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The Long Dark adds a ton of new features and a new zone in the Desolation Point Update.

This is one of the rare titles that, despite being in early access, doesn't feel like a bad Alpha test. Its honestly one of the only early access games I can whole heatedly recommend to anyone who enjoys survival games.  

This update brings along quite a few new features; the first feature detailed by Hinterland is the ability to place inventory items directly where you want them in the world. Think of it as being akin to the way they allow you to move things in Bethesda's big RPGs but it seems a bit more efficient in this.

The weather system has been completely overhauled to make it look substantially better. Secondly, a brand new weather type has been added; light fog is there to add extra atmosphere and for some, a bit of fear. Weather Sets have been added to increase the feeling of realism rather than have a complete and very stark shift in weather as was seen before. This will also bring weather patterns that players can learn to read over time. Weather patterns will be region specific and this will allow players to learn to expect when a blizzard might hit.

Most assets have had a texture update to make them look much better; in game lighting and sky color have been improved for all times of day. The addition of screen space ambient occlusion (a rendering technique for efficiently approximating the computer graphics) will improve shadows and lighting as well. 

One of the biggest changes is the overhaul of the user interface; text in the HUD has been replaced with display icons and the survival panel has been massively updated with a status screen to let players know all the information they need to be informed about their condition, injuries, and afflictions.

Metal forging has been added and it will allow players to craft improvised knives, hatchets, and arrow heads. Along with the forge is the addition of a hack saw to harvest scrap metal, a hammer to use the forge, and coal, a new fuel type. Coal can be found in various mines and will be needed to utilize the forge.

The wind sounds have been updated so that players can use it to ascertain everything from where they are in the world to temperature and altitude. The new Gear Audio System means you can hear the sounds of items you have on you as you move about the world. The clothing you wear will also alter what you hear as you move about the in game world.

One of my favorite updates allows players to have up to 5 sandbox saves at once. This is a great change for those who want to show off the game and let friends have a try but don't want to lose hours of work.

Lastly, the new region, Desolation Point, will bring new abandoned sites including an abandoned whaling station. This region is designed to bring a new feel over the more wilderness centered regions of previous updates.

For the complete list of changes, go over to Hinterland's Update.