The Long Dark is a first-person survival game. The game was both developed and published by Hinterland Studio. The Long Dark is available to play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. The game was originally released as an Alpha Version through early access via Steam. In September 2014 the game had a Survival Mode that was available, and the Story Mode is now being released episodically. Episodes of the story started to be released from the 1st August 2017, with episode 3 expected to release in December of this year. Hinterland Studio have a passion for expanding boundaries. The Long Dark also has a film adaptation that has been confirmed to be in the works.
Survive the Long, Dark Nights
The Long Dark tells the story of a pilot that has crash-landed and is struggling to survive. The world is in a dire state after a natural disaster that took the form of a geomagnetic storm. The game is unique because of the story behind it. The Long Dark takes into account different aspects of survival, like hunger, thirst, fatigue and body temperature. The game introduces you to what you need to do to survive in stages. The nights are long, and you have to keep a safe place on hand at all times. The key is to pretty much pick up everything you find because it will be useful at some point. There may be times when you find yourself keeping the fire going in the middle of the night or just using some little rocks you found to kill a rabbit.
The game offers a lot of exploration along with the survival aspect, so it is important to know when to venture out. Towards the beginning of The Long Dark, you don’t have much in terms of equipment. As you begin to explore away from your initial camp, you will pick up gear that might keep you warm or that you can use as a weapon.
The Long Dark offers a realistic and harsh survival experience and lets you be the survivor that you choose to be. You the opportunity to experience what survival really is in this game. There will be times where you will begrudgingly snap the neck of a helpless rabbit or scavenge the remains of a deer, but this all adds to the experience. The Long Dark is definitely not for the faint of heart because the game allows you to push the character to his limits and beyond. If you don’t have the strength to do something, you build yourself up to it. As you traverse through the treacherous landscape, you will learn how to adapt.
Trying to Survive the Cinematics
The biggest issue with The Long Dark is the cutscenes. I understand that the game wasn’t originally released with a story because it is mainly focused on surviving, but it is not something that can be ignored. The gameplay has great graphics, so I am not sure why this was not reflected in the cutscenes.
The cutscenes have been made in a comic book style. I like the fact that the images are quite artistic, but because they have been designed this way, it has affected other aspects to the cutscenes. With the way the cutscenes have been made, this takes away any emotional connection to the characters. It has also affected the way the voice overs work. When the characters are speaking during cutscenes, the synchronization of the voice to the character’s lip movement is completely off.
Taking Everything into Account
Overall, The Long Dark is a great survival game and is quite a big contender compared to other games in the genre. Of course, as I have mentioned, there are issues with the cutscenes, but most survival games don’t even have a story, so the inclusion of an actual story in this game is a welcome change. The graphics for the gameplay are great, and The Long Dark really offers true survival through a harsh and surreal experience. The Long Dark has a great story behind it and gives the player something to aim for whilst surviving and exploring. The little details in The Long Dark make the experience immersive and realistic.
Developer: Hinterland Studio
Publisher: Hinterland Studio
Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date: September 2014 (Survival Mode), 1st August 2017 (Story Mode)