Notoriously unforgiving exploration-survival game The Long Dark is receiving its next narrative installment in December this year. The news was announced in a Dev Diary update on Hinterland Studios’ dedicated steam page. The Long Dark pits players against an expansive frozen wilderness where every decision has far reaching consequences. With ever-present cold and hunger to contend with, players navigate everything nature throws their way to survive.
Titularly known as Episode Three in the Wintermute story mode, players will take on the role of a certain Dr. Astrid Greenwood picking up from where the Episode One left off in the aftermath of the geomagnetic disaster affecting Milton. As Hinterland puts it, the update promises players will be able to ‘meet new survivors, explore a new region, and find out more about the events prior to, and after, the First Flare event that engulfed Great Bear Island — and perhaps the rest of the world — into the long dark’. More details are set to be revealed closer to release.
Hinterland are also releasing revamped editions of the previous two episodes, aptly named ‘Redux’, ‘in order to set up a stronger foundation for Episode Three and the remaining parts of the five-episode Wintermute story mode’. Based on community feedback, the changes are important enough to warrant a replay of the first two episodes prior to the December release. In fact, Hinterland has warned that in-progress saves will be obsolete when the update drops. The developer urges players to finish off their games beforehand to avoid disappointment.
Redux incorporates more flexibility in terms of mission structure by reducing the linear aspect, limiting mandatory participation by making side quests optional, and removing the in-game Trust system, which invariably made quests feel like a grind. Much of the game has been rejigged with overhauled dialogue (UI, content, and voice acting), a fresh introductory sequence and tutorial, a refreshed Beat Hunt mission, and new narrative content, including a never before seen NPC.
In further news, retail versions of The Long Dark PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports are making their way to stores throughout the world in early September. Each copy includes a digital download of the game’s fantastic soundtrack as well as an exclusive map of Great Bear as part of a printed Field Journal.