The Forest Leaves Early Access

The last time I wrote about The Forest was two years ago. I’ve owned the game since it first showed up in Early Access on Steam, just about four years ago. I haven’t touched it in so long because I typically don’t get too involved with Early Access titles until they’ve finished. In the case of this game, I believe it was one of the first Early Access titles I ever purchased, so I did play it quite a bit in the beginning. I would check in periodically and usually wrote about the patch notes and would highlight new features. I grew tired of this after a while and let the game rest until the day came that it was finished — and that day has arrived. Endnight Games has finally pulled the trigger calling the game done, so I knew I had to see what had changed since the last time I played it. Immediately noticeable is the change to the game’s main title screen, with a creepy looking cave and hanging body done up in the game’s engine. Other details were readily apparent as well.

The opening cutscene has evolved drastically since the first time I played The Forest. Initially it was a pretty dull looking plane and your boy was very minimalistic, little details like the TV screens and the trays with doodles and food were added later. Your little boy’s animations have improved as well, and the sounds and animation of the crash look far better. The cutscene is still the same, though instead of just watching a cannibal walk off with little Timmy you actually crawl in that direction before passing out again. Otherwise things are mostly how I remember, graphically the game looks the same since they made the switch to Unity 5, the sounds and animations look familiar still. One big change is the survival guide, which is vastly improved:

Not only has it been streamlined, but there is also a to-do list that encompasses actual goals in the game, something that wasn’t present in my time playing before. It’s said that there is a story that you can see through to its end now, and that makes me want to do a proper run through the game, so I decided to get started last night.

Outside of some general tweaks things look the same. You still get an axe early on and you still cut down trees, gather sticks and rocks and have to build shelter to be able to save your game.

I played through the first day  and had a pretty decent camp set up, with a little shelter, some storage for my building materials, a fire and torches to light up my perimeter, and a rabbit trap for daily meals. One of the tasks in my journal is to find the missing passengers from the plane. It’s something I didn’t really think about before, but outside of a stewardess you don’t see any bodies in or around the plane when you wake up after the crash. You find a passenger manifest and can set about finding them when you like. I chose to focus on my camp first, as I know that once you start running into the cannibals they start to pop up more frequently. I remember finding various little camps around the map in my prior play time, so I assume clues will lead you in the direction of the passengers, and your son. I’ve honestly never made it more than a week alive in the game and none of the story was added the last time I played so this should be a mostly new experience.

I’ll get back to you all once I’ve made some progress.