Here we are, once again, talking about videogames after a long pause. We wondered if a videogame could be considered an form of art… The answer is not obvious: likely yes, it is some form of art, but clearly identifying which elements make something art is not so simple.
Surely, films have historically been considered art; and, in the same way, in recent years the TV series, a sector in great growth, are proposing themselves as such. Some videogames, today like yesterday, keep several elements very similar to that of the TV series, and this brings them closer to the concept of art we were discussing. These videogames, in fact, often tell a story characterized by a well-made plot (sometimes better than those of many films), they do it by episodes and, unlike a normal product for television, allow to the user to really enter into history, becoming its main actor. These are, for example, games like The Long Dark, a very special and unique survival; probably the best survival currently available on the market.
The first element that catches the eye concerns the graphic sector. The choice of Hinterland Games, in fact, was to offer a cartoon style graphics, which makes the experience very similar to reading a comic. But this should not be misleading: the choice was not dictated by the “laziness” of the developers, but by a precise narrative strategy; the quality of the details is impressive, even in elements that are usually difficult to represent, like the fire of a bonfire. The first person forced combined with the excellent sound system, however, guarantees a total immersion in the gaming experience.
Some different modes are available, among which the sanbox and the story mode stand out. The first offers the player the opportunity to freely explore the big game world, with the only (only?!) concern to survive; the second, however, is characterized by a story with a plot worthy of the best TV series. Currently the storyline stops at the second chapter, which ends with a scream-like ending.
The aim of the game is apparently simple: just survive. Following an air crash you find yourself alone in the icy Canadian mountains, and whatever the mode you choose the goal is the same, get the better of the wilderness. No monster, no strange entity… Only nature.
It may seem simple, but it is not. The gameplay is not to the usual search for basic necessities, but it will be necessary to calculate the time, costs and benefits of each single action, so as to avoid being outdoors at night, or in the middle of a storm so strong as to prevent to light the fire. It will be imperative to properly calculate the weight of your backpack, so as not to have to abandon basic instruments to make room for something else. And it will be very important to understand when to shoot a wolf or when to simply try to scare it. Hinterland Games has also thought of an interesting learning system that allows you to improve your skills over time: by lighting the fire, for example, you become more and more skilled and fast. Likewise, repairing or creating garments can be made more efficient by studying books and testing in the field.
Nevertheless, you will die. And also frequently. The cold will kill you, the bears kill you, hunger kill you, the thin ice that will make you fall into a cold pond kill you, the battered meat that you had to eat because you have been stuck in a cave for some time because of a storm it will kill you… In short, the elements ready to kill you will definitely be more than those useful to save you.
A respectable SURVIVAL, one of the few worthy of the name!
The game is currently on sale on Steam at 24.99 euros. A price maybe slightly excessive. But the work done is excellent, the hours of potentially gameplay are endless and the future prospects are very good; it is also one of the most heavily discounted securities, and it will be possible to buy it at a quarter of the price.
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