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The Forest


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#1 baronaatista

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 05:36 AM

I just finished playing through (my 3rd attempt, first to completion) of the brilliant game from my brilliant countrymen Endnight Games; The Forest.

 

I can't say enough good things about this game.  I'm posting here because I think it shares a lot of aspects in terms of gameplay with the Bethesda titles we all love, yet offers a very different experience.  I think a lot of people on these forums would really enjoy it.  

 

The brilliance lies in the simplicity.  Your plane crashes on an island.  A man takes your son as you lie wounded.  You wake up.  What to do?

 

There is almost zero handholding.  The developers place you, the player, in a very similar place to your character in the game; you're lost in the forest and you have to figure out how to survive.  You have a survival book on you which will explain some basic crafting recipes, serves as your building menu and to catalog your discoveries in various ways.  Neither the book nor the crafting mat pause the game; you are always in real-time.  Days pass quickly and hunger/thirst/sleep/cold need more or less constant attendance.  The crafting screen and your inventory screen are simply your bag and a mat with all the stuff you're carrying around laid out on it.  Inventory is based on item-type and generally you can only carry very limited quantities of anything.  Building anything large takes real time and work, and you are forced to constantly be gathering supplies.

 

The story is communicated almost entirely non-verbally.  You can pick up photographs, bits of paper with writing here; a magazine cover there.  Watch a brief video snippet, get a tantalizing little glimpse of a room, some people - what does it mean?  It's told in the environment, in the clutter strewn about in certain locations.  The gameplay, the story, and the player-experience are all so harmonious here it's really beautiful.  You feel so much like your character - having to stumble through, learn on the fly, cope with new situations, study your environment, take calculated risks, and keep putting pieces of the puzzle together.  It also has aspects of a Link/Zelda type game - certain items you find will give you access to new areas which might contain new clues or items.  And of course it gets a little bizarre as you explore further...

 

There is combat in the game and it's quite fun though once you get the basics it's a little overly simplistic.  Depending on how you play, it can be extremely challenging even on the normal difficulty though - I'd go into specifics there but I don't want to get into spoiler territory.

 

Anyway I really loved this game, if any of that sounds appealing to you I highly recommend checking it out.


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#2 baronaatista

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 04:02 PM

I said brilliant twice in the opening sentence, lol.  Unintentional, but I guess it's evidence of how strongly I feel.

 

I literally finished it last night and wrote that as I was just buzzing with energy about what an amazing experience it was.  As I sit and think about it more - watched a couple videos on youtube to try and help put some of the pieces of the story together, see if I had missed anything... I like it even more.

The story is not told to you in any way; you experience the story as you play... I really could go on and on but it's difficult to say much without revealing important pieces of the story, and as I'm saying that really is what has me so excited about this game - not even necessarily the story itself, but the experience of uncovering it as you play.  It's imperative to keep yourself in the dark the first time you go through it.


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#3 Mator

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 04:09 PM

Looks like Survival Horror to me.  I think I'll pass.  Not a huge fan of either genre.  I tried playing through The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and never actually finished.  I just lost interested at some point.  :confusion:


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#4 baronaatista

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 04:36 PM

I'd say you need to be interested in survival type gameplay, for sure, for this to be of interest.  Horror, not so much.  There are aspects of horror to the game for sure, but the experience of playing is not the standard 'oh god, what's around that corner?' type of experience horror games are going for (can be a little like that in certain places).

 

I would say it has elements of games like; Zelda, Skyrim/Fallout and Myst, with maybe a little bit of Dark Souls in terms of combat.


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#5 SparrowPrince

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 01:24 PM

I watched a YouTuber named Robbaz play this a while back, but it always looked really buggy and generally too freaky for me (looks like I Am Legend monsters on an island). Has it been updated a lot since then? I know on a lot of these games the dev team just gives up and runs off with the money after so long.

 

Have you played Subnautica baron? That would be right up your alley by the sounds of things. The only game I have ever picked up in Early Access before it fully released. I'm not a big fan of survival games, but that game is just awesome to me for some reason.

