The Long Dark is a thoughtful, exploration-survival experience that challenges solo players to think for themselves as they explore an expansive frozen wilderness in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. There are no zombies -- only you, the cold, and all the threats Mother Nature can muster. Welcome to the Quiet Apocalypse.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (380) - 85% of the 380 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (27,091) - 91% of the 27,091 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 1, 2017

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October 23

Dev Diary - October 2017

The Road Ahead

Hello, all.

It’s been a little while since you heard much from me. August was our launch month, and kept us quite busy with post-launch support (patching, mainly). Most of the team took September off to rest up, apart from a contingent who worked on some platform support tasks, and now most of the team is back at work and it’s time to fill you in on our plans for The Long Dark, moving forward.

While there were a lot of things to celebrate about our 1.0 launch, one thing it showed us was how 100+ updates to The Long Dark while in Early Access and on Game Preview, didn’t fully prepare us for the challenges of a full 1.0 launch on multiple platforms (including two consoles). Launching a game “for real” involves a lot of extra steps as compared to releasing an update, and while we understood this intellectually, it was only in the last few months of the project that we fully comprehended the scope of the challenge we’d taken on for ourselves. I think that in many ways, we bit off quite a bit more than our small team could handle, and that showed in the first couple of weeks of our launch. As you might recall from my last devblog post, I wasn’t very happy with the state of the game we launched and while we’ve been able to address most of the launch issues, we can’t erase any good-will we lost from the community due to the imperfect launch. This weighs heavily on my mind, as we move forward.

In order to avoid this situation in the future, we’re building up an internal platform and publishing team that will focus on all aspects of getting the game into your hands, including testing, localization, certification, and the promotion and marketing of our updates and future content work. While we’re still sorting out the structure and needs of this team, we’ve already made the first steps towards this plan, and I believe that this approach will help ensure our future launches are as smooth as they should be. This is just the “cost” of self-publishing games, when you are an independent studio.

In terms of the game itself — although our plans for Episodes One and Two were always that they be introductory to both gameplay and worldbuilding, our approach to releasing an open-world game in episodic format was always very experimental. Having been able to better gauge response to this approach, we can see that many of you didn’t like the more constrained approach we took with our Story mode, compared to the free-form, self-directed openness of Survival Mode. Development of The Long Dark has always been iterative, and we see no reason why this approach shouldn’t also apply to helping us make better and better episode content.

While we’re still committed to our episodic structure — as it lends itself well to certain storytelling conceits (ex. playing two different protagonists) and certain production methodologies (ex. we can continue to build the game and world in incremental steps, which means we can remain a small studio) — I think we need to bring our narrative mode more in line with the core experience of Survival Mode. This means, a new approach to how we present story and characters, more variation in our mission type and structure, and more freedom in how you can overcome the various obstacles we throw in your way. This increased freedom means we have to revisit some of the tools and tech we set up for Episodes One and Two, and we also need to rethink our approach to how we create mission content, and how you experience it.

I’d also like to fix some of the areas of criticism in Episodes one and Two, relating to how experienced players found the opening sections of Episode One to be too much of a tutorial, the linearity of missions, the lack of full voice acting in our dialogue sequences, and the over dependence on “fetch” quests. While the fundamental building blocks of The Long Dark’s gameplay do depend on acquiring resources, and those resources take on new meaning in a world where you have to think about people other than yourself, we realize that for some of you, the lack of choice in when and how you approached certain missions detracted from the freedom you expect to find in our game. It’s never good when a game sets certain expectations in one mode, that aren’t fully paid off in another, particularly if players don’t understand this. Although we tried to educate our players around how our Story mode content would differ from Survival mode, it’s impossible to reach everyone, and certainly many players came into the episodes with certain expectations that we just didn’t meet.

I’m not yet fully sure how we will do all these things, but my aim for The Long Dark is to ensure that by the time we launch Episode Three, not only is that Episode a much stronger expression of The Long Dark as a narrative survival experience, but that Episodes One and Two have also been substantially improved.

