The Long Journey Home gets easier in ‘Story Mode’

Long Journey Home 1

Splendid space exploration game The Long Journey Home [official site] has got a new ‘Story Mode’ with dialled-down difficulty after player feedback suggested the game was just too damned hard for some.

Developers Daedalic say that the new mode adds more resources, makes your planet-exploring Lander craft more resilient, and improves targeting in combat.

Here’s what they said about the update, which was made in response to a “number of issues” about the game’s difficulty:

“Story Mode is aimed primarily at new astronauts and those without the time to fully embrace the chaos and challenge of the universe, who prefer exploration over survival, or who would prefer an easier introduction to space travel before facing the challenge of Adventure (formerly Explorer) Mode, and Rogue Mode, where failure means death.

“Key Story Mode changes include a far friendlier galaxy, where resources are more valuable and effective, and some of the tougher challenges early pioneers have experienced are toned down. More planets feature Earth-like conditions, with less extreme conditions on both high and low gravity worlds. The more dangerous galactic weather hazards are also toned down. In addition to being more abundant, resources are also now worth more on the market and more effective for repairing and refuelling the ship.”

Long Journey Home 2

If you missed it the first time around, then The Long Journey Home is a game about steering your ship and small crew back to earth, meeting lots of friendly (and not-so-friendly) aliens along the way. Part No Man’s Sky, part FTL, part Star Trek: Voyager, it plays a bit like a series of mini games in space.

Adam enjoyed the game overall and played through the six-hour campaign multiple times while acknowledging that the game’s difficulty, and the constant reliance on repetitive tasks to maintain your equipment, was a little frustrating. Here’s what he thought:

“I’d describe The Long Journey Home as a difficult game, given how hard it is to get home, but it’s an oddly pitched difficulty. I’m more likely to peter out than to explode in a blaze of glory or perish in a calamitous misadventure.

“Simply put, getting home is hard work and even though there are loads of amazing adventures to be had along the way, you’ll also be carrying out a lot of maintenance. Think of this more as a warning than a condemnation because I’m still enjoying the game after thirty-five hours of playing.”

Overall, it seems like a good move from Daedalic, and they’re monitoring the game’s Discord channel for any further feedback.

You can view the full change log in this post. If the changes convince you to splash the cash, then the game is currently available for £30.59/35,99€/$35.99 on Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store.

Disclosure: RPS columnist Richard Cobbett wrote the words for The Long Journey Home.

7 Comments

  1. poliovaccine says:

    Wull sheeit. I already got invested enough, in spite of the difficulty, that I dont wanna just start over in a whole new mode with altered rules… even though I’m definitely always wishing it werent so difficult! Maaaan. This exact same thing happened with Rain World, too..!

    Glad they did make it more accessible, though – the writing in it damn well deserves to be read! It’s a testament to the writing that bits of story or new dialogue opportunities feel more like the actual “rewards” than any of the game’s quest-completions or precious resources.

  2. Zenicetus says:

    I hate to sound like a wuss, but I just bought it due to this change. The current sale on Steam helped too. I can always re-play at harder difficulty, but the initial reports were putting me off trying it. So here we go, off to some space adventures in what sounds like a neat game.

  3. and its man says:

    “Intense. I’m playing this game with shivering hand ̶s̶ ”
    – Cpt. B.

  4. poliovaccine says:

    Yknow, given how quickly you get the hang of it, once you first pull that initial thread, I feel like I can see how the game got so damn hard… it’s because the beta testers all got used to it!

    What I mean is, once you grasp it, it’s like driving, in that it seemed daunting as hell from afar and at first attempt, but at some point it becomes second nature, to the point where it can even get to be routine, even boring (just as you manage to forget while driving the simple fact that you’re hurtling over the surface of the planet in a two-ton hunk of glass and steel, and your corporeal safety is entirely reliant on the faith that every single other asshole on the road will just behave themselves)… Challenges still crop up, like sudden straits of hydroplaning on the freeway, but you feel confident in your past successes and so you relish that stuff and your ability to cope… but if it’s coming fast and hard while you’re still on your training wheels, of course it feels totally different… “stop hittin yerself! stop hittin yerself! stop hittin yerself..!”

  5. Erithtotl says:

    I got into the beta and bounced off this super-hard. I am not sure if the issue is pure difficulty, or the fact that its real unforgiving from the beginning (as someone mentioned it, once you master it, its easy). Or it might be that the whole core navigation gameplay doesn’t make much sense to me. Why is orbiting and landing basically an arcade minigame? Even in the relatively low tech of a first gen space exploration vessel, wouldn’t you have a computer plot your course for an orbit?

    • Zenicetus says:

      Well, it’s the same question one could ask of Kerbal Space Program, which doesn’t come with a default autopilot. It gives the player something to do, with a learning curve for the skill that eventually rewards the effort spent in learning. Without the minigame, the game would be much shorter and more like a visual novel.

      The space navigation sort-of makes sense, but it’s the planet landings that I find more frustrating. The control design feels less intuitive than the original Lunar Lander game. It would have been better if they had copped the wireframe canyon-flying sequence from the old Captain Blood game (I think that was the one?), instead of Lunar Lander.

      • and its man says:

        Except that though it had the other-worldly tone of the game and looked hip at first (it felt like drawing your own, reverse, Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures cover), the wireframe canyon sequence in Captain Blood grew old pretty fast. It’s no suprise the guys at Ere/Exxos/Cryo discarded it for Commander Blood.
        I find this Lunar Lander reimagining in The Long Journey Home really nice to play, in fact.

        If you’re playing with mouse and keyboard, maybe keep an eye on your mouse pointer. I’ve talked with people who were struggling with the controls, and it happens they weren’t paying attention to its position. They were all-focused on the vehicle.