Survival sim Near Death [official site] was first forecast back in the cold mornings of early May. Although not part of the newfangled survival genre as such, it will still see you trying to make it through the sub-zero temperatures of an abandoned Antarctic research station during the pole’s deadly months-long night. Weather will change and the cold can travel from room to room, we are told, making warmth a constant concern. And you’ll be able to freeze to death all you like from August 2nd, the developers have announced. Which is more or less the time when the south pole’s “night” ends and becomes “astronomical twilight”.
Here’s the story: your plane has crash-landed in Antarctica. You survived but you’re now alone and stranded in the dark of Sutro Station, a lost research base established in the 1950s. Explore and gather equipment that will help you survive – a personal heater to keep you alive in a place where temperatures can reach 100 degrees below zero, for example. Or a blowtorch for thawing doors open to reach new areas. More blueprints and upgrades can be found to keep you one step ahead of hypothermia. It’s being made by the folks at Orthogonal Games, those responsible for the familial turmoil of The Novelist. Here’s the trailer from its announcement.
Oh, that sound at the end. I do hope there are no monsters and this is just a weird music thing. Videogames have a habit of throwing baddies into the mix with spooky locations like this, but sometimes the environment is enough of an adversary. Will this be a Long Dark or a Cryostasis? Who knows. The most intriguing thing is probably the way temperature will work. This is what the developers say the game will feature:
“A real-time temperature simulation that freezes and thaws the environment room by room based on exposure to the elements, building layouts, the base’s power system, and your own ability to establish safe areas with makeshift repairs.”
How do you give a thumbs up gesture while wearing mittens?