The Forest is a thrilling, frightening game themed around survival, the player must create a camp, craft weapons, find food and water in order to survive. Along with these basic needs, the player has to contend with the other inhabitants of the island, the cannibals. The game is available for purchase on the Steam store for £10.99.
The game is a first person survival horror, currently in early access developed by Endnight Games. It is currently listed on Steam and is looking to be released on the PlayStation 4 at a later date. The game sees you as the main protagonist that was on a flight that crash-landed on a mysterious island occupied by cannibals. You have to scavenge supplies in order to survive, you then have to make basic shelter in order to start your journey of surviving in this hostile environment. Once you have constructed your initial camp you can then start gathering supplies to create more complex traps and equipment, this is a must if you want to find the rest of the plane passengers and most important of all, your son. The combination of eerie music, stunning visuals, great crafting system and the fact you have terrifying groups of cannibals hunting you down makes this game a real adrenaline ride.
Other surival games have a faster pace compared to this one but the inclusion of the extremely intimidating cannibals really gets your blood pumping. When you first get into the game you try to scavenge as many supplies as possible from the plane before the first few search parties come looking for you, and trust me, they will. Once you get your first basic supplies you will be able to look at your crafting manual in order to build simple structures to just survive the first few hours. These include simple fires and huts to shelter you from the weather. Once you get to grips with the controls you can build much more advanced structures like tree houses and log cabins. Along with this brilliant crafting system, they also have a nice range of traps, hunting materials and different types of fires that offer protection from the cannibals whose biggest fear is fire. The crafting works by the player clicking on the structure they want to build, a sort of ghost layer appears where you place the structure and it shows you what materials you need. You then start placing them until the structure is built. Along with buildings, you can also hunt animals like rabbits and birds and cook them with a spit and a fire. You just place them onto the fire and wait, wait too long and they will burn and you won’t be able to eat them. This really makes the player have to think about multiple things at once and really forces them multitask, just as you would if you were actually trying to survive. Also, The Forest has a nice multiplayer feature where you or a friend sets up a game and you join and build with them, it really allows you to half the tasks and allows you to build really spectacular camps with protective traps and also a nice hunting section. For an early access game, The Forest has a very robust and also unique blend of gameplay pace and features. These things really set it apart from other games in its genre.
During my playthrough, I tried to build a wall with a doorway inside the plane to give myself a big base early on. This plan didn't work and I had to go out and find a suitable place to build my new base. After I found this location I then set about gathering the materials needed to make my small shelter, this included gathering sticks, rocks and even cutting down a few trees to get the logs. But that's was just a start of my adventure...
Graphics in the game is stunning. The textures are such a high quality, the lighting effects are beautiful and the models are extremely well made. When playing The Forest when it hits early evening or even early morning and you see the sun pierce the trees and you see the rays hit the forest floor it is such a stunning and mesmerizing sight. It is a truly beautiful game that rivals the biggest AAA titles. Along with these visuals, The Forest also offers a nice set of technical configurations that the player can make and fiddle with to get the best performance possible with their systems, making the game accessible to a wide range of PC gamers. The game has a very flexible graphics engine. It has a lot of interesting setting along with the traditional ones. These settings include:
- Far Shadows,
- Sunshine Occlusion,
- Light Scatter,
- Ocean Quality,
- Chromatic Abberation,
- Film Grain,
- Depth Of Field,
- Color Grading.
The sound in The Forest is something that amps up the anticipation and the creepy feel that really makes the game pay off. It has crisp, clear sounds of birds, branches snapping, trees, the sound of footprints on the thick dirt and foliage. Even the sound of the fire brings the immersion up on so many levels. Also, when the player spots a group of cannibals a high pitch sound effect plays, almost as if someone is slamming their hands onto a piano that not only scares but also puts the fear of god into you. It also plays if the group spots you, there is nothing scarier than just building something and you hear that noise, you instantly just sprint, you don’t know where; you just run as fast as you can. The sound in this game changes it completely; if this game didn’t have these high-quality crystal clear sounds it would be a completely different game altogether. The sound in this game is what really makes this the animal that it is.
The music matches the product perfectly when you load up the game and see the background image of the inside of a cave for the cannibals, with the tense music it builds up the anticipation. With the subtle sound effects like bats flying through the cave, to drops of water hitting the floor, it does its job perfectly.
The Forest performs extremely well for a game that is early access. From the days where it first got released, it has seen dramatic performance upgrades. For a game that has stunning visuals, the frame rate rarely drops below 60 FPS on high settings. Occasionally dropping a few frames when you first spawn into the game. As development carries on the development team add bigger and better updates which not only fix issues or glitches but also add in so much more gameplay wise for the player to enjoy.
Overall I had and continue to have a great experience playing The Forest, I'm impressed by the stunning visuals and depth of crafting, the sound blows me away and the overall feel of the game is superb. Even in early access this game performs better than most AAA games for more than half the price. Pair this with the fact the development team continues to update this product with new features, fix issues and keep the community up to date every step of the way it really just goes to show how we've barely seen this game scratch the surface of what it can deliver.
MY OVERALL EXPERIENCE
I give this game 8 out of 10. My reasoning behind this grade is because of a few factors. For an indie game the visuals, sound, and gameplay are to such a high standard already, pair this with the fact the developers update the game regularly with big updates and multiple fixes shows the promise this game has. Finally, it is the in-depth crafting system. When the player selects what they want to build it allows them to place it exactly how and where they want, then giving them the task of collecting all of the required materials, it's a simple mechanic but it has been pulled off perfectly, it gives such a satisfying feeling once you complete the task of building.
| + Stunning visuals|| - Frame rate issues when first starting in game|
| + Amazing sound effects and quality|| - Cannibals still need work|
| + Great animation quality|
| + Very in depth crafting system|
| + Extremely immersive|
GAME SCORE: 8/10