If you like the idea of playing an open-world survival game that doesn’t involve zombies, mutants, or radiation, then you might be interested in The Long Dark, the first game by independent developer Hinterland, a small studio composed of some of finest talent in the gaming industry.
The premise of The Long Dark is that you are pilot William Mackenzie, whose plane is downed by a global disaster that shuts down electronics. Stranded in a Northern wilderness, the player must survive deathly cold temperatures and ravenous wildlife while dealing with other survivors who are also desperate to survive. Unlike many other post-civilization survival games, The Long Dark is being designed to be a realistic portrayal of survival that intends to challenge players from a moral standpoint as much as it does from a gameplay standpoint.
Gameplay footage of an early prototype shows that The Long Dark will monitor a variety of bodily functions, such as hunger, thirst, tiredness, temperature, and the amount of calories stored in the body along with the rate of calories being burned from physical exertion. The game is not intended to be combat oriented, and players will be more concerned with managing their bodily functions in conjunction with constantly changing environmental conditions.
Encountering other survivors will be a tricky affair, as The Long Dark will have a morally ambiguous atmosphere in which there are no outright good or evil characters. Players will have to consider to what degree they have to act selfishly for their own survival, or selflessly for the survival of others.
The game will have both story missions and free-form gameplay much like other open-world games like the most recent Fallout games. The story missions will total to about five to six hours of gameplay, while free-form gameplay will last the player several dozen more. Hinterland are hoping to expand on the game should their crowdfunding continue. The game achieved its $200,000 goal last October and is currently sitting at $256,217 in funding.
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Hinterland is a relatively new game studio comprised of a number of notable figures in the industry. Their personnel include Raphael Van Lierop, who worked for Relic and Ubisoft Montreal, Alan Lawrance of Volition, Hokyo Lim of League of Legends fame, Dave Chan of Bioware, God of War Marianne Krawczyk, and Community Manager Emily Claire Afan.
Although the game’s Kickstarter has long ended, those looking to back the game can find out how on the official website. The game will out for the PC, Linux and Mac sometime this October.