The Long Dark – Dark Philosophy. “How far would you go to survive?”

Gare – Monday, January 6, 2014 11:24 PM
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Many have pondered the question: what would happen to humanity, should it be stripped of technology within a world of perpetual darkness? The industry veteran team at Hinterland Games is planning to explore this very question in The Long Dark, a game in which a geomagnetic catastrophe caused technology to completely die out from the world. The game’s motto – “how far would you go to survive?” – paints a grim and realistic picture of what the developers aim to do with The Long Dark: create situations that force the player to make difficult decisions and face moral dilemmas as well as the harsh fact that sometimes, one’s own humanity needs to be discarded for the sake of survival.

Moral drama only in single-player mode

These dire situations are meant to be illustrated by some of the developers’ so-called vignettes: one such video shows the player hesitating to open the door and allow a seemingly dying survivor into his own hideout, choosing the safety of solitude and survival over the potential danger the other could bring. The Long Dark will be played in first-person mode, in a world that the developers call a „survival sandbox” – freely explorable, rich in secrets, moral decisions and consequences based on said decisions. At present, we do not know too much of this particular aspect of the game; as such, we can only hope that Hinterland will manage to bring to life that genuine post-apocalyptic human drama we all know and love with ample amount of expertise. It also needs be mentioned that The Long Dark will be an exclusively single-player affair, with the developers planning no multiplayer mode whatsoever for the final release.

Realistic vision

In terms of its gameplay, The Long Dark aims to create a sense of realism. The game will monitor both the state of our hero, as well as that of the world: we need to consider things such as hunger (with each of our actions resulting in calorie loss), thirst, body temperature as well as a constantly changing real time weather system, all influencing our end-of-the-world adventure in one way or another. The daylight hours will provide more warmth, for example, allowing us to avoid freezing to death, while nighttime may provide us with a better opportunity to travel undetected and avoid other potentially hostile survivors. The dark, however, also means a more active wildlife, meaning that would-be survivors would have to deal with a higher chance of animal attacks. Hinterland aims to create a complex, dynamic world where players will need to be aware of „the rules of nature”, so to speak, in order to survive even a single night out in the wild – only time will tell how successfully the development studio will be able to draw this ambitious vision to life.

The Long Dark is expected to release this October on PC, with the possibility of a console port arriving sometime afterwards.

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