Endnight Games’ The Forest is the new indie game phenomenon that has been taking the steam community by storm
Based on an island full of unforgiving blood thirsty cannibals who thoroughly enjoy taking mangled limbs and making them into the bloodiest effigy you’ve ever seen, The Forest is a survival – horror game that gives you something a bit different in your gaming life
What’s the story behind the forest?
Although the game doesn’t have much of a story, the idea behind it is that you are on a plane (a rather empty one at that) to somewhere unknown with your son who is peacefully sleeping on your arm until the plane hits some turbulence which jolts you both back to reality. The plane points it’s nose directly towards the ground as the cockpit is torn out and you hit the tree canopy at an alarming rate only to plummet to the floor of the forest. You wake up and see your son with a large bare – chested figure looming over him.This is the first cannibal you’ll encounter and the least scary as he doesn’t attack you- instead he picks up your unconscious son and takes him away. Although you never talk to your son the game does it’s best to form a bond between the two of you which by the looks of things, seems to be working in most cases.
The community’s reaction to the child is generally “Put my son down!”. This however did not work for me, I kind of just said to myself “Get off of me you freak” when he attempted to rest his head on me. When you see your first effigy that is…..heavy in a sense. You see a child’s shoe dangling from it’s lace and of course your first reaction is “That is probably my son’s shoe”. If you bonded with your silent doll – looking child this might get to you and either spark a feeling of horror or anger towards the cannibals, tempting you to go on a cannibal killing spree… (I wouldn’t recommend this).
Keep those cannibals out with a good old drafty log cabin
The game starts you out with a hunting shelter made up of a few sticks, rocks and logs. The only thing it’s actually good for is sleeping and saving.Then you can upgrade to a log cabin which take an obscene amount of logs to build. (around 82 logs to be precise ), although it does keep cannibals away meaning you can sleep in peace at night. If you care enough you can use the custom building which at the moment isn’t very elaborate (but please note we have only looked at an alpha review copy). As of now it only has walls and windows, but most probably is going to be expanded for the full game release on steam,
Survival,traps and cooking!
The Forest handles survival very well – always keeping you on your toes at the moments you least expect it. The first time I came across a group of cannibals I nearly soiled my pants, not only do they hit hard, they have ridiculous amounts of health and look like complete psychos! Be aware: they will also take great pleasure in devouring your face.
Currently there are only two traps ; The “Deadfall Trap” and the “Happy Birthday Trap”. Both kill instantly and require small amounts of sticks, logs and rocks. Currently it may not be the best of ideas to build these as who know, there could be a cannibal creeping up behind you right now…
Lastly with cooking You can’t eat raw meat as of now but you can put it on a campfire and cook it. If a piece of lizard takes your fancy or maybe a bit of rabbit and fish, just take a little stroll through the forest (careful not to bump into any human eating lovers) and you will be bound to find one of these edible creatures.
A second chance to death
Upon your first “death” you get a second chance. Rather than dying and it ending the game you are taken to a cannibal cave where you are given stats on the amount of fellow passengers you’ve found….only this time they’re dangling from the ceiling by their feet with blood running from their head; dripping onto the cold cave floor. This in itself brings on a feeling of fear not to mention that there is a table in the corner with a half dismembered body with an axe jammed into it’s hip surrounded by candles embedded in human skulls dimly lighting the surrounding bloodstains and loose limbs.
Luckily it is not all bad: you can collect quite a few useful items in here such as the rusty axe which can be found embedded in a body on the chopping table. If you were to wonder over past the small indoor lake you can find a flare gun along with some ammunition – The flare gun is great for lighting cannibals on fire, but we’ll get into that later.
Burn baby burn! Killing a cannibal with a flare gun…
As well as crafting traps you could just hit the cannibals with anything from: a rock, a bomb, or even the first axe you are given (the rock quite frankly is not ideal). The plane axe is formidable but when it comes to a melee weapon the rusty axe is probably your best bet as it swings in a much larger arc. If you are in desperate need tp for disbanding a group of cannibals molotov cocktails are great, as all you can take great pleasure in watching them burn for a few seconds before finishing them off when they’re on the ground (by making them disbanding them into a pile of limbs and body parts). The bombs do exactly as you’d imagine, you throw them, they go boom, cannibals die. They are very powerful but as of now they need to be crafted with electronic circuits which are very hard to find however the flare gun is a very different story. Being the best when it comes to ranged weapons. It takes very little skill or accuracy to use, does high amounts of damage and can light multiple enemies on fire with a single shot to the body. All in all the best combination would be a rusty axe and a flare gun.
The first cannibal kill, the first time you see your trap brutally murder an inhabitant and the rest of the brutal and sadistic joy this game brings on.
All in all it is a fantastic game with a lot of bugs. Ridiculous amounts of the stuff, bugs left. right and centre, and as much as it hinders the alpha experience, the game delivers where it is supposed to. It is meant to be a survival – horror sandbox game; it is certainly open world with gritty survival and local inhabitants that do indeed have an atmosphere of horror lingering when they decide to scratch your eyes out with their overgrown nails and then run away as they scurry up a tree waiting for easy prey. It has given me hours of fun for nothing more than 15$ on steam.
The game has massive amounts of potential as well, but as of now it is feature complete enough to be worth 15 dollars. Overcoming some optimization issues (which are being worked on) the game should have a lot of customization when it comes to the graphics and rendering of the game. The animations are smooth, the AI is challenging, and you get extreme satisfaction when you watch your first tree topple.