Games in development or early access titles often have a very long history with some never seeing the light of release day, but Hinterland Studio Inc.‘s first-person survival The Long Dark finally made it, even with an episodic story mode.
The genre of survival games has passed me by, mostly because I’ve never been a fan of online-only multiplayer experiences or crafting weapons and collecting food. I’ve been aware of this game that has been in development for 5 years, and it seems to be very special, as far as atmosphere goes. Exploring an expansive frozen wilderness, monitoring one’s condition, searching for supplies, and mastering survival skills like fire-building, hunting, and landmark-based navigation don’t make this an easy proposition for beginners, so it’s great to experience a more narrative-focused campaign called WINTERMUTE.
Season One launches with two of the five episodes, Do Not Go Gentle and Luminance Fugue, with the other episodes being released later in 2017 and 2018, in which bush pilot Will Mackenzie has to find Dr. Astrid Greenwood after they’re separated due to a plane crash in the Northern Canadian wilderness. A mysterious flash of light in the sky is the cause and hints at a much bigger environmental disaster. This mode isn’t simply a throwaway add-on, because the voice acting is done by David Hayter, THE voice in videogames (Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid!) among others, and despite its less than stellar graphics, the music and sound effects should create enough tension for the rather long campaign.
Of course the main focus is on the Survival mode as a free-form, non-narrative survival sandbox. Unlike the Story mode, permadeath means that if one makes a dangerous decision and dies, one has to restart. Hunger, thirst, fatigue, and cold all have to be taken into account when balancing resources. Making tools and hunting wildlife is essential for survival, depending on the day or night time. Of course one can also be hunted by animals if one isn’t careful enough. As it’s possible to choose four experience modes, the challenge level can be different, so one can be more quiet and pensive in the Pilgrim mode or go all out on survival in the Interloper mod. No matter what one chooses, the game caters for all kinds of play-styles, and it’s great that it’s finally available on both PC and consoles, with future updates obviously enhancing the experience.
Buy the digital version for PS4 on
the PSN store
Buy the digital version for Xbox One on
the Xbox store
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