The Long Dark Timberwolf

Good news for fans of The Long Dark. Game Director Raphael van Lierop has announced several anticipated updates for the game’s survival mode. The new features are projected to be added in late May or early June. Let’s jump right into what the team at The Long Dark has been working on!

A New Region to Explore – Rivervalley

An official name for the new area has not been decided, but for now, they are calling it Rivervalley. There will be many new landscape features and no man-made shelters. The main goal is to create a challenging environmental puzzle.

You can expect new waterfall effects,

Watterfall
Pretty waterfall effect

steeper rock formations,

TheLongDark_RVwaterfall
Steeper rocks to climb…or fall from

bioluminescent ice caves,

updated_cave
Glowing ice caves

and new ways to climb and cave.

Tree densities will also be more varied, naturally drawing the eye to the horizon and making the landscape more interesting.

The-long-dark-river
More interesting landscapes

Manual Cooking

Manual cooking will be completely redesigned so that it feels natural and realistic. Cooking will not occur in a simple menu interface anymore. Players will have to place food items on cooking surfaces and let food cook in real time. That’s right. There will be no more progress bars indicating that food is finished cooking.

Real-time cooking

There is also a possibility that items can be moved directly from the radial menu instead of pulling them from your pack first and then placing it elsewhere in placement mode.

Snippets of lore: The Buffer Memories

Buffer Memories are going to be snippets of lore that can be found on computer terminals. They will only be available on certain screens and when the Aurora is active. Buffer Memories will initially focus on the history of the world before The Long Dark, told through the perspective of past residents of Great Bear.

Buffer Memory on a computer

Later on, Buffer Memories may add information about gameplay events or supply caches. Buffer Memories will potentially be available on other devices besides computer terminals.

Redux Work

The overhaul work for mission gameplay in Episodes One and Two are complete. The new gameplay is open rather than linear, allowing more choice for the player. There are still critical pathways that must be completed before you can continue, but now objectives can be completed in almost any order and there are more optional pathways. Plus, there will be a new opening and more side missions.

Dynamic Conversation Interface

Since the structure of missions will be more open, the dialogue interface will become more open, too. All dialogue options will be shown on screen at the same time.

Dialogue options will be displayed in a way that gives information about their importance to Mackenzie and NPCs. For example, trust dialogue will be farther in the background and obscured if the player has not built enough trust to select it. As the player builds trust with an NPC, the dialogue option will become more visible and eventually selectable.

Unique dialogue menu
Unique dialogue menu

Because of the new dialogue direction, all dialogue will be fully voiced and in first-person between Mackenzie and NPCs, making the gameplay experience more alive and dynamic.

New Weapon – Bear Spear

Lierop says the name is self-explanatory. Little information was revealed, as the Bear Spear is still in the earliest stages of development.

The-Long-Dark-Bear-Spear
The Bear Spear

Episode Three

As with the Bear Spear, there is no new information on Episode Three that can be revealed yet.

Xbox One X And PS4 Pro Enhancements

So what improvements can we expect? For Xbox One X and PS4 – higher quality settings and HDR support. As for 4k, it works on Xbox One X, but Lierop is not sure it will work on PS4 due to performance issues. For PC players, they can expect improved anti-aliasing and HDR-lighting.

As you can see, there are many awesome additions to be excited about for survival mode. But only Rivervalley, Manual Cooking, and Buffer Memories are set to be added to the update, which is expected in late May or early June. As for whether or not we will see the other new features mentioned, it’s up to optimization, debugging, and the amount of progress the developers make.

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