It is currently Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:45 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: The Long Dark
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:08 pm 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:00 pm
Posts: 2247
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 51 times
Didn't see a topic about this one yet. I came across it after one of my favorite YouTubers (Skallagrim) played a bit of it. So I looked it up on Steam and bought it when it was on sale. Price is only $20 originally, though, so not a bad deal.

Anyway, premise of the game is that a geomagnetic storm wipes out all electrical devices. There'll be a story mode later on (game is in alpha, but fully playable on Sandbox mode) where they go more into this. Regardless, playing in Sandbox mode you picking the difficulty (three settings - first one is just survival, second one is survival while having to contend with potentially hostile wildlife, third is a massive shitstorm) and which region you start in. The game takes place in the Canadian North, and the regions are pretty good representations of the coastal area. After you pick which region you want to start in (or let it be random), you get plunked down at a random spot in that area.

After that, you have to survive. And the survival simulation is surprisingly realistic. There's no cheesy "map" feature, no compass to tell you which direction you're facing. All you have for navigation is your eyes - and you'd better damn well be paying attention to landmarks constantly as you go, because if a snowstorm or blizzard blows in you won't be able to see more than fifteen, twenty feet. Sometimes not even that far.

While you're out wandering, you've got to keep track of four basic needs: core temperature, fatigue, food, and water, with an adjunct to food in the form of an active calorie counter. Dealing with food and calories can be frustrating, as just like in real life, eating high-calorie foods (like candy bars or drinking soda) will give you calories, but won't fill up your belly. So you've got to balance out high-calorie, prepackaged stuff with lower-calorie, protein-dense foods like meats, canned pork 'n beans, and so on. Temperature is also something you have to juggle, as different clothes give you better protection from the wind, or help keep your core temperature up, and sometimes you have to choose which is more important at that moment. Wind chill is another big thing to watch out for, as running headlong into a blizzard with a wind chill of -35C will freeze you to death in a short span of time, while hugging a cliff and staying behind trees to cut the wind may mean you only have to deal with the -20C air temp. So paying attention to the wind is key - and the only way you have to judge it is by watching which way the snow is blowing. Water is simple - drink water when you get thirsty. And making water is easy, considering you're surrounded by snow. But melting it requires getting a fire going, which usually means kicking it up in a shelter/house of some kind. Otherwise, the wind can change direction and if it's blowing hard enough, can blow your fire out. Fatigue is something that can get frustrating to deal with, as the heavier your load, the quicker you get fatigued. Your optimal load is 30 kilos or less - anything more than that causes you to get fatigued faster and to get slower as you walk/run, and once you hit 40 kilos, you can no longer run. So hauling back 40 kilos worth of meat from a bear you manage to kill can take two or three trips - during which time the meat you leave behind gets increasing frostburnt and drops in quality. And poor quality food can make you sick.

Fighting off predators adds another layer of difficulty. In the easier setting, wolves and bears will mostly run away from you, unless they're hurt, you startle them, or try to chase them away from a kill. In the 'normal' setting, wolves' behavior tends to depend on the abundance of local prey species - rabbits and deer. If there's plenty of prey, the wolves will be wary of you, but won't attack unless you get too close. If there's not a lot of prey in the area, wolves may actively hunt and stalk you, often attacking in packs of two or three. And when that happens, it's no Skyrim-style cheese fighting. Typically, a wolf will pounce on you and try going for your throat while you try to fight it off - with your fists if you have to, but with a knife if you're lucky enough to have one. Bears, thankfully, tend to mind their own business unless you push up on them.

Weapon-wise, there's not much. This is Canada, after all. You might get lucky and find an old hunting rifle kicking around, or can make a bow using raw materials. But that's it - and you'd better practice with your bow and arrow because there's no easy cheat sight to show you where you're shooting. You've got to practice to learn the trajectory of the arrows, as well as taking into account the wind and the motion of your target. Which means it's easier to hit your target if it's coming right at you - and if that target is a wolf, that means you usually get one shot before it's on you.

Clothing runs a wide range of stuff, from simple shirts and vests up to skiing jackets, insulated boots - the general hodgepodge of stuff you'd find in any northern area. You can also rough tan the hides of various critters and use them to make clothing that's generally much better at protecting against the wind and cold.

