The Long Dark’s Story Mode Gets First Trailer

The Long Dark [official site] is one of our favourite survival games. John has been playing it on a regular basis and enjoying his treks through the cold wilderness a great deal, despite the daft difficulty levels, which either see him starving to death within minutes of a gargantuan feast, or present no real challenge at all. That he has returned to the game so often is testament to the strength of the hunting, gathering and cowering.

The upcoming story mode might provide a more balanced experience. The first part of the first season will be available in Spring 2016, when the game leaves Early Access, and there are details and a trailer below, as well as a peek at the latest additions to the sandbox mode.

The beardy man is probably bush pilot Will Mackenzie, one of the two playable characters in the story’s first season. That would make the narrator Astrid Greenwood, a doctor. Both are living in the aftermath of the “First Flare” event which was responsible for the current state of the world, and they’ll have to deal with all of the sandbox’s usual food and shelter issues as well as coming face to face with other survivors. The story also adds The Aurora, which you can see at the end of the trailer there. I’m going to assume it’s basically the Northern Lights except made out of magical space wolves.

There are a lot of wolves in The Long Dark.

As well as those two features – other survivors and The Aurora – the story mode will have…a story. There will be new areas to explore, as well as those available in the sandbox, and the existing mechanics will be “tuned for narrative gameplay”.

At launch, The Long Dark will include both the first part of Season One of Story Mode, and the Sandbox Mode. The Story Mode content launching in the Spring will amount to 3-4 hours of gameplay, in addition to the freeform Sandbox mode which offers 100s of hours of open-world exploration-survival gameplay.

The remainder of Season One will be released in additional 2-3 hour episodes over the course of 2016, until the Season One story arc is complete. The expected play time for the entire Season One Story Mode is between 10-12 hours.

Hinterland have certainly made a sad and beautiful world, and The Long Dark conjures up an atmosphere quite unlike the majority of its peers. I’m keen to see more of both the sandbox and the story, and I won’t have to wait for the former. The final update of the year has arrived, bringing a new area to explore, a flare gun, rope climbing and more.



  1. robotobibok says:

    Teaser art reminds Thief. I do love that! ^^

  2. Stevostin says:

    A pity I can’t stand the way it looks.

  3. NephilimNexus says:

    Treasure games like this, because you’ll need them for reference when you’re trying to explain to your grandkids what “snow” was.

  4. Mi-24 says:

    I’ve played a bit of this and it’s a great game; however it does lack a sense of direction sometimes so I personally welcome a story mode.

    Also; the trailer showed other humans (not being very nice to one another) Does this mean human NPC’s will come into sandbox? I hope they do, I feel it would add a nice extra mechanic. Even better if you don’t know whether they’re hostile or not and can actually talk / make friends with them (Before killing them for their supplies and warms succulent flesh anyway).

    • JB says:

      I’m pretty sure NPCs have always been planned for TLD. I’m verymuch looking forward to story mode too. And I certainly wouldn’t be upset about having NPCs in the sandbox!

      • JB says:

        While my original reply is still true, I did misread your comment, Mi-24, so apologies for that. I’ll wake up soon, I expect.

  5. Synesthesia says:

    Now that’s some actual art direction. Love the way fire feels in this game. Can’t wait till it finally leaves early access.

  6. celticdr says:

    Still on my second playthrough of the sandbox mode at over 50 days – the first playthrough I got totally mauled by a wolf and after that I maintained a 100 yard radius from them at all times. This game is sorely lacking an in game map though – it was confusing enough when they had 3 areas, now they’ve got like 5-6. Looking forward to story mode too – the sandbox gets a bit aimless after 20 odd days and a rifle or two later.

  7. MrFinnishDude says:

    So did the polar flip turn the whole world into chaos or just Canada? I don’t see the winter thing being a problem at warmer climates.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      To paraphrase South Park, it’s a problem for Canada and therefore the world.

      Seriously though, they don’t really delve into that (which makes sense, since the whole idea is that you’re cut off from civilization). If you follow the game’s internal logic, though, then it seems like odds are that animals are flipping out all over the world because of the magnetic disturbance.

  8. teije says:

    Looks like a good update. Love this game but so bad at the combat – even armed, wolves make a quick snack of me.

    But it gives off that winter vibe perfectly (speaking as a Canadian who’s been out in my share of nasty conditions).

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      They really did capture the crispness and stillness of rural Canadian winters. TLD tickles my nostalgia bone every time I load it up.

      On a related note, it’s a survival game? I thought it was a walking to work simulator.

  9. Payin_the_man says:

  10. Payin_the_man says:

    and I had a hard time with finals and this game last semester…

  11. Ericusson says:

    Bought it tried it, eagerly waiting for it to leave Early Access to play it.
    Even before this update, the gameplay felt really good.

    Though I will once again be seamlessly savescumming. Don’t have time to start over and over again. Giving the player some options about how he wants to play would be a most welcome addition for game developers to consider.

  12. MadPen says:

    Is it just me or does the update video show an arrow being fired right through the wolf and the hit detection appearing not to work? This is pretty much my favorite game ever, but..I wonder about the hit detection.