The Long Dark Announces Story Mode And Release Date

by Tanner Dedmon

The Long Dark

A release date has finally been announced to the open-world survival game The Long Dark as well as news of a chapter-based story mode to be included at release.

After a long journey from Kickstarter to Early Access on Xbox One and Steam that began in late 2013, developer Hinterland Studios announced on Thursday that the studio's premiere title will be fully released to the previously mentioned platforms and on PlayStation 4 on August 1. 

The game puts players in control of a pilot whose plane went down in the middle of the frozen Canadian wilderness and now has to manage dwindling resources and fight for survival to progress through what the studio calls "The Quiet Apocalypse."  Unlike other survival games that feature supernatural foes or villains that make sure rescue stays just out of reach, The Long Dark strips these obstacles away until the age-old battle of man vs. nature remains. 

Up until this point, the Early Access version of the game only contained a traditional survival mode. With the news concerning the release date, Hinterland also announced that a story mode, now called Wintermute, will ship with the final product. The full announcement noted that the inspiration behind Wintermute's story comes from works such as Cormac McCarthy's bleak, post-apocalyptic novel The Road. Wintermute is said to build off of the existing Survival mode by adding a compelling storyline outfitted with multiple characters. If the claims for where Wintermute draws its inspiration from are to believed, there's grueling moral decision to be made concerning the supporting cast once the game reaches its full release. 

Taking the chapter approach to its story, The Long Dark will only release with the first two chapters on August 1. The first two episodes are "Do Not Go Gentle" and "Luminance Fugue," and the next three chapters in the 5-part story are expected to be released throughout 2017 and 2018.  The dates for the next three are not for sure yet, as Hinterland commented that the projected release date was their "current plan." Each episode is expected to consist of at least 5 hours of gameplay to keep players trudging through the bears and the snow.

The Long Dark is currently available in Early Access form on Xbox One and Steam.