Northern Lights started in Early Access. The Arctic survival game is set in Siberia and is being developed by the seven-person indie development team MadGoat Studio from Romania. It is currently a single-player game. A co-op mode is planned for the 3rd quarter of 2021 with high priority.
Northern Lights: Sibirian Survival in Early Access
This is Northern Lights: In Northern Lights you take on the role of a ranger in Siberia. On an arctic island, you should investigate why contact with the crew of a research station was lost. When your helicopter crashes in a blizzard on its approach, it becomes clear that the weather is going crazy in the region.
After the crash, you are stranded in arctic nowhere. There you have to provide the typical survival aids: protection, warmth, water, and food. You may then be able to escape from the island.
This is how crafting works: In addition to the belongings left behind by the islanders, you can also make primitive tools and weapons. Knife, hatchet, spear, fishing rod and bow and arrow are currently in play. The condition of clothes and tools decreases with use. So you have to weigh up when to carry out a repair.
These dangers await you: There are peaceful animals that you can hunt or fish. Some animals, like wild boars, will only fight if you attack them. But also bears and wolves cavort on the island. They attack you immediately when they smell you and persecute you relentlessly.
You can also contract various diseases in Northern Lights. They then influence the course of the game. An untreated cold can quickly turn into flu. You can even catch burn blisters if you’re careless while cooking. But there are a number of plants that you can use in medicine if you get caught.
In addition to physical health, it is also important to keep mental health in balance. Certain situations in the game frustrate and depress your character. However, a warm meal usually has a positive effect on the state of mind. This is somewhat reminiscent of a game mechanic from Green Hell.
What You Need To Know About Northern Lights – Roadmap And Facts
This is the game world: The game world still looks a bit raw and empty at times. However, at points of interest, it is lovingly detailed. User interface and interaction with objects are sometimes still a bit tricky. But both are on the roadmap, as well as new mechanics for hunting and fishing.
Sound effects and game music are also to be expanded. That is definitely good for the game. The developers also have to tweak the performance and stability. According to the developer roadmap, all of this should be done in the first quarter of 2021. Then the team wants to work harder on new content and have the co-op mode ready in autumn.
You still have to know that: The island is 100 km² in size and contains regions with unspoiled nature and diverse, formerly inhabited places. You can choose between four levels of difficulty. From easy to hardcore.
Northern Lights costs just under 20 euros on Steam. At the start of Early Access, there is currently another 15% discount.
Is this The Long Dark 2 now?
In various comments on the net, the question was raised to what extent the developers are copying the game idea of the winter survival classic The Long Dark or whether they are developing and expanding the game idea.
My first impression: Yes, there is a clear overlap between the two games, but there are also clear differences. I’ve put a few together here.
- The basic game set in the eternal cold and the mysterious failure of technology is similar, as are strange weather phenomena that cause the temperature to drop.
- The weather lighting is also a central visual element in both games. In The Long Dark, the aurora influences the game. In Northern Lights, the northern lights are named.
- Some game mechanics look like copied. For example, caves that are inhabited by a bear can be recognized by the remains of animals in the cave. You shouldn’t set up camp there in either of the two games.
- The four basic values are the same in both games: hunger, thirst, temperature, fatigue
- And both games are developed in the Unity Engine.
- The location. The Long Dark is set in Canada. Northern Lights in Siberia. This is evident in the style of individual buildings, but also in the design of the night. Northern Lights plays so far to the north that the sun can almost always be guessed at on the short nights. It never gets really dark. In The Long Dark, on the other hand, you have starry winter nights.
- Multiplayer. That is the stated goal for Northern Lights. In The Long Dark, however, there will be no multiplayer mode.
- There are a few differences in the mechanics of the game and the items available: in Northern Lights, for example, meat that you store outdoors attracts predators. In The Long Dark, that’s even part of an efficient playstyle of keeping meat outside from spoiling. It feels like the furnishings that the previous residents of buildings left behind are more modern in Northern Lights than in The Long Dark. There are glow sticks, sunglasses and thermos flasks.
- The graphics: Northern Lights relies on a more realistic graphic. With The Long Dark, textures and animations are more like a silhouette and draw a large watercolor landscape.
- The story: In The Long Dark you have to find out in story mode what happened on Great Bear Island and in the world in general. With Northern Lights, the goal is clearer: escape from the island.
- Financing and development status: The Long Dark is out of Early Access and relied on crowdfunding at the beginning. Northern Lights has just entered Early Access and the developers are speaking out against crowdfunding.
What do you think of Northern Lights Early Access? Drop it in the comments below.