The Long Dark reveals new locations in story mode update

End-of-days disaster simulator The Long Dark’s long-awaited Story Mode will add two new regions, new clothing, improved first-person presence, and the Aurora, developers Hinterland Studio has revealed in an update.     

Originally scheduled to arrive in “Spring 2016,” Hinterland says it’s working hard on the game’s Story Mode so it both lives up to player expectation and can “capitalize on the full potential of [the team’s] work.” This primarily means the addition of two new regions—one which is completely finished, the other of which is being tweaked as a result of changes to story and missions—which are hinted at in the screenshots below.  

“Many of the exterior updates—like more detailed rocks, better grass, trees, etc.—will be gradually released in Sandbox updates,” reads the update post. “Most of the interiors—places like the Carter Dam, the Camp Office, Pleasant Valley Farm, etc.—have been updated with much more detailed interiors. 

"Those interiors will be released when we launch Story Mode, so even the fans who are a lot more focused on Sandbox will be get something new to enjoy.”

As we've already learned, Story Mode follows the exploits of bush pilot Will Mackenzie and doctor Astrid Greenwood, and as such Hinterland has also recreated the clothing assets so as to better reflect its updated character designs. A better interface is planned for the Clothing system, on top of improved customisation features.

The Aurora is also touched upon in the post, however Hinterland is keen not to spoil what it means in-game just yet. It does, however, post this:

For those players more interested in The Long Dark’s Sandbox mode, Hinterland assures that while Story Mode is the current focus, roughly one third of its team is still developing Sandbox. As a result, recent updates to the latter have tended toward gameplay mechanics and UI. 

“This will likely continue to be the case until we launch Story Mode,” the update continues. “We know that a lot of you would like us to expand Sandbox with more regions—but unfortunately every region we build for Sandbox is one we can’t build for Story, and we don’t want to release the new Story Mode regions until we launch it, so they are new when you play them.” 

Episode One is apparently playable from start to finish at present, however is still being playtested and polished before imminent release. Wrap up, keep warm, and watch this space.