The Long Dark
The night is dark and full of bears... so grab a flare gun. Hinterland Studio

Hinterland's The Long Dark has developed a reputation for being one of the toughest, must punishing survival games ever made throughout its time in early access on PC. Now released in full with an episodic story mode on PC, Xbox One and PS4, there are now even more players tackling the game's bitter challenges.

The first season of The Long Dark's story mode, dubbed Wintermute, puts players in the frosty shoes of Will Mackenzie after he crash-lands in the Canadian wilderness. From there, it's up to you to keep yourself fed, hydrated, warm, well-rested, disease-free and so much more, battling factors that could all kill you within minutes. Especially the wildlife.

Rabbits and deer are one thing, and are a crucial resource for making food and crafting items – but the bears and wolves are more than willing to feast on your own corpse after they've finished mauling you to death.

Hunting these beasts is ill-advised without some serious weaponry and a whole lot of bullets, but running away can also leave you vulnerable, or even lost. Thankfully there is a much easier way of escaping a deadly encounter with a wild beast – a flare gun, aka the Distress Pistol.

You can get the Distress Pistol, which is the only weapon capable of scaring off bears, as early as Wintermute episode one "Do Not Go Gentle". Here's where to find it:

The Long Dark story guide: Where to find the Distress Pistol

You can also watch the route in a video here.