On August 1st, 2017 Hinterland Studios created a unique and challenging survival game. Being one of the most realistic survival games of all time you won’t be challenged by zombies or monsters. You’ll be challenged by the wildlife, mother nature, and your own decisions. In a game full of constant threats in a dangerous world it does everything right to make the survival game be realistic and challenging.
Perhaps one of the best parts of The Long Dark is there is something for everyone. The game allows you to play any of the diverse three game modes. Wintermute which is the storyline, survival mode which your challenge is to survive as long as you can in an open world, and challenge mode which gives a distinct beginning to end the adventure. I love three different ways to play The Long Dark however it cuts out one feature, which is Multiplayer. The idea of the game is basic. You crash land in the Canadian wilderness after a geomagnetic storm and now you are forced to tackle the harsh conditions. At this moment it is released with three episodes with two more coming on its way. You play as William Mckenzie in the first two episodes after you get separated from the crash as the game puts you through fun and difficult challenges. Then in the third episode, you play as Astrid and learn her side of the story.
The beginning of the first episode sets the mood for the game great. A chaotic and challenging survival game that promises no easy adventure. There are many things done right in the storyline such as how in the beginning you can only pack limited supplies, the moment after the crash, and how you can choose specific dialogue and moral choices for your character in the campaign. Unlike some other games where the missions are bleak and only give missions where you go from point A to point B, this game does what it can to avoid this by giving some unique type of missions from time to time. There is also a good amount of optional side quests which lead into the subplot of the game. If you do the side quests the story mode can certainly last a really good amount of time which is where some other games lack where The Long Dark does not. With every character having their own unique personality, fun challenging quests, and a good length of chapters of the storyline it comes out to be a successful story that many people have come to enjoy. Many players of this game agree that sandbox is the best game mode and with good reason.
This game mode contains four difficulties. Pilgrim being easy, voyager being normal, stalker being hard and interloper being the hardest difficulty in the game. Even better, it contains a sandbox option where you can tweak the difficulty any way you want. Such as changing animal spawns, loot spawns, and weather behavior. Great for if you want to create an ultra-realistic mode or a mode even more difficult than interloper. This mode is a very open-world experience containing a good-sized map of ten regions. Every region has its own unique infrastructure and layout. Such as Bleak Inlet which is the only region that contains timberwolves or Timberwolf Mountain that contains the largest mountain in the game creating a good challenge of climbing. There is quite a bit of depth when it comes to certain activities in the game. Hunting being one of them as you must be well-rested, healthy, and having good weather to maintain a good shot. The health system has a lot of depth as well containing a big amount of possible afflictions that you would have to take care of realistically. The only part of the game that lacks depth is how you only need calories to survive. Not proteins, fats, or carbohydrates so yes you can drink only sodas and get away with it without punishment in the game. Hopefully one day the developers will change this to make it much more realistic but as of now, there is no announcement to do so. The crafting system as well lacks depth. No upgrades, one trap, and only improvised versions of weapons you can find around the place. There are some cool items such as a moose hide satchel (which allows you to carry more weight) however this is it. Nothing about the crafting system makes most people impressed. Now I’m not here to say it is bad because it’s not. However, there is no excuse why this can’t contain more depth. Most of this game does contain systems with great depth such as animal behavior, hunting, health, and weather but sadly the food and crafting system gets the short end of the stick. The Long Dark contains eight unique challenges. It’s like survival mode however it gives you a goal. This is crafted very well in the game and I found many of the challenges to be very entertaining and well made such as a mission where you have to take down a bear or the mission where you have to gather enough supplies before a severe snowstorm hits. There is nothing bad about these challenges and the only thing they contain are positives.
The Long Dark has more positives than negatives. They have created a successful game with a successful storyline that is executed right from the beginning to end. In a beautiful game, you will have fun exploring the vast and unique regions as you battle against the weather, hunger, and wildlife. With fun game modes this game does what it can to stop being boring. Even though the game does lack some depth such as in the crafting and hunger system it has much better depth in other systems that many have come to love. If you love games such as “Green Hell”, “The Forest”, or “Grounded”, then The Long Dark is a must for anyone who enjoys survival games.
Overall I give it a 9 out of 10