It has horror but not 'monsters popping out', instead it comes from the "taut tension" of being alone in the woods and hearing twigs snap. There'll be 'no coddling' from devs.
Creative director Raphael van Lierop from Hinterland wants us to feel victories within The Long Dark are our own in having discovered something, not just prompt following.
"I think what we’re seeing now is an interest in reviving some non-combat focused game experiences within beautiful worlds,” he told . "And some unconventional experiences that are now possible due to the availability of affordable technology and access to marketplaces (mostly digital) that weren’t really around a few years ago.”
The Long Dark requires us to venture out in search of whatever can help us survive a world no longer aided by the comforts of today. It's set in the North Western wilderness of North America. Exploration is key, and the studio wants us forever weighing up the odds of succeeding in that exploration.
It's survival horror but not the kind many think of today.
"Horror suggests monsters jumping out of closets. What we’re delivering is the taut tension of an experience like finding yourself alone in a dark wilderness without power armour to protect you,” he said. “We’re delivering a sense of vulnerability that’s primal. Anyone who has wandered the woods and heard an unexpected branch breaking knows this feeling intimately. In the end, the fear comes from the feeling of vulnerability, not the threat itself.”
The indie studio don't plan on giving us a hand-holding guide through the woods, but rather want us to stumble upon many of the answers ourselves. "We expect them to put the effort in to learn the game systems, and when they have a victory it will be their victory, not just them following on-screen instructions as you find in a lot of mainstream games."
"In The Long Dark, you’re always balancing the need and desire to explore, with the resources you need to do so safely. Our goal is to find the sweet spot between the confidence to embark on the journey, and the fear that you might not make it.” Metal Gear Solid's David Hayter is to be to The Long Dark, Jennifer Hale.
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The Long Dark's fear comes from "the feeling of vulnerability, not the threat itself"
15 October 2013 | By Simon Priest