I stand atop a snowy hill, the wind and snow rushes to meet my face. A vast, almost endless frozen ocean extends before me yet I know there must be some end to it since I can see mountains peaking out from beyond the horizon. A frozen corpse lies off to my left. He’s been there a long time. I swallow whatever amount of human decency was left in the world and search his corpse. I wait for a brief moment and realize that he has nothing. This is The Long Dark. I climb to the top of nearby hill to get a lay of the land. Off to my left is a lighthouse, towards the center of my screen lies a boat torn to shreds and being lifted up towards the heaven, heaved by the rising ice shards, and behind the ship, far off in the distance seems to be a house. I have choices, this is one of the things that really strikes me about The Long Dark. This isn’t preset multiple paths that bottlenecks me eventually. This is a real open world. One of the first things I saw was a herd of deer marching off towards some unknown fate, there was only two things I knew: 1) I needed to eat and 2) my source of food was running away from me. Nothing comes easy in this world.
I decide to set off towards the lighthouse but as I reach closer I soon begin to notice that it stands at the top of some mountain. I trek that I was not prepared to undertake, I didn’t have the proper clothes or food to commit to the lighthouse. I went for the ship instead. The ship was resting in its own decay, bits and pieces strewn about the landscape. I walk inside and am immediately uncomfortable. It’s dark inside, my footsteps echo along the walls, and I can feel every creak in the ship. I decide to burn a match, huddling over the small amount of light and warmth that it provides. It’s short lived though, just moments later the match was gone. I burned through a total of four matches searching through the entire ship, a definite hit to my supply. There’s nothing me keeping me to this ship besides the small amount of warmth. As I head towards the exit, I see it. A body lying in the snow and next to it was a beautifully warm scarf. I snatched it up with full knowledge that it was being put to better use. The mission wasn’t a complete failure.
I leave the ship and decide to head towards the house. It’s a long journey over the frozen lake. Every passing step becomes heavier over time. The snow is overpowering me, I need to move. I use the majority of my sprint meter and run into the nearest cabin. It’s well lit but in total disarray. Beds are thrown across the room, lockers are shattered and boxes are destroyed. Nothing’s left. Whoever was here had gone for good. My next move was to head into the large house. I climb the steps towards the top. I stop just a few feet from the door. Right in front of the door is one rifle round.
This does not bode well.
I continue inside and find nothing but a hanging rib cage? I don’t even know. Overall, there’s nothing of interest here. I walk out of the back of the ware house and see a road. It leads to the lighthouse. I’ve gotta take this opportunity and head there. I’ve got enough food but I’ve got a lack of weaponry. If anything grabs me, I’m totally fucked. My hearts racing, and the cold is starting to set in. The dreaded words appear across the bottom of my screen “At risk of hypothermia”. I walk along the road and see the light house off in the distance. The rest of this is best shown visually, I hope you enjoy the rest of my journey through this game.
This game is magical in it’s simplicity and it’s simplicity is it’s beauty. Even during my short time with this game, I was able to determine that this was one of the most atmospheric games of the last couple years. There’s something special here that people should really check out. Go buy this game. It’s an intense and lonely experience that is absolutely beautiful. This play through will definitely stick with me for some time and I will for sure be returning to this game.