Looking to your right, you see your son half-falling asleep as you both are in a plane traveling over the wilderness. Suddenly, turbulence turns to mayhem as you plunge and the plane crashes into the thick woods. Upon awakening, you see your son being carried away by a mysterious looking figure. As you pick yourself up, you grab a hatchet, food, medicine and set off to find your son and survive in the forest.
I bought The Forest in the first few months it was released in Early Access in 2014, and that first opening gave me the same feeling as it did when I played it again last week with some friends. Such an engaging opening, and back then it really struggled to keep that same interest throughout the game. Last week, however, was something much different after the years it was in development. It was polished. It was fresh. It was actually fun!
Originally, I had thought playing The Forest with three friends may hinder the experience and story. I mean, do we all have the same son from the plane? An hour in, I realized it enhances it much more than I can describe. Working together with friends to hunt, build shelters, fashion rudimentary weapons and tools; It felt as if all three of us were actually trying to survive in the wilderness. Further down the line, trying to survive against the cannibals and mutants was just a blast, if not terrifying at times.
I’ve learned since Steam’s Early Access is now a dying breed, that the program has its gems. I bought Starbound when it first entered, and although the game is far different then than when it launched with 1.0, it was worth the wait. There are few games that truly benefit from Early Access and getting the feedback from its early adopters. The Forest being a decent example, as four years is quite a long time for a game of its scale, but it still came out looking like a polished release.
Endnight Games have released a post detailing their final plans for The Forest’s launch when they leave Steam Early Access in April. Aside from performance optimization, language and controller support, they have indicated changes to having new things to build, reasons to fight the cannibals, and certain survival elements like warmth and cold. They also indicated the price will be changing from its current $14.99 USD to $19.99 USD once April comes around, so go grab it early now if you want it a bit cheaper. Don’t look at The Forest like just another survival horror, it’s definitely worth it.
My record? Currently sitting at 15 days survived, how long has your adventure in The Forest been? Let us know in the comments!