The Long Dark Survival Episode 4: New Features and Items

With a new episode released for Wintermute, comes a huge update for The Long Dark’s open-world survival mode. Episode four features Mackenzie traversing a whole new region and even uncovering some secrets of Blackrock Penitentiary.

RELATED: The Scariest Areas In The Long Dark

But what’s left when our hero moves on? Well, aside from a lot of loot (which will already be in bad shape if the game file is old enough), you can also climb through the ruins of an abandoned prison as well as discover a new DIY recipe. Only one story mode episode remains, but the developers have guaranteed mod support to keep the community alive long after the game has been “done”.

11 Blackrock region

The biggest addition is, of course, a new map to explore and die for. The player can arrive in this region from two locations; The Keeper’s Pass North which connects to a ruined road in the south of the map, and an ice cave at Timberwolf Mountain, which comes out just below Bricklayer’s Retreat. Blackrock provides the player with many broken down cars (check car batteries) and interior buildings including the old substation and a prepper cache.

Getting to the abandoned mine can be frustrating and tricky and involves hiking uphill to climb two ropes. Don’t be fooled by the story mode and try to cross at Mule Bridge; It would be too easy.

GAME VIDEO OF THE DAY

ten ballistic vestThe Long Dark Ballistic Vest

The very first piece of armor to be introduced in The Long Dark, picking up the Ballistic Vest alone is worth the trip to Blackrock. It can be found in the prison, in cellblock C, but you have to crawl along the catwalks and crawl between the burnt debris to access it. At the end of a row of cells, you will find this accessory next to the corpse of a familiar face.

When equipped, the player will benefit from being in armor, a new condition unique to the item. But as the game says, there is no choice without consequences. The vest weighs six kg (13.2 lb) and reduces sprint speed by 40% while provide 50 percent wildlife protection. In comparison, the Moose-Hide cape only offers 20% protection while weighing four kilograms and costing some mobility. It’s up to the player and their priorities to decide what to do.


9 More Timberwolf BundlesThe Long Dark Dead Timberwolf morale bar playing while holding the bow

Timberwolf packs were introduced in The Long Dark with the addition of Bleak Inlet and the first ammo bench in the Errant Pilgrim update. We all know the lone wolves blowing down our necks, but this has added a whole new dynamic to survival. White and gray wolves form packs, but only in these two regions, and encourage each other to take pieces of you. The only way to stop the constant pinching is to reduce morale gauge that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Related: Best cheats in The Long Dark

This can be done by shooting arrows or hurting one of the wolves, or spending a lot of time. Sometimes a well-directed rock can even scare them a bit, but normal flares and fires are totally useless. It’s easy to be surprised by two to four hungry wolves surrounding you, but be very careful during the aurora. That’s when they get desperate.


8 Recipe for noisemakersThe long dark player holding a lit noise maker running bear

If you don’t have ammo to waste keeping them at bay, there’s now a new item just for such an event. Noisemakers are handcrafted portable items that can be lit without matches and thrown to deter wildlife. If a moose or bear is already injured, the Noisemaker is able to kill them outright. Similar to a gunshot, the explosion caused by a thrown Noisemaker reduce a morale gauge.

To unlock the recipe, the player must travel to the Abandoned Mine and pick up a ready made Noisemaker of a box in a small storage area under the stairs. From there, it takes an Ammo Bench, 0.10kg Gunpowder, Cloth, and a Recycled Can to craft. Cans and recycled fabrics can wash up on beaches, but the gunpowder requirement makes this item limited in the world.


7 Keeper’s Pass North and SouthSouthern access to long dark charcoal map Keeper's Pass

Every map needs a way to get there, and Blackrock has two routes. From Pleasant Valley, the player can simply follow the road to the Long Curve, a previously inaccessible landmark that has now been cleared. From here you come out into a rather scenic transition area called Keeper’s Pass South. Continuing on the road will bring the player to a trailer and cars to rest. There’s even a fishing shack for an endless food supply.

Related: The Long Dark: Things Beginners Should Do First

Descend to the river and follow northwest to a cave for the next leg of the journey. The path on this map is suitably laid out, with a small shelter along the way in the form of a ramshackle shack housing a bed and a stove. Past the rickety bridge, the player will find a road. Going left will lead to Blackrock, but go right and you’ll find a rope to the river bed and a possible flare gun.


6 Timberwolf Mountain Transition ZoneRuined Blackrock Prison Parking Lot Survival Mode

If you’re already at Timberwolf Mountain or don’t feel like traversing two more maps to get to the new area, then you’re in luck. As you follow the creek upstream from Crystal Lake and climb the rope to the waterfall, you will find that the previously united rock to your left is now a cave.

The interior is warm and suitable for drying any skins you might be carrying. There are only two locations that involve descending the rock face, no ropes required, and the player will emerge just steps from the Foreman’s Clearcut Trailer and Mason’s Retreat.


5 Choking Affliction

4 The long dark gas mine Suffocation Affliction

As if the developers were going to provide us with a new beneficial condition (Armored) without also afflicting us with another way to die. The player will only need to encounter this if they insist on going to the prison ammo bench. In story mode, we were tasked with finding valves and the valve lever needed to shut off a toxic gas leak. However, in survival mode, it’s unfortunately a case of reserving it through gas.

It is recommended to lose as much weight as possible and have plenty of energy. It’s a sprint, not a marathon, and once the elevator goes up one floor, the suffocation affliction will wear off. The screen will turn yellow and fuzzy, but continue to operate. On the other side is a bed, lockers with the code and some food, but nowhere to make a fire – so think ahead. The player must return the same way, so keep enough lantern fuel on hand for both directions. Try not to panic.


3 Ammo Bench OptionsThe Long Dark Ammunition Bench Bleak Inlet Quality Tools Lead

So far, the only place to craft more rifle and pistol ammo was at Bleak Inlet Cannery. Timberwolf packs seem to be drawn to this crafting bench though, as they only appear on these two maps. Lone wolves patrol the prison yard, which you must cross to find the bench inside. I hope you survived the abandoned mine and retrieve key code to access the room housing the Ammunition Bench.

Related: The Difference Between Challenges and Achievements in the Long Dark

Once the door opened once you don’t have to wait for an aurora to return, but the bench will only light up with this weird weather, as well as a fire. Players can now craft Noisemakers here as well.


2 New soundtrackThe Long Dark Radio Parts Storm Lantern Lighted Work Bench

The quiet apocalypse music is both sweet and uplifting, and serves as the backdrop for an immersive adventure. All soundtracks were composed by Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyanand most have been released on Steam and Spotify.

With the new region comes a new song, Fury, then silence, composed of a disturbing piano accompaniment with an inconsolable violin melody. It beautifully stages and captures the white, hopeless landscape full of danger and death.

1 Repairable studs


The Long Dark Crampons Scrap Metal Irreparable Repair Menu

Thanks to the devs, it’s finally here! As soon as cleats were introduced, with Ash Canyon the community was told that was it, if you break your cleats you will never get the Sure Footing perk again. This accessory gives the player increased endurance when climbing the mountaineering ropea lower chance of rolling an ankle when mountain goating where no mortal was supposed to go, as well as an extra second (up to six) on Thin Ice before falling through.

Crampons are a necessity for anyone who loves to travel and make beachcombing a much safer activity for end game. Now it is possible to use simple tools or quality tools, as well as scrap metal, to repair this one-of-a-kind item.

Next: A Guide to Finding Books in the Long Dark


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