 

Another random recommendation: Slime Rancher. It looks like a game for kids, but it's so damn relaxing and even has a story going on in the background. It also has quite a bit of depth being you can genetically engineer slimes later on.

 

I tried playing through The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and never actually finished.

 

That's a walking simulator though isn't it? If so, no thanks! I like how they posted this though: https://p3d.in/Cadwc+welcome


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#6 baronaatista

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 01:58 PM

Yeah most Youtubers that play the Forest also play Submautica... definitely looks cool.

The Forest still has some bugs for sure, but across 3 different games, two of which were quite long (around 80 days)... can’t say I ever experienced anything major? There are some clipping issues, and some weird stuff in caves I think leftover from various updates (fish floating in the air where a pond used to be), an issue with logs sort of exploding when they spawn in, if you’ve chopped a bunch of them - worse if they're closely grouped together. And some issues with weapon upgrades not always showing on your weapons, and also with dried meat hung on a rack too long - textures turn black. I expect most/all of that to be taken care of for the full release though, and not a bit of it is game breaking or really anything more than a minor annoyance - other than the logs issue.

It’s recieved constant updates, and is gearing up for a full release this year.

3 man dev team, as I understand it, and I am currently putting this game in my top 5 ever, for sure. AND it’s early-access. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a AAA title, and doesn’t offer a ton of replayability, but it’s limited scope is its strength. All of it’s systems tie into one another, and feed each other.

Anyway, one of the reasons I’m so excited about it is - in Fallout 4, the narrative about what is happening in the world (in general - a post apocalyptic world where isolated communities struggle for survival) is completely at odds with the world as it’s presented - which is some Disney world where everyone is friendly and looking for someone just like you to tell their deepest secrets to and trust with life-changing decisions.
In the Forest, the gameplay, the storytelling and the world all work together to present a cohesive narrative.... I’ll stop gushing, just go play the game!

Edited by baronaatista, 23 February 2018 - 02:13 PM.

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#7 SparrowPrince

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 02:48 PM

I actually will take a look then if they are updating it a bunch still. I'm sure it won't be too freaky once you learn how the AI works? I just honestly usually don't like stuff like that in generally (movies too), but I played Alien Isolation and I finished it. I know that's not really the same thing as this game, but I do give things a shot and I sometimes enjoy them. I'm open minded in that regard.

 

The only problem at the moment is I have a bunch of Steam games that I need to finish off before I start something else. I'm slowly working through them and currently playing Cities: Skylines at the moment. Building a nice town in a valley and then destroying it with a tidalwave of poop is weirdly satisfying. ::P:


Edited by SparrowPrince, 23 February 2018 - 02:49 PM.

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#8 baronaatista

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 03:59 PM

Yeah - I can’t stand horror movies for the most part, and am not really a fan of horror games.
The Forest is creepy, for sure. Even crosses the line to straight up horror with its creature designs. Caves are pitch black and exploring them can be not only freaky but also very stressful because of game mechanics.
However, yes just as you’re saying - I mean that’s the game. You start off just lost - no idea where to go, what to do, or what to expect. The further you go though, the more you learn about the island and it’s inhabitants, the less frightening and bewildering it all is.
I’m not freaked out very easily, but I also don’t like horror/gore just for the sheer shock either.
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#9 justjam

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 07:37 PM

This is my kind of a game but I haven't played it though. I am going to give it a try after finishing Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. 


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#10 baronaatista

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 03:09 PM

One thing I would recommend to anyone starting the game - it really is quite bewildering at first. There is a lot to learn and ideally you want to get familiarized with the basic mechanics very quickly. Everything is handled very well, the mechanics are fairly intuitive - but while pressed with all of the other issues you will be forced to deal with, it can be a little tense in the very beginning.

I suggest hopping in to a game, but don’t treat it like you’re going to do a playthrough. Treat it like an experiment - figure out the basics of crafting, gathering, using weapons, look through the survival book and maybe explore the island a bit, try to get a feel for the lay of the land, maybe think about where you’d like to set up camp. Once you feel like you’ve got a grip on the basics, come back and start the game for real. The plane crashes in a couple different spots so don’t expect everything to be the same, but having a grip on the basics will really help.
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