I am an avid fan of horror games – or at least I enjoy watching other people play them. I’ve gotten about fifteen minutes into Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs on my own, but I haven’t booted it up in months. When I saw the gameplay trailer for The Forest on Steam, I decided to give horror and survival games another go. The Forest is a first-person, open-world survival horror crafting game, but unfortunately it is in early access alpha, so the devs still seem to be working out some kinks that could make gameplay go more smoothly.
First of all, it’s difficult to know what controls do what in The Forest, and – unlike most PC and Steam games – it lacks a keyboard mapping function. Although all of the functions come up on the screen when you near an interactive object (E to eat, for example), it’s hard to tell if there are any functions I’m missing out on by not being privy to the keyboard map.
There aren’t enough resources early on. You can tell by my commentary (and some videos still to come) that I love Don’t Starve as a parallel to The Forest in the open-world survival horror genre. The progressive difficulty has really been mastered in DS. Abundant resources create basic tools and food items, which make way for more complicated crafting later on. The Forest really starts the player off in media res without any small tutorial area where one can collect resources to make exploration a bit easier. The best thing about an “easy” starting area is that it even works within the plot. All of the resources could very well come from the airplane the player crash lands in.
Fortunately, The Forest is far from done, and I know the devs at Endnight Games have a lot more in store for The Forest. Needless to say, I was still terrified, there just wasn’t a lot to keep me going. I will definitely be revisiting it in 13 days after the public alpha launch.