Game Review – The Long Dark (Xbox One)
The Long Dark has truly won me over and has me coming back time and time again. I seem to go through phases with this game it is a addicting to survive an constantly explore. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a new experience or looking for a casual game they can pick up for an hour or two. I hope the game continues to grow and gets even better. The game receives a solid 4/5 because the game is fantastic but is a bit flat. This is to be expected for something in an Alpha state but with time I would expect this to be a genre defining game like Halo or Minecraft.
I wasn’t really expecting to get The Long Dark it just sort of fell into my lap. I saw in in the game preview section on the xbox dashboard and decided to try it. Needless to say I was pretty instantaneously hooked it was a whole new genre I had never experienced.
This is where the game really got my attention. The Long Dark is a survival game that does it right. When you first start you are in a random area with little to no provisions or tools. It becomes apparent really quick that you need to do something and if you know anything about survival you know shelter, food, and water are vital for survival. The Long Dark does a fantastic job of marrying all of these necessities in an open world environment. You will need to gather wood, catch or find food and more importantly find a shelter you can use. The game has great resources available fairly frequently throughout the game world. However the usefulness of these resources is highly dependent on the mode you are playing. If you venture to try Pilgrim mode you can have a chance to experience to world uninterrupted from numerous wildlife. However for the brave looking for a challenge Stalker mode will give you a true survival experience and challenge. It can add a bit of stress to gaming but is quick to reward you with a great sense of accomplishment. This is especially apparent when you decide to migrate to new areas in the world. With over 5 massive areas to explore each with its own sense of geography exploring never gets tiring. There is also a crafting or upkeep element that is also a bit tricky and time consuming and provides the basic ongoing objective other than survival. The need to get better gear or repair tools and clothing is a constant need which requires you to scavenge, hunt, and explore. I believe the team at Hinterland Studios has hit a home run with The Long Dark especially on the Xbox One. I can only hope they keep it up and continue to add to the expansive world they have already.
The sounds in The Long Dark or rather the lack of them is a great part of the immersion into the game. It can create earie moments (especially at dark) when you are out and about and hear but faint growling or the wind blowing. The sound quality is fantastic and so are the various sound effects through the world. While some variety in the various sounds would be great, it certainly isn’t anything to complain about. I give props to Hinterland for staying true to the survival experience with the sounds in The Long Dark.
Currently there isn’t any story mode, although this is something Hinterland States is currently being worked on. The game as it stands is considered to be in Alpha which means this is truly playing in the sandbox. There also is no current support for multiple players, although I hope this is added in later updates. Surviving on your own is challenging and rewarding but doing it as a pair or more would be an interesting and fun experience.
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I am an avid gamer and have been gaming on anything and everything since I was 4 years old. Addicted to FPS's but can play just about anything!
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