Hinterland Studio’s superb snowy survival adventure The Long Dark is getting its first paid expansion on 5th December and, ahead of release, the developer has detailed all it’ll bring.
Tales from the Far Territory, as the new expansion is known, releases in six parts over the course of 12 months, each arriving approximately every 8-10 weeks. All six parts will focus on The Long Dark’s much-loved Survival mode, but there are narrative elements in there and Hinterland is referring to the complete series as a “campaign”.
Exactly what will be coming when is currently unclear, but Hinterland has now detailed all the major features it’ll be introducing to Survival mode throughout the expansion. There are three new areas, for instance – the Forsaken Airfield, Industrial Mine, and Mountain Pass – all accessible via the Far Range Branchline and Transfer Pass hub.
Tales from the Far Territory adds a load of new gameplay elements too, starting with Glimmer Fog, a mysterious phenomenon capable of charging the air and ground with electrostatic energy. There’s also a new Handheld Shortwave, capable of picking up ordinarily unfindable supply or location signals during the Aurora or Glimmer Fog, plus a new Insomnia affliction.
Players can also build themselves a travois – used to drag a large amount of supplies over long distances, albeit at the expense of mobility – or locate a trader specialising in rare goods and information. It’s even possible to organise and decorate your favourite safehouse interiors.
New wildlife includes the ptarmigan – a winter bird serving as a source of both food and feathers, used in crafting – and the deadly cougar, described as players’ “greatest nemesis yet”.
Survivors can also discover unique, custom versions of existing in-game items, found in hidden corners of the world, or make use of a new Photo Mode. Interestingly, this is given a bit of an in-universe twist, with players needing to use dark room chemicals to process their own film.
All of this will be accompanied by three narrative-driven Tales, detailing the territory’s mysterious past. Each will feature its own gameplay objectives, tying back to the storyline found in the extremely long-awaited final episode of The Long Dark’s Wintermute campaign.
In addition to Tales from the Far Territory, Hinterland is working on a range of new features for all players, arriving in free updates alongside the expansion’s various content drops. These include new spawn points for players (intended to restore the sense of being “lost” at the start of a new game), plus a wildlife spawn refresh, and updated loot tables and item placements.
Players will also be able to locate notes under car visors containing useful information, craft fire-hardened arrows, gather acorns to create stimulating coffee-like drinks and flour, and harvest burdock for drying and brewing into medicinal tea.
Additionally, new first-person harvesting animations are incoming, as is improved fishing and beach-combing, improvised crampons, a new insulated flask, and the introduction of female deer on the wildlife roster. Players can also expect the final instalment of The Long Dark’s Hunted challenge, and visual enhancements for Xbox X/S, PlayStation 5, and high-end PCs.
Hinterland will share a more specific release timetable at a later date, but those interested in picking up its Tales from the Far Territory expansion pass can do so starting Monday, 5th December on PC, with a console release due in “early” 2023. It’ll initially cost $19.99 USD but that price will increase as more content is added over the 12 months. Expect it to rise to $24.99 at the midpoint and $29.99 once everything is available.