Preview/Review of The Forest on the PC in early access.
The Forest can be had for the very reasonable price of £10.99 on Steam currently. The title is in early access with no official release date confirmed yet but the developers seem very active with updates and fixes.
Ok so your probably thinking oh not another bloody survival game! Hear me out with this one, It has impressed so far.
The Forest is set in well the forest as the title may have given away! You are a lone survivor of a plane crash, you awake to see some weird looking person taking your son and then you black out. Once you regain consciousness again your son is long gone and you come to the realization that the plane crash might not be the only problem you will have to deal with!
Walking off the plane , there’s a stewardess laying dead on the floor with an axe in her chest, once off the plane and you have finished sorting through all the items scattered around that could help you survive the horrors ahead you see some poor buggers head on a stick, it is at this point you really start to realize you may be in the S***!
From here you need to sort out how you will actually survive this, out comes you’re handy little survival book. The book contains plans to make essentials such as shelters and traps for food as well as the really important defenses to keep these weird looking psychos away from you!
Crafting on the game is good, you can select the structure you want to make and place it where ever you want it, then it will show you what you need to finish the structure. Collecting materials is easy and you can generally carry two logs at a time and then place them into the structure, cutting trees has a great mechanic in the fact every time you hit the tree it will take a little chunk out of the tree until you cut right through and it falls. Don’t make the mistake I made and cut any to close to your structures because if the tree falls on it you can say bye to your little house that you have spent ages making!
Food and drink can be collected in the ways of finding snack bars and cans of drink but when you cant find them anymore you will have to go hunting for animals and collect water to stop yourself from starving or dehydrating. When you manage to kill an animal (my first was a lizard of all things but beggars can’t be choosers) you will need a fire to cook it on.
Now to the weird stalker people who took your son. You may have noticed them stalking you around the woods in the distance, occasionally they will come close and just scream in you face and stare at you, once you get close enough they will attack you and you will need to fight back or die.
These weird creatures are cannibalistic mutants, so basically during the day they will keep their distance and pretty much leave you alone but at night is where the real fun begins with these nutters. They will attack you in groups and you will need to make sure your defenses are up to the job if you don’t want to be tonight’s main meal!
Visually the game looks really nice, lighting and detail is very good but I did notice a drop in frame rate when there is a fair bit going on, I was averaging around 50fps most of the time but when in a fight with mutants it would drop to between 18 and 29fps which does lag badly. Please note this wasn’t all the time and bare in mind future patches will help with optimization.
Sound on The Forest is really good, birds and animals all make sounds in the woods and footsteps add to the immersion. When night comes the sound makes the game feel very tense and gives a good idea of where and how close the mutants are.
Reading on the Steam page at some of the planned improvements makes it very obvious this game will get finished and get a full release, they have even planned full Oculus support for the game which is really promising and the immersion in VR would make it one hell of a scary experience! I will add the list the developers are hoping to add to the game below:
Here’s a small sampling of what we hope to add to the game during alpha:
- Many more animals – fish, snakes, frogs and bird types. We want to really bring the world to life with the variety of fauna.
- More trapping and hunting options.
- Expanded A.I. – We’re trying some really cool stuff for our AI, and plan to keep it evolving and improving over the alpha.
- More areas to explore – over time new areas will be added and unlocked and our cave system will continue to develop downwards.
- More buildable items – More options in what you can construct and what’s available to use.
- More crafting options, more items combinable and more exciting things to create.
- New creatures – as we unlock more and more of the world and caves over the course of the alpha we’ll also be introducing many new terrifying creatures along with a few surprises.
- Visual improvements – we want to keep pushing what’s possible, making the world look, feel and run better.
- Many UI tweaks and polish.
- Additional game modes, including a no-enemies cheat mode for players who want a calmer experience.
- Multiplayer – we find the idea of co-op play in this world really exciting and hope to implement a form of co-op into the experience.
- Full oculus rift compatibility for the most immersive experience possible. * Note, this will not be available in first version of alpha*
For me The Forest is something different and in a good way, It’s not the usual Zombie survival game the mutants are fast and the way they stalk you adds a sense of tenseness to the game. The crafting mechanics are great and the sound and visuals are spot on for the most part. Maybe slightly better optimization but apart from that this is a must try and an absolute bargain for £10.99!
In the games current state I would give it a score of 8/10