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 (596) - 88% of the 596 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (32,577) - 92% of the 32,577 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 1, 2017

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Recent updates View all (173)

February 21

***TEST BRANCH*** UPDATED to v1.22 34530 T

Hello everyone,

We've just updated the TEST BRANCH.

This is the Test Branch version. Not the FINAL version of the hotfix.

As usual, you need to own the game and be logged into Steam to access the Test Branch sub-forum. All the information you need to opt-in to the Test Branch, as well as detailed Testing Notes, can be found here:

You must log in to Steam and have the game to view the Test Branch sub-forum; if not, you will see an error when you try to view it.

Please respect our community guidelines when participating in Test Branch discussions.

***And be sure to check out our latest Dev Diary, where we detail more of our current and future plans for The Long Dark!

- The Hinterland Team
28 comments Read more

February 20

Dev Diary - February 2018

Hello everyone,

The team’s been hard at work on a variety of projects since we released the Rugged Sentinel update in December, and I thought you might like a general development status update.

Episode One and Two “Redux” & Episode Three

The main thing that has been occupying our time is work on Episode Three, but perhaps more importantly, a lot of reworking of Episode One and Two, in anticipation of Episode Three.

As you know from some of my previous developer diaries, there were several consistent pieces of negative feedback in user and critic reviews, around the forced linearity of our mission structure (as compared to the openness of Survival Mode), the lack of fully voiced dialogue sequences (outside of cinematics), some glitches in the Bear Hunt mission, and issues with the opening tutorial.

In terms of the openness of our mission structure -- it was always our intention that things would open up and become less linear in Episode Three, and beyond, but after considering the feedback about Episodes One and Two, I felt that making the player go through 15-20 hours of fairly linear missions so that they could get to Episode Three’s more open structure, was asking too much of them. So, one of the things we’ve done is go back to the Episode One and Two mission structures and work on opening them up, so that most missions can be done in any order, and some missions -- like Jeremiah’s Survival School -- will become optional.

Since our cinematics in Episodes One and Two depend on knowing what order the player is progressing through the game, opening up the mission structure means the cinematics are too restrictive for the player’s experience of the game’s narrative. Therefore, we’ve had to come up with a new way to present those moments to the player -- and that means shifting most of the dialogue content into a first-person dialogue mode. We’ll lose out on some of the cinematic cameras and lighting we used in Episodes One and Two, but this new presentation style will give us enormous flexibility in how we present missions and story content in Episode Three and beyond, so it’s the right thing for the game as a whole. This approach also means we can put all the Trust and secondary dialogue threads into the same presentation style, which will make the overall experience of interacting with characters in the world feel a lot more consistent, as well as giving us a much more flexible system to support our mission goals in Episode Three, and beyond.

WIP videos showing experiments with “look ats” which allow NPCs to react to the player’s presence and reposition themselves to face the player during first-person conversations.

This is a ton of rework of Episode One and Two, but we believe it’s important that players have a smooth-flowing experience between the episodes, and that it doesn’t feel like Episodes One and Two feel like they are from a different game. It’s also helping us prove out the improved direction for Episode Three content, and solidify our game structure and foundation for Episodes Four and Five as well.

We’re also doing some rework on the opening sections of the game -- not just revising the Survival Bowl “tutorial”, but adding some new narrative content to set up the story a bit better, so we hope that with all these improvements, you’ll consider replaying Episodes One and Two before heading in to Episode Three.

In terms of Episode Three itself -- this more open mission structure and new approach to dialogue and story presentation allows us to present an experience that’s more familiar to the Survival Mode experience. The structure is still very narrative-driven -- you meet NPCs in the world, they each have their own story, and you can decide whether to engage in that story, or not. You can, generally, approach it in any order, apart from a few places where we have to be a bit more heavy-handed about linearity for the sake of storytelling. In Episode Three you play as Astrid, so you’ll get to experience the post-crash events from her point of view. In terms of size and play time -- it’s too early to comment on the latter, but the size of world you’ll play in is roughly the same size as Episode Two, and a large part of the Episode Three world will be entirely new for the game.

