I’m Playing: The Long Dark [sandbox alpha]

It’s cold outside. Relatively speaking that’s a good thing, much better than some of the other common weather conditions: Freezing, and frozen. Successive attacks by the same wolf have left much of my clothing in rags, useless against the weather, so I have to move quickly.

It’s three or four hours into the night. Visibility zero. I would never be out in the dark, except I’ve been starving and if I go to sleep I may not wake up again. So, as is often the case in The Long Dark, you abandon all plans and do whatever you can think of to survive the next few hours.

I head out of the camp office in the direction of the nearest ice fishing hut as I recall it. I have a lantern with me. Who knows how long the fuel will last before that lifeline is gone too. Its light only serves to tell me that it is snowing in front of my face. Stalking through the darkness, I’m forced to rely on my intuition to find the hut. I start to zig-zag slightly, favouring the zig or the zag until it feels right. I’m working on a new plan to survive the disaster this plan has turned into when I almost pass the light reflecting off the fishing hut. The lantern runs out of kerosene.

First thing inside, I fire up the little stove. I’m already cold, and I’ll have to spend a few hours fishing with minimal cover from the weather. I’m literally burning through the last of my firewood, but it won’t do me any good if I’m dead. The player character whines to himself and starts to accept his inevitable end. The little bitch. We’ve been though worse.

I spend two hours fishing and catch two rainbow trout. I stoke the fire and fry them up. The character’s lips smack eating them, restoring my hunger bar halfway. I fish for another hour as the fire dies. My only fishing line snaps. I’m freezing.

The Long Dark is a first-person open world-survival simulation video game in development by Canadian company Hinterland for Windows, OS X and Xbox One. The player assumes the role of a crash-landed bush pilot who must survive the frigid Canadian wilderness after a global disaster. The game received seed financing from the Canada Media Fund, and further funding was secured through a successful Kickstarter campaign in October 2013.


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