EARLY ACCESS REVIEW:
By far the best Early Access Steam game I've ever played. This game is gorgeous, and simply exploring the vast expanse of Canadian wilderness becomes a main driving point as every new cabin or site you discover is like some sort of picturesque painting. I've amassed a considerable screenshot collection, utilizing the handy HD Screenshot (Hud Disabled) hotkey. The beauty is enchanting, but also deadly--which is another great aspect of this game. No zombies or otherworldly threat. Just nature's bites--the cold and the wolves. Those damn wolves...
Surviving is a great challenge in either starting point, making each decision important since it is life or death with every hour that passes. A lot of games tout "Survival" as a selling point, but none have managed to really be an enjoyable experience to me until I played The Long Dark. I think the dev team have managed to strike a near-perfect balance of challenge and reward. Note that I've only played this on the standard diffuclty level--I've heard that the hardest difficulty adds more wolves... I'm confident they will change that and challenge the player some other way, as the wolves are notorious pricks in this game. Like I mentioned, however, I think standard strikes a great balance and has been a lot of fun.
Be aware that there is currently no narrative story mode--Sandbox mode alone is worth the price during a sale. Throughout the play, you'll encounter hints as to what the story may be... I've had a lot of fun with the minimalism of it all, and to see that sense of mystery last so long is impressive. I still haven't explored every last bit of the lands yet, and now they are going to double the size of the explorable terrain! So, I'll just leave off with that--I'm impressed with this game!!