The Forest | Survival Horror Game Review | PS4 | PC
I know how easy it can be to spoil a games plot, even if it’s inadvertently, so I won’t be giving away any story details from The Forest, but I do want to go over my experience with it, talk about what this game gets right and why I think the premise itself might be the star of the show.
Lastly, I’ll look at its price history and how I got it half price, 7.99, and how its value is boosted by its longevity. Find all my gaming saving hacks in my article – 107 ways to save money games
This will be a short overview, fans of the survival genre will likely have already heard of this game since I’m pretty late to the party.
Finding the perfect horror game
After spending 4 years in early access this was officially released on PC and PS4 in 2018 and was developed and published by Endnight Games.
I really had no idea this game existed until 2020 so this game isn’t new by any means but it does have a following so I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. This game sold over 5 million copies so its already out there and its certainly a success story.
The influences are also easy to spot if you’re a horror film buff, the decent and the decent part 2 are both fantastic films and anyone thinking of playing The Forest should watch those first, as they’re perfect accompaniments and they set the tone for what you are about to take on.
Some won’t agree with me on the merits of the second film but I do believe you will get more from this game if you see both. They are terrifying, they are clastrophobic, they are isolating and they are brilliant.
News of an upcoming sequel to the forest, the game I mean, called Sons of the forest was also announced in 2019, this has had many people speculating on what that new game will focus on. This in particular created more intrigue for me.
Although survival games are inherently lonely ordeals I’ve long been a fan of them and here we get to lean into that. We also get to cross genres since it doesn’t shy away from also being a full on horror experience.
Everything feels unsettling at first and everything is a question mark. Where do I go? should I stay near water? should I go running into the forest like a mad man? and why can I hear what sounds like a human shrieking, way off in the distance? Your story has begun.
Hollowing out turtle shells, chowing down on poisonous mushrooms and picking up the teeth you just smacked out of someone’s mouth is all in a good day’s work here. You might wince on your first day cycle, but then you’ll just crack on.
By the way if you like low cost, high quality games of any nature, and your interest goes beyond the darkness and guts and the spillage and the death and the stalking of The Forest, click follow for plenty more of my finds.
The Forest gameplay
You survive a plane crash and wake up alone on a section of the plane.
As well as staying alive, a clever thing this game does early on is present you with an overarching and personal problem, find Timmy. Presumably. The boy that was sat next to you on the plane when it went down.
I started it tentatively, inching my way through the woods and learning all that I could from my mistakes. I never look anything up in my video games, and I certainly think that’s the best way to play this game.
After washing away the blood from my cuts in a nearby lake and returning to camp to start a new fire on my 3rd day, I knew that the challenge I had set myself to find an encapsulating survival horror game for under 14.99 was complete.
The difficulty level is your choice right from the start so if the errie proposition of finding a way to survive starting with nothing but a pick axe isn’t enough for you, you can bring in other elements like permanent death and tougher survival conditions.
You have a chunky survival guide with you at all times, something which is mandatory if you want to learn the basics and have a fighting chance. Build a fire, cobble together some shelter and try to stay armed – you won’t live too long if you can’t get to grips with the basics.
The no hand holding approach really works out well in a game like this. Everything you need to get started is usually right there in front of you. You just have to start working out what you’re looking for.
Everything is a potential weapon and your creativity quickly becomes your best asset. That lighter you thought was only just pulling us weight as a mini torch gets down and dirty when combined with a hair spray for example, taking you back to the most feral parts of your instincts.
The day and night cycles also present different challenges. Sometimes running for your life is the answer but when it’s pitch black and you’re starving you’ll need a different plan.
Enemies in the game are strange and sporadic, not just in appearance but with their movement and methods. Appearing timid at times, but happy to take a running leap at you in others.
I usually have to change settings when I start a game in first person but this felt comfortable straight away. Everything felt adjusted, light and fast, the way I want it.
The game asks you for innovation, sometimes even demands it, it’s crafting system wants you to pull your own dead weight and experiment rather than handing you life saving trinkets.
Will you like The Forest?
Looking at who might not like this game, there are some nit picks that some might not get along with. There’s some antialiasing and a pretty slow draw distance, but never reaching a point of true distraction.
The learning curve may also limit the accessibility here, you are what you know. And you won’t eat if you’re not equipped to figure out how to keep the food coming in.
Your bits and pieces can also be a bit fiddly and if you get stuck or you’re caught unawares by an enemy, things can be over very quickly. Often meaning you’ve lost some progress.
Again many of these things were not a problem for me but some might not be so forgiving.
Also it’s co-op components aren’t as celebrated as its campaign. I’m not a multiplayer person myself but there is a new dimention to be explored there and certainly some fun to be had. There’s even a way to play this game with the ocullus rift for those who are so inclined.
A cheap horror game
Now I picked this game up for 7.99 on PSN, the regular price is always around 13.99 but it drops every few months to half price, it dropped to half price in feb 2020, may, july, aug so if times are hard for you just pop this one in your wish list and wait. Otherwise 13.99 is still a fair price, its worth it because the longevity is really in your hands.
This game could have an infinite gameplay loop since you really could go on playing this game forever if you were hardcore and just wanted to play out the survival mechanics.
To wrap up I’m glad I went back and sought this title out and I think every fan of the survival category should give it a shot.
The sequel will probably have old fans returning to the game as well and new players will be checking it out for the first time when that surfaces so I think it will eventually get the oxegen it deserves in the gaming world.
For now let me know what you think of the game in the comments, hopefully this is another low cost find that you enjoyed. I recently found some free ways to game which might also interest you money savers out there so check that out here – find free games