The Long Dark launches its biggest update of the year

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:

The Long Dark is still on Steam Early Access but even last year our John dug the state it was in.

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:

7 Comments

  1. rochrist says:

    The developers have done a really good job with this game.

  2. Jeremy says:

    It’s been a while since I have hopped into this game.. this might be just what I need to get back to it.

  3. sdether says:

    I spent so much time on this about a year ago. Unfortunately the primary skill was discovering new areas and trying to survive, which became less exciting after I learned all the maps and possible shelters.

    I wish there was a plan for procedural map generation. I know it doesn’t play into the story mode plans, but it would be fantastic for survival

  4. TheAngriestHobo says:

    This all sounds fantastic – I’m digging the idea that what you wear is now a strategic decision.

    I really hope that, at some point in the far future when we are all slaving away in the meme mines beneath Trump Cathedral, Hinterland will release an expansion that allows you to generate random maps. As it stands, I try to limit how much I play because I don’t want to memorize the geography any more than I already have.

    • Banks says:

      You can’t have it all, and the game is much better by having handcrafted maps. I too I’m waiting for the final release before of this reason. I don’t want to feel burned before that.

  5. Bears-Stink says:

    What happened to that fun survival game I was playing 6 mounts ago? OMG this new update is SSSOOOOOO ANNOYING!!! Half of my game time is now spent managing my clothes through menus and sub menus blah blah blah……

    I can’t walk out to check my traps or pick up a few sticks without becoming wet and once again having to spend game time managing my clothing. It was fun exploring, hunting, fishing and fighting wolves etc…

    The new graphics are great, but, this overly exaggerated aspect of surviving by managing clothing is sucking the fun out. I now need an expedition team of survivalist and logistic engineers to go to the outhouse! How do I roll this back?

    I get the world is decaying and all, but my avatar is a little over 100 days old and it seems like I spend 16 -18 hours a day trapped in shelter because of the constant blizzards. Is it time to kill my avatar and start over so I can have a few hours of fun?

  6. April March says:

    That ‘paper doll’ is incredibly cute.