The Long Dark story mode starts with August 1st launch

Apocalyptically icy survive ’em up The Long Dark [official site] will start its story campaign and leave early access on August 1st, developers Hinterland Studio have announced. The ‘Wintermute’ story will see a pilot try to find his partner and learn what’s going on as the world goes to icehell, and comes in five episodes – the first two of which will be available at launch. Another big early access update is coming before then, mind. Hinterland say it will bring a new UI, cartography, and the option to do terrible things to rabbits. First, have a peek at Wintermute:

“The first two episodes of Wintermute are about bush pilot Will Mackenzie and Dr. Astrid Greenwood, and what happens when they get separated after a mysterious geomagnetic event causes them to crash deep in the Northern Canadian wilderness,” Hinterland say. The announcement goes into more details but hey, maybe you don’t want to know in advance. They say that the episodes tend to take players about 6-10 hours. Episodes three-five will follow across 2017 and into 2018.

Adam and John have both gushed about The Long Dark’s sandbox mode but it’s the story mode I’ve wanted. Survival for survival’s sake isn’t enough so I played one game, left it at a point where I imagined my character could die in relative comfort, then uninstalled. I’ll be back in August.

Before then, more big changes are coming to early access. The ‘Faithful Cartographer’ update is the final promised sandbox update, and will enter later beta this month. Expect a new UI, a new and less buggy save system, (optional) cartography to create your own maps, bug fixes, performance improvements, the chancy choice to quarter carcasses and butcher them elsewhere while risk unwanted attention, the ability to throw flares and torches, the ability to throw stones at animals. Oh, that last one is awful. Hinterland say about stones:

“They make a good tool of ‘last resort’ against Wolves — you might get lucky enough to scare one off — and you can hunt Rabbits with them. Stun a rabbit, then see if you have the heart to finish it off.”

No, no thank you. Please stroke that rabbit’s ears then tuck it up in some cosy moss with a little of your food to nibble on, you monster.

7 Comments

  1. Jeremy says:

    I am excited for this. Usually not a big fan of story in games like this, but surviving in this world always felt a bit lacking to me, and I am hoping a story will add context to give it more meaning.

    • AutonomyLost says:

      +1

      I’ve watched a bit of gameplay of the sandbox mode, which looked intriguing, but now that this has been announced I will gladly wait to begin The Long Dark experience. Plenty of things to play in the meantime.

  2. LockjawNightvision says:

    My guess is it was either a rogue AI frustrated it couldn’t remove its Turing locks and making anti-global-warming tech go blooey, or the translator of some ancient alien texts discovering a terrible secret and then something something everything’s cold now.

  3. Shinard says:

    Glad to hear it. That said, I do hope the focus is still on the sandbox, or at least evenly split. TLD is the only survival game I’ve played where the hard part is actually, y’know, surviving rather than crafting or fighting, and to me that makes it the best damn survival game on Steam. As long as that part doesn’t get lost, and realistically I’m sure it won’t, I’m happy.

  4. Rince says:

    I may be drunk, but I thought that the story mode protagonist was a female… was changed or I’m just delusional?

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      teije says:

      Been planned with 2 protagonists, one male, one female. For awhile in any case. Not sure how that will work when story mode released – switch per episode, get to choose?

      But great news, love the sandbox mode, but eagerly awaiting this since I’ve played it to death :)

  5. Synesthesia says:

    That’s a very pretty trailer. Nice to see good art direction in action.