The Forest – Early Access Preview

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We’re All Going On A Summer Holiday

Lost, Swiss Family Robinson, The Decent, Bear Grylls, Lord of the Flies and Wilson the Volleyball. If all of the things listed above draw a blank, then you have more important things you should be doing rather than reading this.  If however at least one of them sets some neurons firing, read on fellow adventurer, your journey is just beginning.

I like to kick back with a nice G&T when I fly, after the flight I found myself aboard in the opening scene of The Forest, I think I might need something a little bit stronger next time I travel.  Sitting and watching the in-flight entertainment with a young boy at my side, the shit, or probably a rather large avian hit the fan and my peaceful flight descended into chaos, quite literally.  I awoke to confusion and panic, the plane torn in half, the result of an awkward crash landing. Emergency exit signs flickered, sparks arced from broken cabin lights and a rather imposing, near naked native was towering over the unconscious boy.  As my vision faded and faculties began to fail, the child was spirited away, alone and afraid I passed out.

SequenceWip1748If You Go Down To The Woods Today

After stuffing my backpack with the remaining contents of the drinks trolley and grabbing a fire axe that was unceremoniously sticking out of the chest of a fellow passenger, I ventured forth into what only can be described as paradise.  My first crash found me near the shore of the strange land that would become both my home and battleground- and boy did that beach look good.  Seagulls gulled and giant Turtles flapped around.  The sun looked warm and the sea inviting.  The serene calm didn’t last long and like an approaching storm on the horizon, the locals soon made themselves known.

The first meeting with the locals was tense, both myself and the natives eye-balling each other at 50 yards, but neither daring to approach any closer. Their ranks swelled with new arrivals, the atmosphere was palpable and I felt that discretion was the better part of valour so I promptly ran away as fast as I could- screaming.  I ran and ran until my middle finger was sore.  Hoping I would be safe for a while, I munched on some energy bars I had picked up from the plane and spreading my belongings out upon the ground, I took stock and began to make plans.

TheForest_BodiesAltI’m A Lumberjack and I’m OK

Having been a fan of both Messrs Grylls and Mears, it was no surprise that I’d packed a survival guide in my hand luggage to help pass the time. I find nothing worse than waiting in a departure lounge without a good book, little was I to know at the time that the book would save my life.  Leafing through the pages I glanced upon several designs for shelters and decided upon a frugal hunting one to help protect me from the elements.

After marking out my design in the sand I headed off inland with a shopping list of logs, stones and sticks to build my new home.  Now I have from time to time indulged in a little bit of tree felling, but never did it feel as good or as satisfying as it did in The Forest.  My blows were strong and true and before long trees were toppling like dominoes as I left my permanent mark on this strange undiscovered land.  Several trips back and forth were required to collect all the materials required for my shelter, but boy was it worth it.  A thing of true beauty, built with my own hands.  I made a small fire and settled down for the night, with pride of my small accomplishments swelling in my chest, it wasn’t long before exhaustion overcame me and I drifted off to sleep.

SequenceWip1568And They Mostly Come At Night… Mostly.

Maybe it was the light from my campfire that attracted them, or maybe they had been waiting and watching in the trees all along, I’ll never know.  A strange noise awoke me and as I lay still whilst my senses were returning, I knew I was not alone.  In ones and twos they approached from the treeline.  Whooping and hollering in some harsh sounding foreign tongue, they came on like a pack of wild dogs.  Looking behind me escape was impossible, I was surrounded on all sides.  I drew my axe and stood my ground, my paradise it seemed, was lost.

As valiantly as I fought, their numbers proved too much, and with a blow to my head that felt like worlds colliding, I was sure it was the end.  I still don’t know to this day how long I was unconscious for, it could have been hours or days.  I awoke in darkness, my only companions- a splitting headache and the moaning and whistling of the icy wind.  Fumbling in my pockets I pulled out my lighter, and its spluttering light revealed a scene from a true nightmare.  Bodies everywhere, hanging from the ceiling and swaying in the breeze like a scene from some sick slaughterhouse B-Movie.  With every ounce of courage I could muster I moved through this macabre scene towards the source of the onrushing air.  A primitive butchers block, slick with blood glistened in the light.  What was left of some unfortunate soul still lying upon it, a huge axe still embedded deep in the flesh.  Grabbing the weapon and stealing my resolve I headed on wards in the dark, towards what ever fate had in store for me.

TennisTeamReality Is Merely An Illusion, Albeit A Very Persistent One

The Forest is a first person open world survival horror adventure game, and boy is it great.  Although it’s still in very Early Access with a few bugs here and there and just one major update under its belt, it’s shaping up to be an absolutely phenomenal game.  I remember seeing the first trailer some time ago and I was excited then and not only has it already lived up to that excitement, it’s not far away from surpassing it.

The horror elements are genuinely scary.  Local inhabitants can be downright terrifying, with some fantastic AI on show at times.  The building crafting and construction is some of the best implementation of ideas I’ve seen in a long time, other games thinking about construction ( yes I’m looking at you DayZ ) should take note.

The game world is a full and vibrant place, with animals and fauna everywhere.  Environments are great and getting better all the time. I can’t say enough good things about this game.  The developers are trawling through the forums asking for opinions and feedback which is always a good sign.  Apart from the fact that what’s already available is fantastic, the development team clearly have a well set out roadmap, the game itself features a countdown to the next update!

There are definitely still niggles here and there, it sometimes doesn’t run quite as smoothly as it should, birds might fly straight into your face, and a few textures need work.  But the developers are the first to hold their hands up to these and apart from the bigger content updates they have been regularly hot-fixing broken bits and bobs.

Sales have by all accounts started strong, and a community wiki has already sprung up with a guide to everything you’ll find on your adventures.  If any of this has tickled your fancy, I wholeheartedly recommend you check it out.  I cant wait to play more of The Forest and I cant wait for more content from Endnight Games.

Developer: Endnight Games

Publisher: Endnight Games

The Forest is available via Steam Early Access and can be found here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/242760/