The Long Dark's frozen apocalypse is just a little bit nicer to survive through this week, as Hinterland Studio have launched their 'Wintermute Redux' update for the game. After putting plans for a third episode of its story-driven main campaign on hold, they opted to overhaul what was already there. As detailed here, the story now plays out entirely in first-person with fully voiced and animated dialogue. There's more locations, a new intro, and Hinterland claim that they've opened up its mission structure to allow for more free-form survival between its narrative bits. Check out the trailer below.
For those late to The Long Dark, this looks like a great new introduction to its intimidatingly hostile frozen world. Unlike other survival games where you're up against zombies or monsters or some looming threat, the main thrust of The Long Dark is just enduring each day as it comes in an oppressive landscape. A seemingly supernatural storm has washed over the world, disabling advanced machinery, although at night computer screens sometimes flicker back to life, showing their last images before it all froze. If not dead, then The Long Dark's world feels like it's dying and there's not much you can do to save it.
While mostly focused on renovating the story and preparing for Episode 3 in the new year, there's a bundle of smaller improvements to its interface. The HUD now defaults to being always on - perhaps less immersive, but easier to get a handle on your status - and they've reworked how fires and stoves are interacted with. Now it should be less of a hassle to boil water, cook food and do all those mundane little things that we take for granted in real life, but videogames make ever so fussy. They've also patched an enormous number of little bugs and tuned plenty more - see the full patch notes here.
The Wintermute Redux update is out now. The Long Dark is available on Humble and Steam for £23.79/€24.99/$29.99, although the (fittingly enough) winter sales should start soon. Story episodes three through five are planned to be released as free updates.