The Long Dark will exit Early Access and add a story mode in August


Episodes one and two of ‘Wintermute’ debut August 1

Hinterland’s beautiful exploration-survival title The Long Dark is inching closer to its full “1.0 launch,” and that’s probably when I’ll swoop in (and promptly succumb to the harsh Canadian wilderness).

PC and Xbox One players have had access to the free-form Sandbox/Survival mode for some time now, but with the upcoming 1.0 launch on August 1, 2017, the game’s long-awaited story content will debut — well, part of it. That’s also the day The Long Dark will finally come to PlayStation 4.

The developers are taking an episodic approach, for better or worse. On August 1, the first two of five story episodes will go live, with the remaining installments of “Wintermute” (that’s the name of Season One) arriving “over the course of the remainder of 2017, and part of 2018.” That initial pair will represent between six to ten hours of gameplay, according to Hinterland.

“There will be one more ‘story foundation’ Sandbox updateprior to the August 1 launch, the Test Branch of which will open later this month. We’re calling this update FAITHFUL CARTOGRAPHER, and itprepares various aspects of the game for launch,including modifications to the game world, environment art updates across the entire world, an entirely new UI, several new gameplay mechanics, and general refinements to existing mechanics, as well as optimizations and hundreds of bug fixes.”

With all of these sweeping changes (to say nothing of The Long Dark‘s multi-year run on Steam Early Access up until now), the game is raising its price. It’ll go from $20 to $35 this month.