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Snowy survival hit The Long Dark is adding a cougar to pursue players all over its map

As part of fifth paid DLC chapter in June.

Concept art for The Long Dark's DLC enemy, showing a cougar stood menacingly on a snow-covered rocky outcrop.
Image credit: Hinterland Studio

Developer Hinterland has announced its much-loved snowy survival hit The Long Dark will, all being well, get the fifth instalment of its paid Tales from the Far Territory expansion in the "second half of June" - adding, among other things, a cougar to pursue players all over the map and a way to cheat death in permadeath mode.

Tales from the Far Territory launched back in December 2022, promising a bunch of Surival Mode additions that would release over the next 12 months. In classic Hinterland fashion, however, the pace of development has been glacial and it's only now close to releasing the fifth of six promised DLC instalments as the summer looms some 18 months on.

Thankfully, there's some good stuff brewing for Tales from the Far Territory's Part Five, starting with the cougar - a new apex predator that sounds a bit like Resident Evil's Mr. X in fuzzy form. The cougar is designed as a territorial beast, and is drawn to a player's location if they linger in a single region for too long. To avoid its deadly attention, players will need to keep moving.

The Long Dark's Tales from the Far Territory expansion lauched in 2022.Watch on YouTube

"We think the cougar will keep players on edge," Hinterland explains in its announcement post, "and keep things interesting for those who are looking for a good long-term challenge, while also giving players the info they need to avoid Cougars altogether if that’s what they prefer."

Part Five of Tales from the Far Territory also brings a new mountain pass region - name still undecided despite apparently being a month away from release - that promises to be The Long Dark's "most vertical region so far". It also includes the third and final Tale in its DLC-exclusive Rüdiger storyline, plus a new ultra-hard Misery Mode that applies six new Afflictions over time.

And finally, there's the optional new Cheat Death system, giving players a way of continuing in permadeath mode when the end is nigh. Essentially, players that opt to Cheat Death rather than die will find their game getting progressively harder, with Cheat Death available up to a maximum of three times each run. Players will need to select from a series of trade-offs whenever they want to press on, but they'll be able to retrieve their pack with some of its items still available, and other elements of the current run will remain the same.

"This is the first change to our permadeath system that we’ve ever made in the game," says Hinterland, "and we hope it brings a new dimension to gameplay for those of our players who just aren’t ready to lose their favourite survivor, or those who just want something fresh."

All this should arrive in the "second half of June (depending on how long it takes to test and clear console certification)", and the announcement is accompanied by several other bits of The Long Dark news. Hinterland does, for instance, say it's hoping to have Tales from the Far Territory out on Switch - minus the upcoming Part 5 - "by the second half of June" following delays caused by "memory and optimisation" issues. This'll include all free updates to the base game, bringing it up to the same version seen on other platforms.

And finally, Hinterland has a small update on The Long Dark's exceedingly long-awaited fifth story episode for the base game, merely noting it'll "have more to say about it later this year". If Episode 5 makes it out before the end of 2024, it'll arrive three years after Episode 4 and seven years after the launch of Episodes One and Two in 2017. Why the delay? We've heard plenty of excuses over the years, but perhaps it has something to do with the team also being hard at work on what's increasingly looking like The Long Dark 2.

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