Long Dark, The
The Long Dark is a first-person survival video game developed by Canadian developer Hinterland Studio. Originally released in an alpha state via Steam's Early Access program in 2014 after a successful crowdfunding campaign, the full game was released in August 1st, 2017 for PC and consoles, and September 17th, 2020 for Nintendo Switch.
The Long Dark takes place in an isolated region of northern Canada (the fictional Great Bear Island) following a massive geomagnetic storm that has destroyed or disabled almost all modern technology and brought civilization to its knees. Players must survive the frigid wilderness they find themselves in by scavenging or crafting what they need, managing hunger, thirst, and fatigue, and finding shelter from the unforgiving elements and unusually hostile wildlife, which includes wolves, timberwolves, bears, and the deadly moose. Peaceful wildlife like deer, rabbits, and crows are also present, although the latter cannot be hunted and harvested.
There are two main game modes:
Survival, which is a sandbox mode where the only goal is to explore the game world and stay alive for as long as possible.
Wintermute, which is The Long Dark's episodic story mode. Bush pilot Will Mackenzie is approached by his ex-wife, Dr. Astrid Greenwood, who asks him to fly her out to the remote Great Bear Island to deliver an unspecified package. Will reluctantly accepts, but on their way to Astrid's destination, their plane is bought down by the massive solar flare that strikes Earth. Separated, Will and Astrid each embark on a journey to find each other and survive the "quiet apocalypse".
The following weapons appear in The Long Dark
There are only a handful of ranged weapons in The Long Dark. Each one is rare and extremely valuable to the goal of long-term survival. Ammunition for them is similarly rare, but spent cartridges can be reloaded using the appropriate tools and by making a trip to the game's sole ammunition workbench. Firearms are used for hunting game and defending oneself from the hostile wildlife of Great Bear Island. In survival mode, the player character begins unskilled with firearms, but becomes more proficient with their use the more they are used and the more they read up about them. Weapons must also be maintained and poor-quality weapons may jam at inopportune moments, forcing long unloading and reloading animations. Weapons also degrade when shot, forcing the player to clean them using a firearms cleaning kit. The loud noise of gunfire will scare off animals and cause a ringing tinnitus effect if fired indoors.
Smith & Wesson Model 27
A stylized revolver resembling the Smith & Wesson Model 27 was the second firearm added to the game, known simply as "Revolver". It was introduced in the Steadfast Ranger update in January 2019 and plays a large role in Episode 3 of the story, "Crossroads Elegy". Old builds of the game had in the game files (but did not use) a .38 caliber Ruger Security Six revolver (), before the current S&W revolver was added.
The ammo used appears to be .32 S&W cartridges, which is a caliber the Model 27 was never chambered for. The weapon is correctly double-action, serving as a faster-firing close-range firearm for personal defense against wildlife, although the Lee-Enfield is still the preferred option for actual hunting as the revolver lacks damage, range and accuracy at range. When being attacked by a wolf, the revolver is an option for self-defense alongside melee weapons the player might be carrying.
The Model 27 only has a range of 30m and you cannot move while aiming it, however it can be hipfired, unlike the rifle. Any wildlife shot at (except moose) will eventually bleed out, although it can take hours of in-game time. These aspects of the weapon combine to solidify its role as a self-defense weapon. It can be shot one-handed if the player has a sprained wrist, but it has more recoil and sway when used one-handed.
Orion Flare Gun
The Orion Flare Gun was the first weapon added to the game post-alpha release. It was introduced in the Timberwolf Mountain update in December 2015 as the "Distress Pistol". It shoots "Flare Shells" which are incorrectly fired alongside the flare, and remain on the ground after the flare has burnt out. It does not set targets on fire, but will cause bleeding, which can eventually kill wildlife, unless you headshot a wolf or deer, in which case the weapon instantly kills. This is fairly odd, as flares are not penetrating projectiles and any damage is dealt via pure impact damage. Animals flee from the sound and sight of flares, and they stick into animals that have been shot, glowing red for 20 in-game minutes.
In Wintermute Episode 3's "Coming Storm" mission, the weapon is used for its intended purpose, signaling to crash survivors.
Hybrid Lee-Enfield Rifle
A stylized hybrid of many different Lee-Enfield rifles appears as the "Hunting Rifle" and was originally the sole firearm in-game. It was most likely chosen due to the game taking place in Canada and some Canadian Rangers still use the rifle to this day, along with its continued popularity on the civilian market. This correlates with some of its designated spawn points in Survival mode.
The weapon features many oddities in its design, based on various different types of Lee-Enfield rifles. The weapon is primarily a WWI-era Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III, with a slightly shorter barrel and added metal rings around the weapon. One is present behind the hammer and another is located just in front of the chamber. The magazine appears to be a 7.62x51mm NATO Lee-Enfield magazine, with a squarer base compared to the .303 British magazine. This is interesting due to the game specifically stating this rifle fires .303 in its description. The grip is different, with an appearance closer to the Lee-Speed Sporter's rounded grip that protrudes down from the main stock instead of cutting off sharply like the No. 1 rifle. The sights are missing the tangent adjustable rear sight, but are otherwise the typical wide FOV sights that most games have, in order to make aiming easier. The front post is missing its protective wings and the rear aperture sight appears to be from a Lee-Enfield No. 4.
A unique version can be found in Wintermute, used by an NPC in Episode 1 but is otherwise unobtainable until Episode 2 where you are given a rifle at the beginning of the episode. A rifle can be found and used in Episode 3 in the small hut near the river Thompson's Crossing. This rifle features some ornate engravings on the handguard, a floral patterned plate stuck to the rifle around the chamber and magazine, as well as rags wrapped around the stock and handguard.
The rifle has undergone many changes to its design over time. In update v1.48, it gained the look it currently has now, but before this update it lacked the tall front sight, instead having a very small sight that looks similar to shotgun bead sights in size. The alpha rifle was very short, shorter even than the carbine version of the No. 1 SMLE, with the same tiny front sight, and it also had a bunker for an SMLE-type magazine (which for some reason was absent). The early access version of the game used the same model with less detail. Finally, the pre-alpha version had the same short handguard, but a longer barrel than handguard, making the weapon resemble a sporterised Lee-Enfield. It also had a Mauser-style built-in magazine.
The weapon is the most powerful in the game, using 5 round stripper clips to reload the 10 round magazine. It can take down a deer with a headshot and a wolf with either a head or chest shot, but multiple shots will be needed for bears and moose. The rounds are high velocity and have a range of about 50 meters, and you must aim in order to be able to fire. Jams with the rifle are almost certainly due to rimlock, as the .303 cartridges are rimmed and they can get locked together when reloading, which causes them to feed incorrectly. It requires two hands to use, and you therefore cannot use it with a sprained wrist.