The Forest is one of the latest survival games to hit our screens in recent year. Brought to us by Endnight Games and following on from games like Rust and Day Z, you must survive the world you find yourself in. In this instance that world is an island that (you guessed it) has a lot of trees on it. It also has a lot of cannibalistic mutant crazy types hell bent on killing and eating you…
From the surface this game is incredibly simple; live long enough to build yourself a defensible home while also making sure you are eating and resting enough to complete the actions necessary to survive. But its a lot deeper than that and has incredibly clever nuances that become more obvious the longer you play. The entire Island is telling a story that isn’t finished yet, due mainly to the fact that this is still in the Alpha stage and not yet a finished product. As you explore the islands you find evidence of other survivors: tents, luggage, small camps, bodies of dead cannibals and the charred remains of dead survivors. In cannibal villages you will find people hung from rope, arranged in a plethora of disgusting positions, crucified with a gopro wedged into their mouth and worse.
The AI is incredible. Generally your first experience of a cannibal ( if you are being observant) is a lone scout who finds your camp and, unless you spot him and kill him, will run off to return with friends. When these packs of cannibals find you they do not always go into berzerker mode and attack you, as you might expect. Sometimes they will go around your camp, seemingly assessing what it is you’ve built and your threat to them. If you act hostile to them however, they charge in arms flailing, and they are faster and stronger than you are. This is not a game for trying to be an invincible hero, because you will die quickly to a cunning and clever foe.
The longevity in this game comes from the exploration and building aspects to the game. Almost like an adult version of minecraft you can build almost anything your imagination can conjure up, huge forts with multiple levels, tree houses, deadly traps, neccesary survival aids, new tools and weapons. And this is still just in the Alpha stage, with the developers promising much more content to come.
The game was recently patched to allow multiplayer servers up to a staggering 128 people. Thus far I have only tried it with 5 people but it seems while the single player game is almost glitch free the multiplayer experience is nigh on unplayable at times. But again, this is an early access Alpha so some problems are to be expected.
So far I have logged almost as many hours in The Forest as I have Day Z, which is a huge statement to the sheer terror and fun to be had in the game. Highly recommended.