Review: The Long Dark

Review: The Long Dark

Steam recently had a couple of big sales and I took advantage of those sales… big time. I bought way more games that I should have, but unlike many other times, I wasn’t just buying games just because they were on sale. I bought a lot of games that I have been dying to play. One of those games was The Long Dark. Let’s just say it was worth the 8 bucks when it was on sale; I’d even go as far as to say that it’s worth the 20 bucks at regular price. Let me tell you about it.


About the game

The Long Dark (TLD) is an early-access survival sandbox game that is brought to you by Hinterland Studio. For those of you who don’t know, early-access means that the game is still being worked on and changes/updates are constantly being applied to the game. Early-access will end for this game when Hinterland releases Season One of the Story Mode (hopefully sometime in the near future). This game also allows the player to roam around and move about freely, engaging in whatever you come across in the open world (sandbox).

In the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster, you are all alone in the Northern Canadian wilderness. You must explore the area, gather supplies and food, find shelter, and do your best to survive the frozen, wolf infested world. There is a ton of freedom, and not much is explained. You must figure out how to find and cook food, loot houses, craft equipment, live off the land, and survive.

Game Modes

As stated above, the campaign is still being worked on. The game came out a little over two years ago, with many, many updates and changes being made overtime. Hinterland is doing there best to make a great campaign out of this world. I’d rather wait for a great game later, then get a bad game now. In the meantime, there are still other game types that you can play while you wait for the campaign.

Sandbox Mode

This mode lets you pick the difficulty and the map and then just plops you right into the world. There are no objectives or narrative. Just survive. Easy enough.

Challenge Modes

This mode gives you an objective on top of trying to survive. There are four challenges ranging in different difficulties. The one that I am playing currently is called White Out. You have 30 days to stock up as many supplies as you can in a gas station before a huge blizzard hits your area. Your character has a journal that records all of your gear, food, and equipment when it is stored in the gas station. You must reach a specific amount (indicated in the journal) before the blizzard hits. I am currently on day 5 and still have a lot more supplies I need to gather. It’s been a lot of fun exploring the world and seeing cool and interesting things in this frozen wasteland.  


I should say that I am not a huge fan of survival games. I have not played that many, and the ones I have played, were not that great. However, when I saw TLD, something about it stood out to me.

Maybe it was the way the game looked. The environment is beautiful and very well done. Looking up into the night sky, watching the stars and Aurora Borealis, and seeing the wind blow through the pines and snow fall. Going into a dark house, lighting a match, and watching the light and shadows dance around the room. It makes me want to go on an actual adventure! Hinterland Studio did an amazing job on these gorgeous graphics.

Or maybe it was the idea of the game. There is no catch. No twists, no surprises, no zombies! It is literally just your character trying to survive the frozen Canadian wilderness after a massive natural disaster. The monsters are actual wildlife. Your enemy is the elements. Your character is nothing special, just a regular ol’ human being. And there is no guidance. No narrative. No explanation as to what you should do. The world has everything in it you need to survive, now figure it out on your own.

Can Get A Bit Repetitive

Now, if you’re not a fan of survival games, maybe this isn’t a game for you. But as stated above, I’m not a huge fan either and I am really enjoying this game. However, as the game is now, I could see where it might get boring and repetitive.

There are several large maps for this game. But I could easily see some people getting bored before they explore even a fraction of the map, or exploring all of it and then getting bored. I can also see it getting pretty repetitive with you constantly entering houses, looting the house, finding the same old food and gear, and then moving on to the next house to do it all over again.

Also many of the houses and buildings have the same layout. And, after only a handful of hours under my belt, I already know all the types of supplies and gear you can find, so there are no surprises there. So there are some limitations as far as layouts, objectives, and surprises in the game. But with the game still being worked on, I’m sure there will be more awesome things coming out soon!       

Final Thoughts

All in all, I’m totally glad I found this game on Steam sale. If this game interests you, check it out on Steam. It is currently $20, but if you wait for the next big sale, you could probably get it pretty cheap. If you want to know more about the game or Hinterland Studio, check out their website below!


Well, that’s it for now!

Keep on gaming, nerds!


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