All of this is going to take a lot of work, so I don’t want to set the expectation that it will happen quickly. We won’t be launching Episode Three this year. We won’t announce a launch date until it’s ready to go.

In the meantime, as we had to put Survival Mode aside while we finished Episode work for launch, we now want to get back to it. We’re working on a big Survival Mode update to launch some time in December. This update will add a few things we know you’re waiting for — for example, Milton as a Survival Mode region, the Moose — as well as a few things you may not be expecting. We’ll share more about the December update as we get closer to launching it. It’ll be a pretty substantial update to Survival mode. I’d also like to try to find a way to balance our resources so that we can get you more frequent Survival Mode updates in the future — it’ll likely mean smaller updates that come more regularly.

With Hallowe’en around the corner, there have been a lot of questions about if we’ll reprise last year’s “4 Days of Night” event. We’re worried about 4DON interfering with other work we’re doing in the game right now, so we *are* going to run the 4 Days of Night event again, but it’ll be in a separate branch of the game. This way, we can roll it out without it derailing our December update. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to run multiple branches of the game on Xbox or PS4, so this will be a Steam-only event. But we think “live” events could be a fun way to create some shared experiences for you, so we’ll be investigating ways we can support more of these types of community events — across all our platforms — in the future.

I’ll also do my best to publish a devblog update more frequently moving forward, to keep you in the loop about what the team’s working on. Thanks for your ongoing support!

– Raphael
45 comments Read more

September 16

The Long Dark Hotfixed to v1.15 (32683)

***UPDATE: The Long Dark v1.15 has now been re-released (32683). Thanks again for all your patience.


The Long Dark hotfixed to v1.15 (32681)

***NOTE: We're aware of a new issue with Mouse UI inputs when performing some menu actions, as such we've rolled back the build while we work on the issue.


NOTE: New save files made on 1.15 may not appear on 1.14, but should re-appear once we re-release the patch.


- The Hinterland Team

300 comments Read more

About This Game

Press Quotes

“Deep, brutal, and hauntingly atmospheric, The Long Dark is a survival game done right.” - PC Gamer

“Lush and mesmerizing…” - WIRED

“The Long Dark drops you, defenseless, into the harsh Canadian wilderness, putting you in a genuine state of isolation that few games have been able to accomplish…” - The Overpowered Noobs

“The Long Dark‘s long-in-the-making story mode was worth the wait.” - Post-Arcade (National Post)

“'s a game about true survival.” - USGamer

“The Long Dark...sets a new bar for its genre.” - Third Coast Review

“...the most authentic survival game to have come out yet.” - Paste Games


Bright lights flare across the night sky. The wind rages outside the thin walls of your wooden cabin. A wolf howls in the distance. You look at the meagre supplies in your pack, and wish for the days before the power mysteriously went out. How much longer will you survive?


The Long Dark is a thoughtful, exploration-survival experience that challenges solo players to think for themselves as they explore an expansive frozen wilderness in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. There are no zombies -- only you, the cold, and all the threats Mother Nature can muster.


The episodic story-mode for The Long Dark, WINTERMUTE launches with two of the five episodes that form its Season One.

  • In Episode One: “Do Not Go Gentle”, bush pilot Will Mackenzie (player character) and Dr. Astrid Greenwood are separated after their plane crashes deep in the Northern Canadian wilderness in the aftermath of a mysterious flash of light in the sky. Struggling to survive as he desperately searches for Astrid, Mackenzie comes across the small town of Milton, where he begins to understand the scope of this quiet apocalypse.

  • In Episode Two: “Luminance Fugue”, Mackenzie’s search for Astrid takes him deeper into the savage Winter wilderness. A mysterious trapper may be the key to finding Astrid, but can he be trusted?

