The Long Dark and the legacy of Canadian literature

Your plane has crashed in the wilderness of the Canadian North West. The houses are empty, the cars won’t start, the radios are silent. If you seek shelter or answers in the nearby Hydro dam you are greeted by neither. Instead, a rabid wolf is likely to tear you in half. This is The Long Dark, a Canadian survival game where you play as bush pilot Will Mackenzie. In this otherwise realistic game, wolves—who normally avoid humans—have become Will’s top concern. The mysterious geomagnetic disaster that the game depicts has disturbed the minds of all the wolves. Okay, but that…

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The difficult history of videogames and indigenous people

Content warning: This article mentions child abuse and rape /// The Raven and the Light (2015) starts with a car crash. It ends with an almost dream-like ascent to a state of transcendence, narrated by the myth of the raven and the light—a Northwest indigenous folk tale. Everything in between thrusts you into a world that, for some, will be foreign, but for North America’s indigenous population is and has been painfully real. Your character in this horror game (mostly unseen and unheard throughout) explores a fictional residential school called Mother Mary’s Residential School for Indian Students. Inside, you dodge…


Kôna invites you to investigate an abandoned town in 1970s Canada

The most striking thing about the new trailer for Kôna, an upcoming surreal mystery game from Parabole, is its narration. It has this really odd, stilted intonation that I can’t quite place; the boom and quirk of old timey radio announcer meets the uncanny poetry of The Residents. Whatever it is, I like it. It sets such a strange tone for the rest of the video, which is just as good: as we learn from our dramatic narrator, you play as a Korean War veteran named Carl Faubert who ventures into the Northern Canadian wilderness to investigate a bout of…


Hotline Bling is now an actual hotline. Thanks, Justin Bieber

I can’t say that I ever imagined myself as a late-night hotline customer. I can definitely say that I never imagined myself as a late-night Justin Bieber hotline customer. But last Friday night I found myself dialing 231-371-1113 from my bedroom to hear the little terror’s cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” Call me 231 377 1113 on my cell phone — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) October 30, 2015 And I must confess that it’s quite good. Less of a cover or remix than it is a third-party intervention, Bieber’s song recycles Drake’s Casio beat and technological ennui in service of…


Starve to death in the Canadian wilds next month with The Long Dark

The Long Dark is set to hit Steam Early Access on September 22. The game is being developed by Hinterland Games, which founder and creative director Raphael Van Lierop told us is situated in “an old mining town nestled at the foot of a mountain range” in Cumberland, British Columbia. The cold creeps into the game: it’s at once a brutal post-apocalyptic survival game and a celebration of the Canadian wilderness. The game’s art style is equally stark—not quite low-poly, but spare, with a painterly sense of color.  So: what will we actually be doing in this brutal, beautiful expanse?…


The Long Dark’s new trailer is ice cold

Back in February, we showed you some gorgeous screenshots and officially labeled The Long Dark “a game we give a shit about.” Now, that may not sound like a lot. But when we say we “give a shit” about a game, what we mean is “we think this game has the potential to be something great and meaningful.” And today, The Long Dark doesn’t disappoint those shits we gave it (yeah, I know, it’s getting weird for me too. I’ll stop). The trailer Hinterland’s launched today, entitled “Echoes,” permeates with a sense of loss for a world that’s been replaced…