I'm perfectly aware that Minecraft didn't pioneer the open world survival and crafting genre, but it's the easiest game to use as an example of the concept. That being said, when I first saw The Forest for the PC in Steam Early Access, all I could think of was someone plastering "Like Minecraft with cannibals!" on the game's promotional art.
That's a very crude comparison, but if anyone remembers the Far Cry 3 cover, one game journalist said it was "Like Skyrim with guns!" which I'm fairly certain they have apologized profusely for saying because the comparison is about as accurate as saying that Final Fantasy is like Grand Theft Auto with airships; it doesn't make any sense.
Back on topic though, The Forest is coming to PS4 so it's time we got you caught up on this interesting and objectively terrifying horror game that puts the word "survival" in "survival horror."
It All Started with a Plane Crash
The Forest opens with you sitting on an airplane with a small boy hanging onto your arm. The craft splits apart and crashes into the forest below in a fashion very similar to the TV series Lost if you remember that iconic opening. It's not apparent if this is an island or not, but it is quickly apparent that the natives are not all there.
When you awake amidst the wreckage, you see the locals drag the boy away, unconscious. You stand to your feet and the rest is up to you. Don't try to memorize it though, because every crash location is randomized. The cannibalistic natives were swarm the wreckage, so you have very little time to grab what you can and run like the wind.
You can find various cases from the crash nearby which you can open and scavenge for loot. Once you have some food and drink, you can head into the forest to set up a camp. You'll be able to open a survival guide and place down blueprints for various structures like shelter, cabins, or traps. Once you've chosen a location for something, you'll need to cough up the resources to make it happen.
For example, a fire pit only requires a few sticks and some rocks, but a shelter will require you to chop down a tree and collect the logs it leaves behind. You will also need to hunt for food and find water to keep yourself alive and somewhat stable in light of everything. The enemies won't give you a head start though, they come and find you before you know it. If you manage to kill one with your axe you start with, you can cut them up and set up a grotesque effigy that will ward off additional intruders for a time.
The opposite is true though; if you see effigies out on your travels, then you are near one of their camps. Sometimes the enemies won't attack right away if they see you. Instead they may keep their distance. Watching. Waiting. If they do manage to best you, you may not always die. Instead, you may wake up in one of their underground cave networks with nothing but a lighter to find your way out. If they find you down here, it's game over, but if you get out you have a second chance.
The game is punishing, there's no getting around that. The developers have said that a "peaceful" mode is planned though that removes the enemies and allows for a more focused survival experience, minus the horror. Personally I think the enemies are what make this game stand out though.
The PS4 Advantage
Right now the game is still in Early Access on Steam, but it was announced that the game is coming to PS4, along with a few console specific features:
The developers are continuing to listen to feedback from players on PC, and this will transition over to the PS4 version to make the game the best it can be. What's your take on The Forest? Will you be picking this up? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date - 9/11/15