11/21 – The Forest

Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

Ever since Minecraft, people have been inhaling new survival games. Some people go for the more casual games like Minecraft or Terraria. Games that encourage you to go at your own pace. But some players wanted a grittier, tougher survival experience. Something that would challenge their abilities to adapt and struggle forward. Today’s game caters to those gamers. Today’s game is The Forest. Developed by Endnight Games, The Forest was released on PC and Playstation 4 in 2018.

The Forest has a simple but terrifying premise. You and your son are on a plane when suddenly, the plane is ripped from the air and crashes in a densely forested peninsula. You survive the crash but as you struggle back from consciousness, you see a man in red taking your son. With that, you are left to figure things out on your own and the game does not hold your hand through the survival process. You may be able to find water pretty quickly but drinking from an unpurified source is likely to make you sick. Better find shelter quickly too because if it starts raining at night, you’re going to get soaked and start freezing to death.

The elements are a major threat but even more so are the cannibals that occupy the forest with you. The cannibals have very intricate AI that requires the player to learn their tactics in order to survive and you can bet they’re going to find the site of a plane crash very interesting.

The Forest was first greenlit in 2013 on Steam and the team released the first version in Early Access in 2014. The game went through significant development through that time with the team frequently releasing patches with new content and further evolving the cannibal AI. The Forest was always built with the idea of VR in mind, as well, although VR is not at all required to play the game. The Forest also allows players to play together, with up to 4 players being able to survive together.

The Forest received mostly positive reviews when it released on PC. The biggest criticism was for the game’s jankiness which was hard to always quantify. Critics noted that while the game tried to stay realistic as much as possible in terms of survival, certain things like having an endless lighter or getting sick at every single water source were hard for players to contend with. Also, the game’s UI is not always intuitive so even if you want to do something like cook food, it’s not always obvious how you are supposed to do so. Still, once these quirks are figured out, the game offers a lot of depth and survival entertainment, as well as an interesting plot to follow, should players so choose. 

Thanks for listening! If you want to hear more trivia about The Forest, follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday where I post facts about the games we talk about each and every day. Also, head to videogameoftheday.com for archives and transcripts for each episode. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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Devin "Katosepe" Sloane is a long time gamer and host of the show Video Game of the Day. He firmly believes Darklands is the pinnacle of gaming achievement and this is a hill he will die upon. Where his nickname came from is a secret to everybody.