Well… It seems we’re back for a second time in The Forest, this time with added dread! When I read the brochure I was promised a luxury holiday!? Well with Sons of the Forest, it’s definitely a great get-away, just not so relaxing!
Endnight games are back with the much anticipated (and Steam Store crashing) sequel to the hit 2014 game The Forest, and it hits all the right notes in every single way. In a sequel like this with The Forest’s formula being so unique and with the AI feeling so advanced. Players will wake up, this time after a helicopter crash, players must search for missing people in the dreaded mutant-filled forest, but of course, nothing goes to plan in this universe does it? You and your injured companion Kelvin are tasked to find and secure these people but also survive. First things first, it’s time to make it through the first night, so you and Kelvin will try and find a place to sleep for the night and set up, get a lay of the land and whatnot. After finding a safe location you’ll want to build a cabin or a perimeter that keeps the human-eating locals at bay. Kelvin, the wonderfully helpful companion, (unless you ask him to chop a tree near your tree house good lord Kelvin WHY!?) will be there to help gather resources, build or follow you on your journey, but be careful, you can upset him by working him too hard.
The aim is simple, survive, while again you do have a story to follow and a lot of new places to explore. Sons of the Forest expands on exploring of new places and finding new horrors behind every corner while adding lots of tension. In Sons of the Forest you are introduced to new enemy types and an even more enhanced AI which is just breathtaking, to say the least. It finds a way to keep giving, while also staying true to the original formula, we couldn’t have asked for more. So far in early access, solo, and with friends, it has been the perfect survival game for me, if you factor in all you can do and the new building system, there’s something for everyone here! You can build some of the most incredible custom structures with the new building, for example with friends the other night, while they built a three-story house for 6 of us to live in, I was cutting logs with Kelvin and throwing them down a river in which then the rocks at the bottom would stop the logs from going into the lake, it became so therapeutic I even tried to throw some grenades at the trees to get done quicker. It is one of those games that is full of stories to tell your friends. While it is in early access, I have come across a few bugs, some easily ignored, one or two where the game needed restarting, but for the most part, it works pretty well.
Graphically the game has increased quite intensely, the graphics requirements are a bit terrifying being in early access, and the game does need a bit of optimization, but overall, it has been pretty smooth. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a forest setting look so beautiful, from being lost within the trees and shrubs to looking over the island on a mountain view, nothing disappoints. I also have to add, the river systems make the game even more incredible on a visual scale and gameplay aspect, I can’t get enough of taking in all the sites on offer, and with rarely a graphical hitch, it is just a piece of art. Of course, what would a sequel to The Forest be without more horrors waiting to eat you up? Sons of the Forest does add a range of enemies which are all as grossly terrifying as ever, especially the finger guy don’t want to run into him again, it is horrifying while in a dark cave and one of these things pops out of nowhere, though with a group, you’ll take him on no problem.
On to the audio, that’s where at the moment, some things need tweaking. The sound design is incredible, with the rivers streaming down the mountains to the cannibal’s blood-curdling screams, however, the audio balance is completely off. Sometimes the wind will deafen you, but other sounds will be super quiet, nothing that a patch can’t sort. The audio range again adds to the beauty of the island but also the horror that hides within.
Sons of the Forest is currently in early access and I am looking forward to seeing what Endnight Games have in store for us next. I am sure it’s a lot more horror but I do hope the game steadily gets updated and of course, more fun content to keep things fresh in the far future. I won’t be giving it a score today until full release but felt that an overview of my experience so far would be fun to write about.
To Be Continued………..