Alpha Version of The Long Dark

Surviving the elements

The Long Dark, an alpha version of the game released on Steam, is all about the above-described scenario. The essence of the game is that a terrible ecological (apparently) catastrophe has occurred in the world, leaving you personally stranded in a snowy forest. There are trees all around, frozen corpses, abandoned trailers, and wolves. Due to the aforementioned circumstances, our character’s short-term plans, whatever they may have been before, change to searching for food and a warmer place. As well as firewood, weather-appropriate clothing, tools, and weapons.

A harsh wilderness

To survive in the wild forest, you need, believe it or not, to periodically eat and drink, as well as rest, sleep, and not stay out in the cold for too long. Basically, in the alpha client of TLD, there is nothing more to do than to stay alive as long as possible. While the game is technically stable, the content is still lacking. There is currently no story campaign, and in the sandbox mode, only “Mystery Lake” and its surroundings are available. However, even this lake provides enough extreme winter solitude, forest walks, and contemplation of the local beauty for at least a few hours. Steam achievements challenge players to survive in The Long Dark for a virtual 50 days, which would probably take around 25 real-time hours in one playthrough.

In the future, there should be even more content. Some promised features, such as building an igloo, are highly anticipated but unfortunately still need to be waited for.

Venturing through the desolate northern expanses in search of canned food and firewood is a unique form of entertainment. However, one should not expect fast-paced action or intense dynamics. But players who crave a slower pace, atmospheric gameplay, and a captivating experience should not be disappointed.

Nature's challenges

The only obvious drawback of the game is the obviously unfinished interface. Visually, the game menus are already neat, but dealing with them for a long time is frankly annoying. I want a clear demonstration of equipment slots, quick healing in, uh, the healing menu, which currently only gives recommendations like “wouldn’t you like to bandage the wound and take a pack of pills by going to the next window?”, as well as hotkeys. The lack of the latter is very noticeable.

Whether The Long Dark is worth its $10 and change is an open question, but again, at least a few hours of harsh northern night are already guaranteed to us, and soon, who knows, a full-fledged single-player campaign with additional survival sandboxes will arrive. It seems that fans of survival games should try it out now.

The Long Dark
Adventure, Indie, Simulation
Hinterland Studio Inc.
Hinterland Studio Inc.
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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