Incredible Replay Value Even In Just Alpha Sandbox

Bill Tarling

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While Hinterland calmly states "Experience dozens of hours of free-form Survival Sandbox gameplay" -- I think they completely understated how addictive the sandbox can become. There are already many players who have logged over 50+ hours of sandbox play sessions, and keep coming back for more -- over and over and over.

Like I said, even the sandbox is incredibly addictive [a rare replay accomplishment for games these days].

Besides being beautiful [no matter how many videos you watch, even those who have been playing hours upon hours still continue to pause to look at the scenery], no no hand holding approach is so refreshing. You have to think and plan your strategies for surviving along the way, and no matter how well you think your set, a change in weather, wandering wolves, or even simple forgetfulness can bring a fast demise or downfall.

Every playthrough just feels like a fresh challenge.

I love it -- and this isn't even the story mode or even beta yet. The devs keep adding more and more at an astounding rate.

I definitely think The Long Dark will encourage others to stray from the usual humdrum repetitive commercially expected themes -- they've just proven it can be done!

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Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this a bit cheezy having someone from the Scout Corps even placing this?

It's like watching Electronic Arts send out the hounds to start posting rave reviews for something that actually falls short of the mark.

Trust me when I say this, anyone who sees this will think similar thoughts. Only solicit first impressions from people who have no ties to the team.

Personally, it's cheezy.

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I'm not with Hinterland, I'm a Backer.

The "Scout Corps" aren't actually part of the studio, but rather are early backers who have been following the game from the very beginning, and have been playing the alpha pretty steadily since it was released.

Those are actually my views, and personal thoughts. I hadn't expected much replay from a sandbox portion because I usually hate them in most games (too repetitive). I liked this one because I enjoyed how plans and decisions could constantly change at a moments notice.

I'm not a huge gamer because I started way back in the early days of games [even before the first home computer was released], but just never got into how most newer games seem to be made so that there's a simple linear playthrough solution so that people can (I guess) finish them quickly. This one managed to keep the challenge continuingly fresh for the most part -- and that's what I liked.

Those actually are my personal opinions and initial impressions.

But again "Scout Corps" aren't studio or devs [although I do volunteer maintaining the forum for them]... we're just fans, backers, and helpers

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I agree with Bill also. I'm a paying (technically overpaying customer because it cost a significant amount more than early access) so I think we actually would be more likely to have higher expectations than most. That being said, the sandbox does have great replay value. There are a lot of variables that you must constantly balance to survive. It's not unfair, it's just Mother Nature throwing wicked prepared and have a backup plan!

Also, add in the fact they are having big updates with new features striving towards more realism, and it's almost like a new more polished game after the updates.

On my Lets Plays and Streams I get to the point of gushing about the studio's work and the overall game that I have to actually state, "I'm not an employee of Hinterland, I paid for my alpha access copy". I've NEVER had to do that before with a game.

If this is the "sneak peek Sandbox mode", I can't even imagine what they have in store for the Story mode!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't usually like open world games, because they feel too complicated, but I've already played this game more than any other before it, because it is totally addictive. The current version (v.107) is working surprisingly well, I've played several lives in it and haven't noticed any serious bugs and the Early Access version should be even better with all sorts of new stuff we haven't heard about, because Raph says it's a surprise. In this case, I think I like surprises. I hope one of those is having new areas to play as I want to explore more and get more great scenery. I paid for alpha access during the Kickstarter campaign and I haven't regretted that.

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I've only had a chance to play for about 2 hours, but I can see myself being quite addicted. It was all I could do to get myself to exit the game. The only thing stopping me was the boss...I mean wife ;-). I'm really excited about getting myself somewhat established at one of the cabins so that I can then start making trips each day to explore.

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