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KT’s Spotlight: The Forest

November 5, 2021

I am a sucker for survival games. I absolutely love them. Ever since I played through Raft with my crush-turned-partner, I found myself craving to play a game like it. I think there’s something really intriguing about the survival genre and it’s very compelling. Of course, there’s always Minecraft, but it’s so accessible to a point where I wanted something else. and one day, I happened to pop into one of my friend’s Twitch streams and they were playing a survival game known as The Forest. On the surface, I took The Forest as a game that was very similar to Raft, which is what I wanted, because I can be resistant to change. what I quickly learned after I finally bought the game recently, though, is that The Forest is Raft’s much darker cousin.

In The Forest, your plane crashes, and your son, Timmy, goes missing, and you must fight for survival against cannibals and mutants while finding your son. So, it is essentially the land version of Finding Nemo (okay, I mostly jest). You find items and kill various animals so you can build shelter and other tools to help you survive and fend off any enemies while trying to find evidence that will eventually lead you to find your son. What really caught me off guard with this game was the horror aspect of it. I compared this experience to Raft, a survival game that is not horror based whatsoever, but rather, focused more on the adventure aspect of a survival game. I found myself to be very jarred and startled at points when I encountered cannibals or other hazards, to a point where after a while sometimes animals that I saw in the corner of my camera view would make me jump out of my skin. While I eventually adapted to the horror aspects, it’s still hard to ignore the dark nature of this game. having said that, I found myself always wanting to play it with my group of friends, who admittedly knew a lot more than I did. and since a multiplayer game can hold up to eight people, I suppose it is fair to suggest but eight heads are better than one in this scenario.

I wouldn’t call The Forest one of my favorite games of all time. I have seen the end of it, and I thought the ending was compelling and really forced the player to think. but this game doesn’t have the same meaning to me as other games, especially when Raft left such an impact on me and my expectations for the survival genre. By no means would I say that this is a bad game, though. I think it is fascinating to see what you can do with the materials you have and the limited amount of storage for them. You really have to think on your feet with this game, which is something I personally can appreciate. if you like survival and horror video games, then I would recommend this one, especially with friends (because real talk, they really do make games a lot more enjoyable).

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