Some games just draw you in and immerse you in it’s depth and flexibility to offer a unparalleled gaming experience like no other.
The Forest is one of those games for me!
It’s concept is simple, you have been in a plane crash and have been separated from your son, you don’t know if he is alive or not and find yourself in primal surroundings on a strange mysterious island with no resources needing to survive.
Unfortunately there are more than a few things to stop you from doing this with ease. Namely the islands cannibals, your resources, island creatures and the environment.
So what could be easier, grab some tools, kill some animals for food, avoid the cannibals, go find your son and complete the game? Right? Wrong! One of the best aspects of The Forest is the advancing difficulty of the Cannibals. Initially you will stumble across a few odd basic cannibals but of the 14 varied types you will come across these can be the most annoying, they will grow in numbers and bring Cannibal leaders and other disturbing foe as you destroy trees and make a mess of their island.
Patrols will be more alert to your presence as time goes on, they will pay more attention to the base camp you will no doubt have built (I’ll come to that awesome part of the game in a bit) the Mutants will gradually become part of these patrols and of the few there are they will challenge you to adapt quickly as the pretty walls around your camp will be at serious risk of being destroyed and dismantled leaving you and your camp exposed. At night there are more patrols, your fires will attract more visitors and what you have done, where you chose to do it and how you deal with the patrols will affect the future of your survival. So not so simple and this is just the beginning.
Your survival is based on a real life scenario and it has been executed brilliantly, from sleeping in tents or glamorous constructed custom buildings of your desire you will need to sleep, eat, drink, regain stamina, add some armor and each element can affect the other. Drink pond water and risk making yourself ill and losing health yet maintaining your water levels, lose your stamina and your food and health will drain quicker. It’s a delicate balance that will need to be managed as you spend time chopping down trees, hunting game and building your resources, but don’t think a couple of hours doing all this will set you up for the game. Wake up after a nights sleep to aid avoiding the cannibal patrols and it’s time to eat again, chop those trees down fast and lose your energy and eat again, have a battle with some cannibals and lose health or stamina and you guessed it, time to eat again. Running across the island also will drain your attributes so it’s all connected and you must be wise with your resources in order to survive and prepare for the bigger adventure ahead of you.
This neatly brings me onto caves, the underground system where your nerves may be tested and your survival instincts may take over.
Scattered all around the island are a complex system of caves offering great rewards for tools, resources and supplies but they won’t come easy, more cannibals and mutants patrol these caves and won’t make it easy for you, and even if you get past them you may not be able to access certain areas without underwater breathing gear or climbing tools, so finding the right caves with the right gear is imperative.
The rewards are worth it and make surviving on the ground far easier but you will anger the cannibals and you can expect more to come at you, this isn’t a walk in the park this is pure island survival!
So have i sparked your interest yet? I should have if you like strategy, survival and action all rolled into one with some mystery thrown in as well as you find collectables around the island. Now onto my favourite part, your base camp.
Much of your time will be directly or not building your base camp. The survival guide book you have allows you to build everything you could need and more from shelters, fires, walls, storage right through to crafting more advanced weapons and structures to make your stay on the island more comfortable (if that’s possible)
Rocks, trees and sticks all form a huge part of your game and you must choose base camp locations wisely, too close to enemy camps and you’ll have more patrols than you know what to do with, out in the open and it’s harder to defend, coastlines have fewer resources and some cliffs, lakes and ponds offer water and animals more than others so choose wisely and enjoy the exploration of the island.
In my 8 new games I have played I have made bases in varied locations and I won’t spoil the fun for you mainly because each one will have a benefit, but drawbacks can make the game very hard to achieve results fast.
This is one of the many reasons why The Forest has had me hooked for so many hours already and frankly I don’t see it ending. The possibilities are so varied and offer so many options from elaborate to simple, large and small, even making tree houses and high up camps can be challenging, especially when you cut down the wrong trees.
Multiplayer is a huge part of this game and with up to 8 players in a lobby you could really create some amazing base camps. Working as a group is great fun but resources need to be divided so it makes planning interesting and you may end up having roles on the island to help each other survive. Again this adds a huge amount of replayability as the game allows multiple saves so you can have different games on the go at any one time with different friends or even solo play.
Visually this game excels for an alpha, For a 1gb game it really offers a lot of detail. Yeah some items are a bit generic but I can honestly say it’s a beautiful game right down to the sun and moon rising and falling, sun effects through trees, fish in the ponds and lakes and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Yeah the mutants are disgusting but that’s the beauty of it.
Caves are dark and eery as they should be so a little more polishing is needed to get a greater effect in there but updates are regular with The Forest so expect more from this great game.
Sound plays a huge part in the game and you won’t be surprised to hear that I can’t fault it. From your footsteps to the cannibals chants and noises right through to the animals noises it’s everywhere. You are truly surrounded and add in the wind, rain and lightning and suddenly your senses go into overload and you wonder if you just heard something, or was that your team around you, no it’s cannibals coming, RUN! But my stamina is low, I can’t swing the axe and I can’t run and I’m on my own, what do i do………..
Yes I love this game it’s obvious, but not just for the obvious aspects it’s small details like spiders coming out when you pick up rocks, a small bird landing on your hand to say hello, the moon falling as day breaks, the tree movement, to name but a few elements I have discovered as my playtime has increased.
I have enjoyed finding faster and better ways to build my base and defend myself before finally plucking up the courage to go all out on the cave system and find my son, yeah remember that’s the objective. It’s easy to forget and get lost in the game but you need to go and find your son on this crazy island.
There is truly so many things I would like to talk about in the crafting and surviving elements of this game but you will no doubt be like me and use the games wiki to aid your game and enhance the gameplay.
So I’ll leave you to explore, craft, build and discover this amazing game that I can’t wait to see grow before full release and for just £10.99 although currently part of the steam sale so it’s a bargain at just £7.36 right now it’s a steal for the amount of gameplay on offer.
“The Forest is an Early Access title. It is currently still under heavy development with new features being added on a regular basis. Currently there will be bugs, locked off content, missing features and other possibly serious game breaking issues.
I have been a long time of strategy games and survival games, but none has given me so many options and such well thought out game development like The FOrest. I can’t recommend this game enough and others agree, with a 9/10- rating in the steam community it’s a winner at a bargain price and bugs are at this later stage of alpha bugs do exist but are certainly not going to ruin your game.
Enjoy The Forest.