It seems only fitting that icy survival sandbox The Long Dark [official site] should launch its biggest update of the year two days before the solstice. Days round my way are now below seven hours and mercy me, I’m so excited to reach the longest dark and pass on through. The ‘Resolute Outfitter’ update has added a new world area, a desolate land of ice and dead trees, and hugely overhauled the game’s clothing. Every garment’s art has been redesigned and rebuilt, they way clothes work is hugely overhauled, and there’s a tidy paper doll to show what you’re wearing. Go on you scamps, wrap up warm then slip out in the night.
So, fashion! Every item of clothing has been rebuilt in a new art style, and Hinterland Studio have almost doubled the number of garments in the games. The Long Dark also now supports layering clothes, with some body regions able to wear multiple garments. That’s all clear on the new ‘paper doll’ clothing UI, which makes quite clear what’s worn where and with what.
What to wear is more of a decision now too. Clothing now has more load of stats, from warmth and waterproofness to mobility and protection, meaning that items are more distinct and allow more opportunities for ‘builds’. Hinterland say:
“For example, if you intend to make a fast supply run to a nearby location, it makes sense to wear light waterproof clothing to optimize your Inventory capacity for supplies you may find. If you’re heading into unknown territory and scouting an area you think might have hostile wildlife, you may opt for heavier items that offer more physical protection, at the expense of some mobility and carrying capacity.”
This is also handy consider the game now tracks degrees of wetness, letting garments and items get soaked through then start to freeze.
This dev post goes into more detail on all this and you can peek at it in this trailer:
Hinterland have also posted a dev update on The Long Dark’s story mode. In short, going from 2D to 3D for cutscenes has been way more work than they’d expected. But! They say this here big clothing overhaul was “the last major core gameplay system that remains before we launch Story Mode”. And it’s not like they’ve done nothing. They say:
“We have about 6 hours of playable Story Mode gameplay, currently split into two episodes, and these are the episodes we will launch with. The first part serves as a prologue and sets the tone of the story and explains something about the world you find yourself in. The second part continues the story of Will Mackenzie, and what he encounters and learns about the quiet apocalypse of The Long Dark. Astrid’s story, unfortunately, will not be playable at launch, but her Episode will come soon after.”
Story Mode will launch, y’know, when it’s done. Consider yourself teased: