The Long Dark Early Access First Look

the_long_dark_sandbox_alpha_1After surviving a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness, you strive to survive against nature itself in a long and lonely journey. The Long Dark, by Hinterland Studio, leaves you stranded while using your wits and any means to survive. Supplies are limited with potential danger at every corner. How long can you survive the elements where the only threat against you is nature itself?

The Long Dark is a first person survival simulator game which has you controlling Will Mackenzie, a bush pilot stranded in the Canadian wilderness from the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. With food and water scarce, and limited storage and supplies, each decision affects your chances of survival. From the clothes you wear to the food you eat, everything you do must be carefully planned out.

While playing, I found myself in many situations that had me second guessing myself to ensure survival. Despite all the snow and trees, the landscape has a few buildings to allow safe haven from wolves. Searching each drawer/cabinet can yield more supplies but be warned that you are limited to what you can carry. Survival is based on several factors: Fatigue, Cold, Hunger, and Thirst. Coupled with Calories, balancing those factors ensure survival as long as supplies allows it. Wild animals are best to be avoided, especially wolves, unless you are hunting for food. It’s possible to be injured or even die from blood loss or dehydration, so rest is a must in certain conditions.

2014-11-01_00001As of now, The Long Dark only has the Sand Box mode playable. Though still in Alpha, the game is very playable and enjoyable. There are no zombies, but emptiness and the unknown at every corner. Lost without shelter in the middle of the night can be pretty scary when hearing the howl of a wolf in the distance. The only light at night being from flares or the northern lights, capturing the true essence of fear. With an Episodic Story Mode in the works, The Long Dark is shaping up to a killer game. The visuals are beautifully done, as if playing an oil painting that can distract you long enough from the hungry wolves nearby. The Sand Box mode will have you playing for hours, challenging yourself on surviving longer in your next run, but preparing yourself for what comes in the Story Mode.

The Long Dark is available via Early Access on Steam

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Joe Gonzalez
Joe Gonzalez 286 posts

Gamer since '86, well knowledgeable in movies and games, and semi tech savvy. Graphic artist and t-shirt printer for over 10 years.