I’m sure you’d all like to get an update on when we expect to launch Episode Three. At the moment, I don’t have a date to give you. Hopefully the above gives you a sense of how much work we’re putting in to getting it right. We see our Episode Three launch as an opportunity to “re-launch” our Episodes One and Two as well, so this means it’s going to take some extra time. We’ll keep you posted on progress, while also doing our best to avoid spoilers.

Survival Mode & Technology Update

As some of you may know, we use a foundation of technology -- an “engine” -- called Unity, to make The Long Dark. We’ve just completed a massive overhaul of our core engine technology by incorporating an updated version of Unity, which provides several new features that are critical to our work on Episode Three and beyond. Similarly, we use an audio engine called Wwise, which we’ve also just recently updated to get the latest version. This is what we’d consider “core tech”, and it’s fundamental to the work we do in creating the game, but these major overhauls can be quite disruptive to our development.

So, in order to do some testing and insulate you as much as possible from these changes, we’re releasing an updated version of The Long Dark to our test branch in Steam. This new version will be running on the latest version of Unity, and will also be using the latest version of Wwise, and beyond that, it has about 200 bug fixes in it, including (finally!) a proper fix for the Faithful Cartographer achievement (a fix which will carry over to the Main game if you unlock it in the Test Branch). We’re hopeful that some of you will jump into the Test Branch and check out some of these fixes, as well as help us identify any issues you encounter due to the new version of Unity -- for example, any crashes, compatibility issues, or performance issues (unexpected slowness or hitching, for example). Once we’ve managed to get some data from the test branch, and we feel confident the new version is safe, we’ll push it into the Main Branch as a hotfix that everyone can get.

Besides that, we’re working on some new content and features for our next Survival Mode update. It’s a bit early to share too much information about that, but one of the things we’re building for it is a new region. This region will use a new workflow and pipeline we’re testing internally, a new approach to region creation that we hope will allow us to create areas with a lot more interesting variety, and to build them much more quickly, so that we can release new regions more frequently in the future. We’re also working on some new kinds of environmental obstacles that we hope to use in future region work. We’ll share some more details about that as the region firms up.

Workflow improvements for region building, allowing us to iterate our terrain design and beautify much more quickly.

“Buffer Memories”: The aurora reveals secrets hidden within the depths of otherwise dead computers, relics of the world before “the long dark”. Could this make it into the next update?

Character Presentation

We’ve been doing some work on improving the presentation of characters in the game -- not just NPCs, but also the player. One of the things we’ve been wanting to get in the game for a while, is a better representation of the clothing items you’ve selected for your character. Our first approach to that has been to add things like mittens and sleeves to the first-person hands. But, we’ve been exploring with taking this even further by creating a full-body simulation. If we can pull this off, it would allow us to reflect not just choices about what you’re wearing on your hands and arms, but what you’re wearing on your entire body. It would also give us a good foundation for improving your sense of presence in the world as a whole -- we could use more of the body to communicate your state in the world, animated interactions as you deal with injuries, moving over obstacles, using legs and kicking in the struggles, etc. It’s a big change and will require a lot of work -- and frankly, we’re not 100% sure we can pull it off -- but we’re working on it and we’ll see how far we can push it. I don’t want you to expect to see this in the game any time soon -- this full-body presence will not be in the next update -- and we don’t currently have an ETA on when we think the work will be complete. We'll share more information about this feature as our experimentation continues.

So, that’s an update on some of the work the team’s been doing “behind the scenes”. If you’re interested in participating in the Test Branch, please look for information at or in the Test Branch subforums on Steam. Please keep in mind that the Test Branch is for Steam-users only. The Test Branch update should go live within the next 24 hours! You can also follow us on social media, or sign up to our mailing list, to be notified of additional updates.

Thanks for reading! See you in the Quiet Apocalypse.

- Raphael
96 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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