If Firewatch, Kona, and The Long Dark had all, at least by some random miracle, come together to merge into a standalone product, we like to imagine it'd look a whole lot like GoldFire Studios' Arctic Awakening, an all-new narrative-driven adventure game. And for what it's worth, we think that, judging at face value, that's a pretty solid cocktail of components and genres. But what is it, exactly, and how on earth will it compare to those that have come before it?
As of this moment, Arctic Awakening is in line to release over on Steam at some point in 2023. If you're keen to learn all the ins and outs of the upcoming arctic expedition, then be sure to read on for all the latest updates. Arctic Awakening: what, when, and why?
What Is Arctic Awakening?
To put you in the picture, Arctic Awakening is an upcoming first-person story-driven survival game. Its premise, much like its survival-based cousins, is centered around the state of being isolated from the outside world — washed up, alone, and with little else to keep you company other than the clothes on your back and the gadgets in your pouch. But, rather than dropping you in the center of a dystopian future or prehistoric jungle, Arctic Awakening will hurl you smack-bang in the frozen realms of the Arctic. Go figure.
Going by what's already been shown, the upcoming journey will mix a breadth of story-driven episodes with a rich and deeply immersive survival experience. As a pilot lost in the unforgiving far north, you will need to learn how to withstand the elements of the day-to-day, and the things that go bump in the night during twilight — alone, bruised, and devoid of any guidance outside of your “court-mandated therapy bot” named Alfie.
Arctic Awakening centers its story around Kai, a pilot who's tasked with carrying out a routine cargo drop with a co-pilot named Donovan. In the thick of a spectacular storm, the plane vanishes, along with Donovan and all hopes of seeing the other side of the crash. Lost, alone, and hurled into the middle of a frozen wilderness, you will take your first steps to not only search for your companion, but a route that may just lead home.
“You are Kai, a pilot without a plane lost in the wilderness of the far north,” the blurb reads in part. “You’ll need your wits about you to brave the elements, find your co-pilot and get the hell out of Dodge. Along the way, you might just discover what it was that cut your plane clean in two… and what it is making those noises after dark.” Spooky stuff.
From what's been revealed so far, Arctic Awakening will lean towards a traditional walking simulator-type formula. Similar to games like Firewatch and Kona, gameplay will involve exploring a variety of landscapes and unearthing its mysteries and long-lost secrets. What's more, it'll adopt a choice-based episodic format — a feature that will change the way others see you, and “perhaps your story itself.”
‘In Arctic Awakening the environment itself is a character, one not always on your side,” the blurb adds. “Dynamic weather means each new area never feels the same, and gorgeously realised vistas combine with an ever-changing world to create an atmosphere of discovery, potential and fear.”
“Exploration is key to unravelling the secrets that surround you. Uncover the mystery of your missing co-pilot, the source of the catastrophe that left you stranded, and maybe, just maybe, find a way home.”
Announced back in April 2022, GoldFire Studios, a firm best known for fleet management simulator Exocraft, revealed its plans to bring Arctic Awakening to consoles and PC at some stage in 2023. Since dropping a couple of trailers to outline the overall premise and gameplay features, the IP has been relatively quiet, other than making a few appearances here and there at a few livestream events.
With any luck, the Unity-built project will make a further appearance at the upcoming PlayStation Showcase this May. Failing that, then a spot at the Summer Games Fest on June 8, 2023 could also be a good time to shed a little extra light on it. Until then, it's anybody's guess as to what the current situation is over at GoldFire Studios. Here's hoping it'll launch before year's end, though.
Curious to know whether or not any footage has been revealed yet? You're in luck, as GoldFire Studios did actually tease a trailer or two back at the beginning of 2022. Need we say more? You can see the initial announcement preview in the video embedded above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Arctic Awakening will be coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam at some point in 2023. It hasn't been said yet whether or not it'll launch on subscription-based platforms such as Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus, though the chances of it reaching either of the two remains positively high. That said, until the devs make a formal announcement, we'll have to take such optimism with a slight pinch of salt.
Unfortunately, GoldFire Studios has yet to lift the lid on any special editions or pre-order bonuses outside of the game's standard copy on Steam, either. If anything of the sort does come about, then news is sure to spread via its chosen marketing channels in the three, maybe four months ahead of its launch. July or August, if we're lucky.
Like what you see? If so, then be sure to check in with GoldFire Studios' official social handle for all the latest updates here. We'll be sure to let you know just as soon as the game receives a finalized release date. Until then, be sure to add it to your wishlist on Steam here.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Arctic Awakening when it releases later this year? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.