The Long Dark (aka Gah...Wolves!)


I found the episodic content the first time around to be pretty hit or miss. I think they plan on more episodes past 3.

But the Survival mode is open ended. And it is very, very, good. Not for nothing did RPS put this game at #1 on their list of survival-style games.


Oh, and if the open-ended play of the Survival mode isn’t your thing but you don’t want the tightly contained narrative of the story mode, the Challenge modes are great. There’s one, for instance, that gives you 30 days before a whiteout blizzard arrives to get yourself set up to weather it inside an abandoned quonset hut. Another requires you to survive for a long time, traversing multiple zones to find a flare gun, and then set it off at the top of a lighthouse (not a spoiler).


Yah the challenges and survival mode are easily worth a purchase, even if you never touch the story. I bounced off the story mode pretty hard when I tried to play it, but the sandbox and challenges are amazing. The particular challenge where you have to get the flare gun is one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in a long time.


It is honestly one of the best survival experiences I’ve played on PC, truly leaving you as the player with difficult life and death decisions.

I have yet to even play the episodes or challenges, there is just so much content, even in survival mode that I’m not sure I’ll ever get to them.


What the game really gets right (and I’ve probably said this before, so forgive me for being the old guy repeating himself…) is that cold isn’t created equal. There’s cold, and then there’s COLD. And then there’s even colder than that. And the game models wind, being wet, and how layers of clothing and shelter affect that.

So there’s never a binary “I’m in shelter and fine/I’m not in shelter I’m not fine” setting. It’s always a gradient of to what degree the environment is killing you, and how rapidly that can change.


Indeed, the same can be said for a food isn’t just a food. It can be a filling, high quality meal, or it can be a snack that’s off and will barely feed you and possibly make you sick. And as with real life, everything is in a different state of repair. Also as in real life, you can’t just lug every item known to man with you while also trudging through snow and heavy weather, while also decked out in as much as you can wear as possible.

Making decisions like, “should I carry this much water with me? I’m just going to that nearby fish shack,” can end up being life threatening when you least expect it.


Great point. And clothing the same way. It ends up creating so many interesting, game-changing/game-affecting decisions.


A big part of the survival game, is map knowledge, and it’s awesome. There are so many layers to the survival game, and you keep getting better at it due to a combination of understanding exactly how much threat something is, and knowing your way around. The exploration that you need to do, in order to up your chances of surviving longer, is just balanced so well. You can set out on a nice sunny calm day, with the intent to explore, and have it pretty quickly devolve into “oh crap, I’m lost, and it’s getting windy and dark”.

This game effects me the same way Everquest used to, when it was really difficult. It’s one of the few games I’ve experienced something close to actual fear in, especially when I’ve had a character that has survived a long time, is well geared, and is pushing the limits of exploring or foraging.

All that being said, I’d pay 100$ for a copy of the game as it was in early access, before the first UI change, to me, the game was perfect at that point. I dislike a lot of the systems they’ve put in place since then.


Brother, you said it. I fondly remember some of these:
The trains that ran through Blackburrow when your party was just trying to get a short way in. shiver
That first run at pretty low level between Qeynos and Freeport.
Killing trash just inside the instance of Upper Guk when suddenly a train comes through going out and I was feared way, way down deep.
Accidentally getting too far out of alignment in Freeport.
That first time I thought I could fear kite a Sand Giant.
Feign death’ing deep into an area to start clearing out a camp.
Etc …

Granted, I’ve become a more jaded gamer over time, and used to death and jump scares a lot more. But there are a few that still give me fear and anxiety in large doses. The Long Dark for one, Subnautica is another.


The game also rewards not just map familiarity but also ability to read the sky/wind for what’s coming. Somedays I look outside and think nope, staying inside.

The intense blizzards is implemented exceptionally well. When you’re in one of those, you understand how people are found frozen just a few feet from their house b/c they got lost and started going in circles. Getting home in a blizzard from a fishing expedition is one of my favorite accomplishments. Hope you’re going the right way and hope to hit land soon.

Great, great game and like the continual updates.


Yeah, that’s the other thing. Snowstorms aren’t a binary thing either. There are multiple levels of snow, wind, and fog that all affect visibility, and yeah doing something as simple as trying to get some more firewood from the little grove of trees next to your shelter can be a fatal thing.


I live in Minnesota, so finding a time when this actually seems fun instead of “too close to home” or “please let me enjoy summer” is hard.


This might be part of it for me, I grew up in northern Illinois, but moved to LA for 20 years lol.


This game… I really enjoy so many aspects of it, but mainly it is the absolute immersion you feel with the way the environment and the basic game loop is designed. They’ve messed around with the UI so much over the years that it’s been crazy. Whole entire systems have come and gone, and … it just doesn’t matter, because the core of the experience still remains and it is just spot on.

P.S. for those avoiding Wintermute, you should give it a go. The story line makes so much more sense now, and most of the rigid quest structure has been broken up and made optional, so you can really tailor the experience to suit your interest.

P.S.S. I am a huge Dark Souls fan, but hardest game mode for me (that still seems fair) is interloper in Long Dark. The first 3 days are touch and go every single time I try it out. Sooo good!


I only played 3 hours of the campaign, not sure what chapter. I probably need to try the other game modes.


Survival mode is the bread and butter of this game, not the campaign. You have much more game options in survival, and something like a dozen maps to explore.


I figured the campaign would be more guided and ease me into it. Some of it was pretty good. I figured I’d do survival mode when I was done. I put it down months ago and forgot everything I did so I’ll either have to start it fresh or just move on to survival mode.


If you started the campaign several months ago, you WILL have to start over… because your save was wiped. If you didn’t finish a chapter then your progress is gone I am afraid. The new campaign is a lot better then the old one however.


Do you think it is a good way to learn the game?


I found survival mode much more enjoyable, but that’s just me.