Tuesday, 9 March 2021

A Test of Survival: Stranded Deep in the Long Dark

Hope you like farming!

Stranded Deep

Island survival is annoying.

Surviving a plane crash is the least of your concerns as now stranded on a small cluster of islands in the middle of nowhere. While that place is certainly pretty, you'll need to keep busy by farming materials to construct things to survive, a water still being perhaps the most important right off the bat.

... and not a drop to drink.

While it would be nicer to have better inventory management, the controls are pretty good once you get the hang of it but expect to sail around to the other islands shortly after day one as you won't have enough material to last. The place is also dotted by shipwrecks which can contain useful stuff, provided you can survive the dives to them.

Really though, your two biggest enemies here are hydration and poison. Expect to restart after stepping on your first urchin. For those that like this survival theme, this one is actually pretty good - and certainly looks great. It's just too grindy for me. Also, why can't I distill sea water? Seems pretty obvious. Anyway, I give it two inflatable life rafts out of five.

Insight: You can craft a coconut flask by going into the craft menu then click on the word "consumables" right up the top to get a different menu. Took me ages to find that.

The Long Dark

Great until it isn't.

Apparently surviving plane crashes is the easy part. This time you are stuck in a remote snowy mountain and must survive the freezing cold and hungry predators in addition to fulfilling requirements of food, water and sleep. While the art style is not as impressive as Stranded Deep, everything else is better.

The tutorial, interactivity, choice of game modes (from sandbox survive as long as you can to defeat a slender man type creature hunting you) and most importantly the campaign story. It helps that you aren't alone here, and the people you encounter really give purpose to the game. That is, until it decides to become a walking simulator.

Just wait until you get a gun to see how bad a shot you are!

Yup, while it was going so well up to that point at around Chapter 2 it becomes a silly exercise in inventory management and point to point travel across vast distances committing the cardinal sin of too much space and not enough game. Just got too boring for me at that bit so this one gets the same score of two stunned rabbits out of five.

Insight: If you get stuck for ideas, press space bar to get some options.

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