Experience a living, breathing forest, in which every plant or tree can be chopped down and rocks can be gathered up to build walls and other structures. The world of THE FOREST includes a vast underground network of caves and lakes that is both horrifyingly dark and filled with enemies. Will you come in alone or with friends to help you along the way?
You have the complete freedom to start your own base of operations ranging from shelters, storages for your basic necessities and other storable items. Start up a simple fire using sticks and leaves or go for broke and build a fireplace made mostly of rocks while having a fire pit inside to cook for your needs. Vegan? Build a garden and plant some blueberry seeds to keep you in tip-top shape. It’s also wise to save up all your snack bars and soda for later when exploring.
The world is your sandbox. And you’re free to choose whenever and wherever to build it. Layout your custom foundations and flooring be it near the cliff or in the sea as you live among the sharks. Just be careful not to fall off your raft as you lug your logs around. Decorate it however you like it and if you like it, we will love it too. Although I won’t keep promises if the natives will leave it alone.
But before any adventure begins, key preparation is a must! Here are some of the things that one must learn to be able to survive the harsh environment of THE FOREST:
- Deep Water. Enemies will drown if they go too deep but some parts of it are infested with sharks. You can start off by building a base near the yacht.
- Generated Noise. All actions generate a certain level of noise and enemies are attracted to it. Use it to your advantage to distract or lure an enemy.
- Crouching Generates an Eye HUD, a higher level in the bar means you have a higher chance of not being seen which can be beneficial when trying to avoid contact with enemies. However, when they HUD disappears, it means you are in full view of an enemy.
- Reloading a Save File. Exiting and loading a save file would respawn items in specific locations like snack bars, booze, ropes, arrows, flares and other consumables on key locations.
- These structures allow logs as well as yourself to move from higher elevation like a mountain filled with trees to your own base.
- Breeding Rabbits. This is one way to start off a self-sufficient base although it requires you to build a rabbit trap which every animal is attracted to as well in order to capture a rabbit alive before transferring it to a rabbit cage. There’s a 5% chance of a successful breeding everytime you sleep.
- Throwing Spears. A successful hit with a spear on a deer will instantly kill it but shots from a bow or slingshot will not. However using the other two ranged weapons can kill birds, squirrels, rabbits and lizards in one shot.
- Drying Rack. This prevents your meat and fish from spoiling which can give you tiny health damage as well as a reduced amount of fullness.
- Fire and Light. Enemies are attracted to fire and all sources of light. When sneaking around at night, it’s best to leave it off unless that’s your plan.
Now with most things in place, let’s board that plane with Timmy, so he can get kidnapped by a man, painted in red while we watch him get taken away before losing consciousness. It’s very much similar to Fallout 4 in my opinion but the way it’s told or the gravity of how things ended can get fucked up instantly as you try to uncover the hidden truth about the plane crash and everything going on with the island.
Upon waking up a second time, you see half of the destroyed plane and most passengers missing aside from the one stewardess that has a plane axe stuck to its chest. Not the best way to die but apparently she went better off compared to what others will be experiencing. So in no time at all, eat all the leftover food you can get from the plane as well as everything else you can carry by breaking open all the cases you can find before going as far away as possible from the crash site.
At this point, you have the freedom of a one-year-old. You can do everything you want as long as you can do it on your own. Find a suitable spot to camp or explore the world as you see fit before night falls. Enemies are more active during the night but it doesn’t stop them from patrolling the forest during the day.
Enemies here are unlike what most AI is capable of. They feel and act like an actual tribe than mere NPC fodders just waiting to get chopped. Fuzziness factor was added in by the developers to make sure that they are not mechanical and more of an intelligent race waiting to evolve. What I find most intriguing in their behavior is they act passively at first with curiosity at their mind. They don’t attack you until provoked but instead watches you from a distance or runs away once you approach them. Kill one of them however and they start to become more aggressive. Each passing day also becomes a struggle to build up a base as more enemies and stronger ones start joining the patrols to keep their scouts alive.
Constantly chopping trees from one area would also eventually force them to build grotesque effigies made out of dismembered body parts to let us know to stay away. However, it did not work as I only see it as a source of materials when destroyed. You are forced to evolve your way of thinking as the mutants learn more about you.
Building structures are what you’d expect from a game like Fallout 4 you can place pre-made structures and other functional items to help you make life easier as you focus on finding your son. However, it comes off as a two-shaded structural landscape of mostly wood and rocks for walls. But with a bit of creativity, you can expect some well-structured bases to mind-blowing fortresses.
Fighting cannibals and building structures do require crafting which can easily be learned by placing a single piece of item and hovering over the gear icon. This lets you see what things can be mixed with the item to craft new equipment, armor parts or consumable. It’s easy and works well. Crafting is all good… however, upgrading weapons is always better. There are the permanent ones like adding feathers from birdhouses or killed birds to increase its speed while decreasing damage or teeth from attacking enemies and glass from booze which increases its damage while decreasing its speed. You can upgrade an item a total of 30 times with diminishing returns for each type of item used. You can disassemble the upgrades and get a few of the materials used, however. Although keep in mind that not all weapons can be upgraded by a specific type. There’s also the non-permanent ones like poison from the use of berries that can only be obtained by crafting a pouch or incendiary by wrapping a weapon in cloth and setting it on fire.
But possibly the better things to have yet harder things to do is exploring the dark underground caves for more weapons and equipment that can’t be crafted such as the katana or chainsaw. The lighting in the game and much more so in caves can be a bit terrible though. Cranking up the brightness in-game and on my monitor makes the night more manageable but provides a blinding light during the days yet it still comes off as too dark in the caves which make finding the way a bit too difficult without having to use a flashlight or a stick wrapped in burning cloth. The dynamic weather effects do provide such a great atmosphere as there are times that its barrenly hot without any rain for days while at times the storm comes out during moments I wouldn’t expect.
The game provides the eerie wind of horror which makes survival a bit more on whether to risk sleep and gather resources or sleep as early to avoid the dangers of the nightly horrors of cannibals knocking at your doors. However, the insanity factor doesn’t provide much other than the ability to craft your own effigy to scare them off. The multiplayer server, however, is a nice touch even if the PS4 version can only support up to four players. One can jump in an active server and jump out at any given time should one choose to do so. It’s definitely a fun game even if a bit scarier and triggers my paranoia. Lastly, the number of game modes from Peaceful, Normal, Hard and Hard Survival along with an unlockable Creative provides choices for the different types of players. The $19.99 launch price tag doesn’t disappoint either.
The Forest is developed by Endnight Games and is available on PS4 and PC and runs on the Unity Engine.