My (Probably Unpopular) Opinion

Tenasi Vol

Recommended Posts

I have only played TLD on the XBox game preview so I may be speaking with lack of information, but I still have an opinion that I would like to share.

I have read many posts on here that seem to nitpick one thing or another.  Something is not realistic enough or there is no way that this certain event could happen that way.  Some of them make sense in that it doesn't seem to be conducive to spending time pushing buttons while looking at a screen, however, most of them are straight up...whining...for lack of a better term.  

This. Is. A. GAME.  It is not real life.  No one will ever, unequivocally, EVER make a game that can imitate real life to the most minute condition, no matter what.  There are just too many factors to even attempt to consider it.

What TLD attempts is to get out of the "zombie apocalypse" survival genre and use some other means to fill that reason for running/gathering resources/hiding/etc.  Wolves, bears, and nature have replaced the zombies.  The weather is sometimes ridiculous and not realistic.  While realistically Northern Canada might indeed be cold, a blizzard in Antarctica would make it seem like a beach in Mexico.  And remember…the game has explained that there has been a “GLOBAL GEOMAGNETIC DISASTER”.  So, that justifies why the weather is so wonky.  Extreme cold blizzards with the ability to freeze you in moments would not be a stretch for Northern Canada, anyway.

If you attempt the game at the hardest level and then complain that the storms are not realistic and are too harsh is no different than to complain that a zombie with a bent leg and only one eye could not possibly run that fast to attack you.  "I mean, he has monoscopic vision with no depth perception.  HOW can he navigate through the alley and over the debris to catch me that fast?"

If you have ever played any of the Dark Soul game series you will completely understand the level of frustration people feel when facing a seemingly impossible situation.  You can play Diablo 3 on hardcore mode (permanent character death) and then raise the level to Torment would be extremely hard.  But then to complain that you died after spending a lot of time invested into that character doesn't make sense.

Saying that you played the hardest level and don't like how hard it is (or becomes) is asinine. 

“The weather is too harsh, but I’m okay with being able to smash open a can of food without losing a drop. Or to build a fire in the middle of a field and then boil a gallon of water with…some magical vessel…to contain it is fair, but there were TWO wolves next to each other and they both attacked me.  That’s not realistic.”

There has to be some way to increase the difficulty.  Wildlife and weather is one way TLD does it.

There has to be some way to reward players.  By completing tasks over and over to gain an arguably unrealistic ability is one way TLD does it.

I think the intent of playing it on the hardest mode is to accept the fact that you are going to die.  How long you keep death away is the measure of success.

Play. The. Game.  PLAY.  Don’t try to live it or wish it were like real life.


Just my two coppers.  I mean no offense to anyone.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I completely agree with this, I play the game and get a through amount of enjoyment out of it being Perma-death. It makes every action however menial, and every decision have real weight and resounding effects which is what is so special about this game. The isolation and lack of forgiveness at times, when at others it can be beautiful and serene is the contrast that is so addictive for me.

I have tried playing recently with the music turned down completely, this has another completely different feel when playing I find, and adds to the isolation, rather than making everything feel a little bit cinematic. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your thoughts here, @Tenasi Vol. We've been pretty clear on the balance we're working to strike between compelling gameplay and "realism." Where different players come down on this divide has a lot to do with their individual reactions, and so the discussions can heat up sometimes. 

But we appreciate the passion, as long as it's constructive. :)

Your mention of Dark Souls is interesting, as that game's approach to mystery, exploration, and yes, death is all about crafting a specific experience. Loss of progress (Souls) leads to unique moments of decision-making: "How much am I willing to risk in this situation?" And how we answer that question, in both Dark Souls and The Long Dark, is *part* of the game. 

Food for thought, for sure. Thanks again. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im going to have to try turning the music down, or off, @M.Godfrey.  I wear headphones to try to block out some of the surrounding noises (kids, dog, etc) and to be creeping along in game and suddenly hear a loud uprising of music almost makes a little pee come out.  lol  But sometimes its great to hear it, as well.  I can imagine it would greatly increase the alone experience.

Thank you for understanding my reference, @Patrick Carlson.  I was thinking exactly of the loss of souls in Dark Souls when you are deciding to attempt a situation.  It is exactly the same for me in TLD.  Sitting in a cabin with completely exhausted resources and deciding where I should head to next, weighing the consequences, and finally knowing that I have no choice but to risk it and go outside and start walking is daunting sometimes. is incredibly fun.  I dont know why, but it is.  

That's the appeal of The Long Dark.  And I, for one, love it.

EDIT* (Why I posted in first place) Most of the negativity in posts seemed to come from people commenting after an update was done.  I read through the change log and just shook my head at some of the posts.  But, like the saying goes...You cant please everyone.  I guess.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Tenasi Vol said:

This. Is. A. GAME.  It is not real life.  No one will ever, unequivocally, EVER make a game that can imitate real life to the most minute condition, no matter what.  There are just too many factors to even attempt to consider it.

Ah. Good thing you reminded me. I was starting to think my survival efforts in the Canadian wilderness were reality, and the game was this strange sim where I play a German laywer in his weird everyday life. I already had a bad conscience for having spent thousands of hours playing that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Hotzn said:

Ah. Good thing you reminded me. I was starting to think my survival efforts in the Canadian wilderness were reality, and the game was this strange sim where I play a German laywer in his weird everyday life. I already had a bad conscience for having spent thousands of hours playing that.

