The Long Dark pushes the boundaries of conventional survival games as we know them, providing a deadly solitary experience unlike anything else. Immediately when mentioning the survival genre certain mainstays come to mind, the venerable DayZ, ARK, even Rust comes to mind but The Long Dark brings a different flavor of survival to the table. Isolation and crushing cold are your only compatriots in this wonderfully unique silent apocalypse which is really a nice change from the nonsensical zombies or constant pvp and griefing you normally see in most survival games nowadays, although there is a fair bit of hostile wildlife out there too so don’t think staying alive in this world is gonna be a walk in the park. Although the main campaign story mode has yet to be released there is still a whole lot of exploration to be done over the six large interconnected regions that have been added so far, each offering unique geographic features along with natural and manmade shelters interspersed with randomly spawning survival bunkers hidden throughout the map, the contents of which may very well mean the difference between life and death.
Another big win in my book is the minimalist, cel shaded art style which perfectly fits the austere survival vibe and really contributes to making you feel like the last man (or woman) on earth. These visuals do an excellent job of conveying the icy madness of incoming blizzards and the other various inclement weather that you’ll be facing down and generally strikes an excellent balance between stylized artistic vision and the expected level of modern graphical technology.
The taste we’re given so far by the fine folks over at Hinterland has definitely left me wanting more, at this point we’re just going to have to wait till the campaign has been polished up to their clearly extremely high standards before a final call can be made, however the future of The Long Dark looks very bright from here.
Pick up The Long Dark on Steam early access on or XBox One.