in your journey and can aid in accessing new areas and supplies or help you hunt.
It’s all a never ending race to survive. You have to juggle getting supplies, taking care of yourself, finding shelter, and fighting the weather and animals. It seems like true wilderness survival.
The second mode is the story mode dubbed “Wintermute”. This mode, while still focusing on survival, includes a narrative. The story (and tone of the game) takes inspiration from the likes of the book The Road. It includes other characters with their own motives and desires that you will have to work with and you'll have to earn trust with them.
In a podcast that developer Hinterland Games made, they were talking about The Thing. Which if you don’t know is a fantastic horror movie from 1982. The Thing is mostly known for it’s amazing practical effects and creepy monsters. The biggest thing (see what I did there?) going for the movie though is the monster has the ability to look like anyone in the group. So there is a large part of the movie full of paranoia as the group tries to figure out who is still human.
While I don’t expect there to be grotesque monster parasites in The Long Dark, the dynamic of that will to survive and deciding who to trust is very compelling. The survival/gathering/crafting aspect looks like it could be entertaining but I’m very interested to see how the story plays out.
Wintermute mode will be released in 5 episodes over the next year or so with the first two included with the initial release. They will also be releasing maps for the sandbox mode as well. It seems like there is a lot of content here and a lot to look forward to as well.
The Long Dark is scheduled for release on PS4 on August 1 for $34.99 and will include the first two episodes of Wintermute. It looks like a promising game and it has positive feedback from players in early access. I’m looking forward to jumping into an unforgiving world of survival in the wilderness.
Check out the PS4 release trailer below and check out the post from Hinterland on the Playstation blog .
What do you think of The Long Dark? Does this game have what it takes to stand out in the crowd of survival games already out? What do you think of the price? It seems like there is a lot of content to chew on but is it worth it?