RUST is a game that in most cases would’ve tickled my bones for excitement. The former PC exclusive survival crafting game that has finally reached the hands of console players around the world brought upon a new meaning to the phrase “survival of the fittest”. This online-only cross-platform experience delivers pretty much what you expect from a survival game but with a bit more extra on the sides. Here, the presence of players is constant and the word TRUST should be taken as a grain of salt. Because unlike most survival games that would have your team up with people you find throughout the world, the real threat here is those that lurk behind their screens.
It’s a brutal yet engaging environment thanks to the threat of real-world players coming at you with literal sticks and stones. This becomes a fascinating experience if not outright frustrating to the ones at the backend of the carved spears though. Because unlike other games slapped with the word survival, RUST brings you to a world where there are no actual rules to follow. Here you start off by choosing a server before finally waking up usually near a beach yet with no real explanation as to why or how you got there in the first place. The game doesn’t waste time with the specifics which I really like about it however a lot of the game is also about figuring stuff out yourself. This becomes a huge issue to the uninitiated like myself who had to look up a wiki on how or where to even find gatherable stones to make tools in order to upgrade my base as well as finding the locations for hemp fibres that you would need for sleeping bags as a sort of respawning point after you get an arrow to the knee or a bullet on the head for the hundredth time.
Slap that on top of the need for food and water and you can easily be overwhelmed trying to survive with the constant threat of people coming at you with stones or literal AK-47s and grenades. Walling off yourself on all four corners also doesn’t give you any security as people can easily break down bases made with wood or stone given the right equipment is available to them. This literally gives you no safe haven to cower in fear as you avoid contact with people roaming about in the world. That is of course if you can even find a place to gather materials for your base in peace… something that I painfully experienced when I, a literal naked character still in their undies got approached by a similarly naked person as he smashed his stone in my skull a few times over. And let’s be honest, there really is no need to gather materials for yourself when you can literally just steal them from other people or raid their bases for loots.
You can easily be immersed in the game’s nature though. The realistic survival elements are there and the basic needs for food, water, clothing and shelter gives you something to work on if you manage to survive long enough without gaining too much attention on yourself. You can easily grab mushrooms throughout the world and eat them raw or grow pumpkins and hemp fibres on your makeshift farms as well. It’s crafting also offers a pretty intuitive way in which you’ll be able to clearly see which ones can be crafted with the materials you have on hand while creating a base despite not being as realistic does make it easier through the use of a building planner that would let you place just about any kind of wall, floor, stairs or roofing instantly and upgrading wooden structures to stronger ones like stones would just need you to casually press a button for it to take effect.
However, when you’re not cutting trees or breaking stones, you can roam the world to the many monuments and points of interest in the world. These range from gas stations and other old-world structures and oftentimes filled with radiation that most naked players would need to avoid until they get their hazmat suits. These become hotspots for gunfights though so going in gun-blazing or taking a stealth approach to take out stragglers in other people’s gunfights is all fun and well.
Unfortunately, the game can be rather clunky mainly because of its combat and gunfights. Not finding the right sensitivity can be detrimental to someone getting the upper hand on you during fights and having to test your sensitivities and taking too much time on the menu takes you away from the game where you can at any point in time get killed whether in or out of your so-called base. There’s also on the low-end, the material gathering where you will be hitting your stones through trees and rock formations early on and usually, it becomes a harsh endeavour to figure out how to hit the X mark on a tree or the flashing light when gathering stones and ores are rather inaccurate.
Not to mention having friends along for the ride would first need you to be in the same area and in most cases, that could never happen so communicating on which place to gather around without being shot down to get there is apparently a pretty common occurrence. This heightens the skill ceiling to enter especially a group of newbies that just wanted to play a game together for the sake of “playing together”. Meanwhile, the latency becomes a pretty bad issue depending on where you are in the world. Often times going from 150 to 200ms in the closest region from where I am while also going as high as 400ms and this being on a 250mbps internet plan.
As a whole, RUST despite its harsh and brutal environment offers an enjoyable experience for those that could work around it. It’s definitely not a game that would work for everyone especially to those that are looking for a pleasant and somewhat peaceful environment but to those that are looking for a PvP-oriented survival crafting game then there’s definitely a lot of fun that could be had here. The servers also reset on a monthly basis which levels the playing field every month so players that had the head start would not always have that advantage throughout the game’s life cycle.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One
Developers: Facepunch Studios Ltd, Double Eleven, Facepunch Studios
Publishers: Facepunch Studios Ltd, Double Eleven, Koch Media
This review is based on the PlayStation version of the game which can be purchased here for £44.99
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