Fans who follow Raphael van Lierop, creator of The Long Dark, might have heard him talk about the Fallout franchise a few times. He’s clearly a fan of the series, but a recent short documentary by Noclip revealed that Fallout might be a more significant influence on the game developer than people realize. As it turns out, The Long Dark was heavily inspired by Fallout 3.
Raphael wasn’t a fan of everything in Fallout 3, noting that he found himself “Loving the exploration and really not enjoying the combat.” That makes a lot of sense when you line it up with the gameplay of The Long Dark. With numerous regions to explore, each with their distinct terrain and tone, players will spend a significant amount of their time exploring and searching for gear.
“I found myself wondering, could you create an experience that would be 95 percent about exploration and discovery, and recreating that feeling of every time you see a building on the horizon you want to go in there, and every time you open a locker you hope to find something valuable in there. I found that such a compelling part of the experience I asked myself could you really create a game around that idea.”
If you ask me, van Lierop has done well capturing that exploration and discovery feel of Fallout 3 in The Long Dark and has stayed true to his intention not to make the game about combat. In fact, The Long Dark has only three primary weapons in the game: a bow, a rifle, and a revolver, each with different uses and properties that encourage the player to take a thoughtful approach to what they should carry and what they should leave behind.