You crash land while on a plane ride and find the passengers all dead. Suddenly, you’re thrust into a world of survival with only an axe and a guide. The whole world opens up to you in a lush forest paradise. However, what’s that? It’s a cannibalistic human with a thirst for your blood! What can you do? You fight to survive, build an effigy of your conquest, make a boat and float away to the nearest island. But buckle up, because this is The Forest and random game elements might be your downfall.
This is how my first hands-on impression of The Forest went. I found myself struggling to survive as I slowly grasped the mechanics of the game. The Forest doesn’t really hold your hands too much, but it does provide a basic survival guide to ensure you’re not blind. This is the first thing I found to be great about it, since it’s a simple constructing system, but it works great. You just place the materials inside a hollow image of what you’re constructing and done. Of course, gathering the amount of materials required can be daunting, but a little patience and a raft into a small island nearby can make your vacation that much more enjoyable.
I first tried making a hut and a fire which quickly attracted the attention of the enemies. Once I was spotted, I was unable to kill them, but this also meant they were now aware I existed. This raised the difficulty considerably as I ran into a small village–which was patrolled often–and decided to make a boat. I used the raft to travel into the nearest island, and equipped it with log, sticks, and stone carriers. Utilizing this, I went to my island paradise and made sporadic trips back to the mainland for materials.
From this point on, the game became more about exploration rather than survival and it was a great experience. From finding random letters and magazine articles in the different caves and locations on the island to fighting cannibals when gathering materials, it was more about the adventure rather than the destination. I’ve still yet to discover everything and, somehow, I’m excited for more. The amount of variety that you can build in The Forest is great and allows for a different approach every time. Definitely one of the few jewels on early release steam, The Forest is a surefire buy for its price range.
Speaking of combat and enemies, the cannibals in The Forest are pretty intelligent at times, and can be difficult to fight, even with a team, as larger and more aggressive packs come to visit as you eliminate them. You can witness enemies grovelling at your feet, running away, or sometimes standing still as you beat them to a pulp and cook them in the fire. This is because their intelligence is rather sporadic and it might be a product of the game being in alpha stages. However, they still make for a challenging game, except for when you create a houseboat. My friends and I even came up with an euphemism for this called “houseboating” which meant climbing the house and chucking Molotov cocktails at them. This basically made us invincible as enemies can’t swim, but no less fun as when we were gathering materials, they could still attack our non-floating base.
- Nice Graphics
- Runs smoothly
- Variety is impressive
- Enemy AI can be intriguing
- The environment is fun to explore.
- Glitches can be fatal
- Enemy AI can be sporadic
- The UI can be complicated and mixing items is confusing at times.
Available now on Steam for PC! The Forest let’s you become the cannibal.
P.S. It took me ten minutes of gameplay before I went native and started eating the cannibals. Eventually they became my main source of sustenance, and worship as I continually made effigies.