    The first two episodes of WINTERMUTE represent approximately 15 hours of gameplay. Episodes Three to Five are included in the price of the game, and will be unlocked for free as they are released.

    Features performances by Jennifer Hale, Mark Meer, David Hayter, and Elias Toufexis (Episode Three), and the music of Cris Velasco.


    Survival Mode is the free-form, non-narrative survival sandbox that has been honed over nearly three years on Early Access.

  • No hand holding! The game challenges players to think for themselves by providing the information but never the answers. You have to earn the right to survive.
  • Permadeath! When you die in Survival Mode, your save is deleted. Every decision matters. [Note that WINTERMUTE does not feature permadeath.]
  • Condition and Calories: Monitor your Hunger, Thirst, Fatigue, and Cold as you struggle to balance resources with the energy needed to obtain them. Every action costs Calories, and time is your most precious resource. Choose your path carefully.
  • Scour the World for Supplies: Over 100 gear items including Tools, Light Sources, Weapons, First Aid supplies, Clothing, and more.
  • A Vast Living World: Explore a 50 square kilometre Northern Canadian wilderness in search of precious supplies. In Winter. Dynamic time of day, weather, wildlife presence, etc. provide just enough randomness to keep things challenging.
  • Survival of the Fittest: Hunt, fish, trap, climb, map, search for life-saving food and gear items, and try to avoid dying from the hostile wildlife, succumbing to hypothermia, frostbite, or dysentery (amongst other uncomfortable afflictions), find and maintain your life-saving gear.
  • Hunt or Be Hunted: Wildlife to hunt and be hunted by: Wolves, Bears, Rabbits, Deer, Crows, and more to come in future updates.
  • Choose Your Experience: Four distinct Experience Modes let you find a challenge level you are comfortable with, such as Pilgrim Mode, which is meant to be quiet and pensive, all the way to Interloper Mode, where only the most experienced survivors have a chance to last a week.

    Survival is your only goal, and death your only end. Make your own survival story with every game.

    Features the music of Sascha Dikiciyan.


    Several standalone Challenge Modes offer objective-based experiences designed to last 1-3 hours each, such as Whiteout -- the race to gather enough supplies to prepare for a monster blizzard. Or Hunted, where you need to escape a murderous Bear. Complete them to unlock Feats that provide long-term gameplay benefits in Survival Mode. Five Challenges exist at launch, with more on the way in future updates.


    In addition to releasing the remaining three episodes of WINTERMUTE, we intend to continue updating Survival Mode, as we have done with about 100 updates/hotfixes over the past three years of Early Access. Keep in mind that your purchase of The Long Dark entitles you to all five episodes of WINTERMUTE, as well as updates to Survival Mode along the way.


    Hinterland is a small independent developer of original interactive entertainment. Based on Vancouver Island, Canada, Hinterland’s team is largely distributed across North America. Although The Long Dark is the studio’s first game, Hinterland is made up of veterans of the “triple-A” games industry, with lead developers from several renowned studios including Valve, Ubisoft Montreal, Relic, Volition, Capcom, Radical, BioWare, Sony London, and United Front games.




System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Dual-Core Intel i5 CPU @ 2GHz+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel 4xxx Series w/ 512MB VRAM or better
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any on-board chip will work.
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel i7 CPU @ 2.6GHz or higher
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GTX 555 w/ 1GB VRAM or better
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Ideally, something with Surround capabilities.
    • OS: OSX 10.9.3
    • Processor: Core i5 @ 2.2GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5000
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: On-board.
    • OS: OSX 10.9.3
    • Processor: Core i7 @ 2.7GHz+
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated standalone GPU w/ 1GB+ VRAM
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: On-board
    • OS: SteamOS or Ubuntu 16.04 or 17.04
    • Processor: Dual-Core Intel i5 CPU @ 2GHz+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel 4xxx Series w/ 512MB VRAM or better
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any on-board chip will work.
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