Largely known for its freeform survival component, The Long Dark also delivers a strong narrative through Season One: Wintermute. Told in an episodic fashion that borrows enough from TV series, fans are currently waiting for the rease date of Episode 4, which will push the story forward.
Season One: Wintermute focuses on Will Mackenzie and Dr. Astrid Greenwood, two characters whose plane crashes when a strange geomagnetic event occurs. Episode 4 was supposed to reveal in 2020 where their attempts at reuniting led, however, developer Hinterlands Studio's release date plans were affected by the ongoing pandemic
"One unexpected issue we’ve encountered due to the COVID situation is that we don’t currently have a good way to create our story content, like cinematic sequences or dialogue mode, as these depend on being able to get into the studio with our actors, record their performances, and then process those performances into data that we can then apply to the 3D characters. We’ve been working on some fallback plans to figure out how to do as much of this as we can while maintaining social distancing, but this will definitely put us behind schedule." Game Director Raphael van Lierop noted in a developer diary from earlier in May.
At that point, The Long Dark Episode 4 was still slated for a 2020 release, however, all that changed a few months later.
"Pretty recently we came to the conclusion that we don’t feel good about releasing Episode Four this year. We had originally hoped to have it ready for launch in December, but with everything that’s been going on, it’s just been tough to work very optimally. We’ve lost some momentum and some parts of our production have been slower than usual just because of not being able to work on things face-to-face, nevermind everyone is also juggling their personal situation at home whether it’s being alone all the time, or balancing parenting duties with work, or whatever new personal dynamic we find ourselves in," van Lierop wrote in August 2020's developer diary.
As we enter the final months of 2021, The Long Dark's Episode 4 has now locked down its release date to October 6. It sees Will Mackenzie attempting to escape a murderous gang of convicts and resume his search for Astrid.
- The Long Dark Episode 4 release date: October 6, 2021
The developer has also confirmed that the fourth episode will go live at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET/6 PM BST.
You can check out its teaser trailer below. Season One: Wintermute will then conclude with a fifth episode that could wrap up Will and Astrid's story.
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