The Long Dark – Preview
Follow Genre: Survival, Adventure, Simulation
Developer: Hinterland Studio Inc.
Publisher: Hinterland Studio Inc.
Platform: PC

The Long Dark – Preview

Good: Stunning visuals with a well-crafted atmosphere, pleasant gameplay
Bad: Loot is scarce, wolves are too vicious, little content
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(3 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

The Long Dark, brought to us by Hinterland Studio Inc. is a survival game that is currently in Early Access. While the game asks how far you will go to survive, the only real question right now is how long will you survive in the sandbox mode since that is the only mode available right now.

the long dark

The sandbox mode does not have a storyline but there are plenty of elements in the game for you to come up with your own background story. In the future, the game will have a story mode where you play as Will Mackenzie, a bush pilot who has crashed in the wilderness after a mysterious geomagnetic disaster occurred. From what I can tell so far, the game’s story mode will work with seasons and episodes thus giving the developers plenty of room to play around with several survival stories. This can increase the content of the game greatly but for now, sandbox mode is the only way to play. The sandbox mode will have various open world maps to wander in but for now players can only go on a survival adventure in the Mystery Lake map making the content of Early Access quite small.

Visually the game is stunning and breathtaking. It’s a pleasure to wander through the mountains that look like they are paintings with a carefully chosen color palette. The lightning effects in the game are incredible as well. Every object in the forest will cast a realistic shadow. The day and night cycle in the game will result into stunning sceneries with fiery orange skies in the evening and mornings. All of this contributes to the atmosphere in the game and will keep you on your toes for a good while.

the long dark - lookout

The Long Dark is not a horror survival game thus you will not be facing zombies or the likes but you will encounter the various wild creatures such as wolves and occasionally you can bump into frozen bodies of other survivors. Combined with the eerie atmosphere this game provides, you will remain seated at the edge of your chair. It will not give you any good jump scares but the game left me genuinely scared, a feeling I couldn’t shake off for a good hour or so.

As for the gameplay, moving around is done with the WASD-keys while looking around is done with the mouse. Additionally, actions are also done with the mouse. The settings for the gameplay are simple and work like a charm. At the start of the game, you will wake up somewhere randomly in the map. From now on, you are given control over the character. Not having much clothes on, you are feeling chilly and will need to go out and explore the vast land of the mysterious lake. You can do pretty much anything you can do to survive: scavenge places, kill wildlife, make fires and more, all while you need to maintain your character’s health. Many of the games’ survival techniques are true to the techniques they use in real life which ups the realism of the game.

the long dark - cabin

We’ll go slightly more in depth of the gameplay itself now. When you’ve looted a place, you will need to survive with what you’ve been able to loot so far since the loot does not regenerate. This makes surviving rather difficult since the loot is fairly scarce and the calories burn up extremely fast. Keeping yourself alive is almost not possible with the small amount of loot you can find and it only adds up to the realism of the game. The items that you can find can range from food cans to clothing to weapons and more. However, all of these items have a degradation level and tend to degrade rather fast which seems to be a trend in the game. For example, worn clothes will degrade faster than clothes that are not worn. You can find cloth and leather in the game and use a sewing kit to fix clothes for example but since the items degrade so fast, you’d need to spend an awful lot of time fixing clothes.

Finding ammunition at the very start will make you feel relieved, except the game brings you false hope since rifles are almost rare at this point. Crowbars, knives and even axes are added in the game as well but none of these can be used as a weapon to defend yourself. You would expect to be able to create weapons yourself, even if it is a simple bow and arrow but for now the crafting system is not optimal. A real shame since the wolves are extremely vicious and can be hard to kill. However, the crafting system will become bigger and hopefully also better as they will be adding in more content in terms of taking action soon.

the long dark - blind


The concept is great and well executed, even if the game does not have much content yet. It is not a horror survival game but the atmosphere is eerie enough to keep you on your toes. All-in-all, The Long Dark is a wonderful survival game that sets itself apart with the visually stunning sceneries and is a game I would recommend to anyone with a great love for survival games.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
The Long Dark - Preview, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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