Food ranges from prepackage snack foods (beef jerky, candy bars, soda) to canned goods to fish and meat. Fish are generally easy to get, but have low caloric content for the weight. Rabbits can be hunted, or you can set snares for them. Deer can be hunted or you might get lucky enough to find one that was killed by wolves, in which case there might be some meat left on the carcass. Bears are tough and incredibly difficult to take down, but their dense meat is the highest per kilo in caloric content. But even then, a kilo of bear meat only nets you 900 calories, whereas four candy bars nets you 1000 and weigh less than half as much.

Fire making is also fairly involved, as you need three elements to make a fire: the actual fire making device (matches, magnifying glass, fire striker, flint and steel), tinder, and fuel. Depending on the combination of things you use it affects your chance to start a fire - though you can also use a bit of accelerant in the form of lighter fluid to bump the odds in your favor if you're using sub-optimal tools. But starting a fire and keeping it going is not only an important skill, but necessary, as fire is how you melt snow for drinking water, cook raw meat, make various hot drinks (tea to help you sleep better, coffee to wake you up, as well as various herbal remedies), and heat of canned foods to improve your overall health.

So, all-in-all, definitely give this game a look if you're interested in a survival-based game. It blows the socks off of every other survival game out there.

_________________
Politics is like having two handfuls of shit - one that smells bad and one that looks bad - and having to decide which one to put in your mouth.

"If the Russian flag were accurate, it would depict half a cabbage, a bottle of vodka, and a cold man dying for the Motherland."


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Google+
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The Long Dark
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:32 pm 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:41 pm
Posts: 3467
Location: Central Cascadia
Has thanked: 167 times
Been thanked: 301 times
I played for a while when it first came out. Sounds like a lot of content has been added but story mode is still not in. I may have to load it back up. When I played it was only one mode and difficulty, there were a few wolves and a couple deer. You couldn't make your own gear, though you could repair your clothes.

The thing that pissed me off was the shooting, I had a rifle and like 15-20 rounds for it. I wasted about 8 trying to take a deer from 50 yards away. One of the things I learned in the game is if you survive for a long period your clothes become damaged, one way to extend them is to take them off when you sleep.

_________________
JeeperCreeper wrote:
I like huge dicks, Halfapint, so you are OK in my book.... hahaha
Spazzy wrote:
Tell ya what... If Zombies attack and the world ends I'll hook tandem toddlers to a plow if it means I'll be able to eat...


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The Long Dark
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:35 pm 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:00 pm
Posts: 2247
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 51 times
Yeah, taking off your clothes while you're running around inside of your house (sometimes for days at a time while you wait out a particularly nasty blizzard) can help ensure their longevity. Or keep a spare set of 'house clothes' on hand in a dresser or something that aren't necessarily the best, but will keep you warm when the outside temperatures plunge to -25 or -30, and makes it much colder in a house.

Rifles do need a serious reworking. Even head-on as a wolf is charging, it takes at least 2 shots to bring one down on the 'normal' difficulty. Given that the only rifle is what looks like a cut-down .303 Enfield, you typically only get one shot off on a wolf before it's on you. And it's annoying as hell to hit a deer in the heart/lung area from a profile shot, yet the damned thing runs for a few hours before it finally weakens and dies.

But that's about my own real gripe. Adding a larger variety of skill-based craftables would be nice (and will probably be implemented down the road), as things like spears for fending off wolves and bears or throwing them for hunting, throwing sticks and slings for bringing down rabbits and crows, and more natural materials (plant fibers for making cordage rather than having to use gut for everything, etc) would definitely be nice.

But having to sit down and actually plan out an excursion and asking yourself all the real world, relevant questions is awesome: Do I know where I'm going? Can I find my way back home or to a safe shelter if the weather turns bad? What do I take with me? How long can the supplies I bring with me keep me alive? Should I forage as I go to extend my supplies at the cost of speed? All that thrown in with the fact that if you die, that's it - your save is gone! - makes for one of the most realistic survival experiences I've found in a digital medium.

_________________
Politics is like having two handfuls of shit - one that smells bad and one that looks bad - and having to decide which one to put in your mouth.

"If the Russian flag were accurate, it would depict half a cabbage, a bottle of vodka, and a cold man dying for the Motherland."


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group