For some reason I know exactly how you feel. :D

Well, just that I'm not playing a lawyer, but a crazy scientist! Some things are actually so crazy, they could really be from a video game.


Like in about two weeks I'll need to stay awake for about 48 hours in a row, playing midwife for my godforsaken (that's my sincere scientific opinion about what's wrong with this mouse) floxed-stop codon-Cas9 KI-female mouse that for whatever odd reason believes her babies to be fast food and so far ate every single one of her alltogether about 40 pups either during or immediately after birth. She's neither sick nor in pain nor stressed nor does she have lactation issues or ANY other obvious reason for her behaviour. I had her checked by two vets and they found exactly nothing.

So I'll need to watch Hannibelle Lector at the expected date of delivery nonstop 24/7 and make sure her babies get to their new gentle NMRI foster mum alive and well and preferably with all their limbs still attached. I'll probably have to invent a special birth cage for that because the last time I tried to rescue some pups from a normal cage Hannibelle mutilated the poor things faster than I could grab them. x-x'

Would be quite the theme for some horror video game, actually. "Cannibal mum II - Delivery Dinner! Grab the baby before it's eaten! Now with even more blood & guts!"

Sorry for the black humor, but this psychopathic mouse drives me absolutely crazy. If only the strain wasn't so expensive (750€/mouse), I'd buy a different mouse instantaneously.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that people shouldn't complain about it being too difficult, when there are plenty of 'easy' difficulty levels.

But suggesting a way that the game might be made more immersive is surely not a bad thing. It can always be ignored, and the majority of such suggestions don't get anywhere close to be implemented, for obvious reasons. 

I think the argument that realism doesn't equate to good gameplay is reasonable, but not the whole story. Adding 'realism' can make a game a lot more fun simply because you approach problem solving more by thinking "What would I do in real life" or "What solution can I create for this", rather than "What game mechanic do I need to use to solve this problem".

EDIT - Having said that, like you I have noticed a bias for 'realism' suggestions that would make the game easier. Rarely do we see ones that would do the opposite!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good points, @Captain Obvious and we are actually on the same page.  I wholeheartedly agree that more realism would be an awesome experience.  But there are some limitations to what a game can do and those are the points I was mentioning.  Enjoy TLD for what it is.  Not for what it is not.  Wish and hope that newer things get implemented and upgraded, but still accept some limitations.

Go to the "Update Information" posts where Hinterland tells everyone what changes have taken place and then peruse the comments below them.  While most of them are positive there are some that are mind boggling.  There are things like...

"I will never like this game because its not realistic.  I should be able to take the heating wire out of the toasters, embed those into my clothes as I repair them, then use the inner workings of the microwave hooked to the car battery that I should be able to scavenge off the car and use that to power my body warming system.  Since I cant do this obviously useful thing that I would be able to do in real life if I was trying to survive in a cold environment then I will just hate this game.  You people have no idea how to make a game.  Losers."

And others like...

"I have been gaming since I was 9 months old.  I know exactly what I am talking about.  I am a master beta tester and have beta tested over 6700 games.  You need to take my comments and implement them right now if there is any chance for this game to make it.  If you dont, well then you people have no idea how to make a game.  Losers."

Now, of course I am jokingly paraphrasing just a bit, but those are the comments I directed my angst toward.  I mean...c'mon...ITS A GAME.  lol

While I know it comes across as negative my intent was to try and poke fun and lighten it up and remind everyone that its a game, meant to pass time, give enjoyment (or an anxiety attack), and had fun with.  

But it would be incredible if that capability to do almost anything existed.  Imagine if you could create content on the fly!  Like you decide to use crowbars with the hacksaw and cut jagged teeth into them and then install those on your boots so that you could climb ALMOST ANY hill with ice and snow while lowering your chance for injury and fatigue.  You do that, the game analyzes and then accepts that and allows it.  Then it remembers that and adapts for future use.  THAT would be awesome!

Im sure we will get there one day.

Until then, Im content with trying to snipe a wolf with some bow and arrow that I made from cutting down some saplings and collecting crow feathers.  Its still fun.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Tenasi Vol

You defiantly should, I almost always play with headphones on the xbox, and it was one of those pee coming out moments from the music that made me look to see if the music could be turned down.

That being said I love the score for this game and have been searching for the soundtrack/composer for a while, probably just not been looking deep enough. I just find that sometimes its not appropriate to whats happening to me in the game, other times, it complements it perfectly and makes everything feel epic!

@Captain Obvious

I know exactly what you mean, people never say, wait, its unrealistic to do super human feats in games, or rag doll after being hit by a car and be fine, or even work on a 're spawn' life basis. Most suggestions people seem to make seem to go along with the making it easier theory. Myself included, I've wanted to navigate by the night sky for a while because I kept getting lost.

Immersion > Easy


Plus it is probably ridiculous how game breaking every new mechanic, item, or location could be if balance is not, in order to preserve the unique player experience we have all obviously grown to love from this game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, MueckE said:

The "realism-argument" is very common regarding TLD. This fact alone tells you alot about how realistic and immersive TLD actually is compared to other games.


This is so true, if it wasn't already so realistically hard, we wouldn't be having discussions like this, try having a chat with someone about fallout or Skyrim survival modes! or 7 days to die :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.