The Long Dark: A Game You Should Absolutely Experience

I recently downloaded The Long Dark on Steam after hearing about how good it is. In the game description by Hinterland Studios on Steam under the subheading: “Welcome to the Quiet Apocalypse” it reads, “Bright lights flare across the night sky. The wind rages outside the thin walls of your wooden cabin. A wolf howls in the distance. You look at the meager supplies in your pack, and wish for the days before the power mysteriously went out. How much longer will you survive?.” I don’t know about you, but after reading that and watching the game clips, I promptly downloaded the game.

When I first began on "Wintermute" (story mode) I hadn’t really looked at any controls because I expected some sort of tutorial. Unfortunately for me, there was no such tutorial.Which in all fairness is a good touch to the game since it is a first-person survival game and in real-life situations there wouldn’t be a tutorial just sitting there waiting for you. So I went back read through the controls menu and started again, this time with a much better understanding of what I needed to do.

One thing I really like about The Long Dark is how you still have the opportunity to explore and take things at your own pace since it is an open world game. Although you should probably try and be quick (but still diligent) so you can find your friend and figure out what is going on.

You play the game from the perspective of a crashed pilot in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. Like other popular  “survival” games such as Minecraft, you have to pay close attention to your health. In The Long Dark that means making sure you eat, drink fluids, keep warm, and stay well rested. You also have the capabilities to make medicine and bandages to help keep yourself healthy after falls or wolf attacks. You also can harvest tools and supplies to repair clothing to maintain your body temperature when you’re outside collecting food or firewood.

In the game you will come across many creatures and people both (unfortunately) dead and alive. Scavenging is extremely vital and I can say for a fact, it’s much easier than trying to hunt, but then again, I could just be really bad at it. People who have died in the apocalyptic blizzard conditions are also useful. They carry items and extra attire that can mean life or death. There are a few people that will be able to help you try to find clues and survive. You will likely have to go out of your way to assist them, but ultimately these “side jobs” will lead you to discover more information that can be useful to you. While looking around, pay close attention to things on the ground and inside buildings and cars. I have a hard time deciding which things are vital and which aren’t, but as you play, you gain a better idea. There are also places you can camp out and store things for later when you need them.

The Long Dark is a game of careful decision making and problem solving with a goal of surviving as long as you can and hopefully saving your friend (and maybe others?). You only have one life and there are a lot of challenges as you survive through each night. I haven’t finished the game, but I absolutely recommend it and there is a 50% off sale until February 19th so get it while the getting is good!