The Long Dark (PC) 2014

Sandbox survival horror? Sure, I’ve only got 18, I could do with another.

I’ve been looking forward to this title for a few months now and have followed it closely. It was released not long ago as a pre-release alpha.

Now, I have to say I’m getting tired of these pre-releases. It’s gotten to a state now where it’s practically the norm. I appreciate how it helps small dev teams get early funding for titles that can be costly, but I believe it’s also killing games.

The Forest is a similar pre-release that was so riddled with bugs, even though it had fantastic promise, I’ve given up on it.

Long Dark places you in a hostile, cold, sub freezing temperature arctic environment fresh out of a plan crash. You have the clothes on your back and your stats are dropping – fast.

This new mechanic – temperature – places a new level of anxiety to the survival sandbox game. Food, water and endurance are typical values that need replenishing but the cold now means you frequently need to start fires to keep warm. That means firewood, matches and luck.

It’s a very, very cute looking game pulling in influence from the old school of cell-shading. It’s cartoony but very engaging. It’s also a frightening environment that does a good job of just making you anxious all the time.

I genuinely got cold playing it a few nights ago and went upstairs to get a hoody.

It’s only got one map at the moment and with no story mode yet, but it’s very promising and the devs appear to be very diligent to respond to feedback. Check it out.

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