Anthony "Tony" Magestro--or known on the field of battle as Metzge--is an avid writer, gamer, and entrepreneur. When he's not writing, gaming, or entrepreneuring, he enjoys cooking, trippy movies, and trying to be awesome to varying degrees of success. Feel free to check out his LinkedIn page, especially if you need freelance help with content writing or digital marketing. Or just like to network, that's fine too.
It’s been two years already since The Long Dark first debuted on Kickstarter and shortly after a successful campaign, Steam Early Access. Having been frozen, mauled by wolves, and died of starvation countless times in its Sandbox Mode, Hinterland Studio announced today that the long-anticipated Story Mode will be released next spring. Of course, we’ll have to weather the winter first.
The Long Dark‘s story features two protagonists that the player will alternate between throughout the game’s first season: bush pilot Will Mackenzie and doctor Astrid Greenwood, both stranded in the Northwest Canadian wilderness after the mysterious “First Flare,” the geomagnetic event that brought about the “quiet apocalypse” the game’s known for.
At launch, the game will include the first three to four hours of gameplay in Season One, with additional episodes of similar size being released over 2016 until the story arc has run its course. Hinterland expects the playtime for the entire story arc for the first season to total 10-12 hours.
While players will get to experience Story Mode from two points of view as both Will and Astrid, it’ll be interesting to see how Hinterland goes about focusing their narrative, having weaned their Early Access players on the infinite Sandbox mode for over a year. In fact Raphael van Lierop, Hinterland’s founder and creative director, mentioned how the game’s Sandbox has become a “highly beloved” feature:
“Our original plan with Sandbox was to use it solely as a gameplay test-bed for Story mode, and shut it down at launch. We discovered that Sandbox offers a completely different experience, highly beloved by our players, and it deserves to continue to exist in its own right.”
That said, you can rest assured that with the release of the Story Mode, Sandbox will still be updated with more features and content “in parallel” with Story Mode.
Story Mode will span over much the same area that you’ve been struggling to survive in during your Sandbox adventures, though two new features (Survivors and The Aurora) will be introduced along with some new, never-before-seen areas.
As you can imagine, with all the work that’s gone into The Long Dark since it’s pre-release on Early Access, the price will increase from $19.99 USD, though that amount has yet to be stated. So if you’re looking at getting your hands on a copy though, get ’em while they’re still hot.
With the game already being so addictively fun and Kickstarter, Early Access, and Game Preview backers all getting the new Story Mode content automatically as it’s unlocked throughout 2016, I’d say you got a little frostbite on the brain to pass up on a deal like that. Especially with a studio like Hinterland that’s made it a priority to forge a close relationship with its fans:
“Our success on Early Access proved there’s an audience for a more thoughtful survival experience, and the resources we’ve been able to invest in the game will help us pursue our ambitions around storytelling as we continue to expand this world. We see a bright future for The Long Dark, and are committed to a long-term relationship with our players.”
Source: Hinterland Studio