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The Forest Review

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Posted: 15 months ago, last updated 6 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer, Jo Robertson and Ben Kendall.

OverviewOverview

Forest is a survival horror game where you are the only passenger to live after a plane crash. You explore a mysterious forest to find food, shelter and safety but soon have to battle strange cannibalistic people.

Although some will like the jump scares and creepy horror vibe, it's really the living, breathing world that is the most appealing. Every tree and every plant can be chopped down. You can build a camp, start a fire to keep warm, scavenge for food, construct a small shelter or large ocean-side fortress. As well as lay traps and defences to keep a safe perimeter.

What's unusual about the enemies in the game is how their programmed intelligence means they don't always attack. Sometimes they keep their distance, or follow you, or lure you into traps they have made. The game works to question whether it is you or them that are perpetrating violence. In combat, they regularly protect one another from injury, remove torches, surround the player, hide behind cover, drag wounded tribesmen to safety, keep their distance, use tactical decisions, not overextend into unknown territory, and occasionally surrender out of fear.

The game is open to how you want to play, although if you wish you can follow missions that lead to a conclusion of sorts with two different possible endings. The game features a day and night cycle along with varied terrain and locations. If you die in the game you are sent back to your shelter save point. To avoid dying you must manage your health, energy, stamina, hunger, and thirst levels.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 30/05/2014

Platforms: PC and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: @EndNightGame

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 20 hours and 25 hours to complete. It will take considerably longer to find all the extras and establish a strong and stable life on the island.
 
Players: You can play this with 4 players online. You can play online together with other people which enables you to construct more ambitious camps and have more resources to survive.

CostsCosts

The Forest usually costs £13.99.
 

The Forest

PS4 £13.99
 
Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.  

You will need PlayStation Plus (must be 18 to subscribe, then create sub-accounts for younger players who need be set as 13 or older) to play online with PlayStation 4.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 18 due to strong violence and violence against vulnerable and defenceless characters. Violence in the game can at times be bloody. When fighting a mutant, dismemberment or decapitation does not occur, however, once the character falls to the ground they can be decapitated or dismembered. This is not instantaneous but will take several blows with each accompanied by voluminous splatters of blood. Human limbs, heads and cadavers in various states of butchery are frequently seen throughout the game.

ESRB MATURE 17+ for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore and Partial Nudity.

In addition to the official ratings, parents should note that in the Peaceful difficulty setting, the game is free of cannibals and mutants, allowing you to focus purely on surviving the wilderness.


Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

AccessibilityAccessibility

You can choose between 4 difficulty modes; Peaceful, Normal, Hard and Hard Survival. As you increase the difficulty, you take more damage more quickly and enemies become more hostile. In Peaceful mode, the game is free of cannibals and mutants, allowing you to focus purely on surviving the wilderness. Upon completing the game, you unlock a fifth difficulty setting: Creative, where there are no enemies, and you don't need resources to build. Once you have selected a difficulty initially, you cannot change it without restarting the game and losing all your data, so you should choose carefully.

When you want to save your progress, you need to go to one of several structures, such as a Log Cabin, a Temporary Shelter or a Tree House. Most of these you can craft using items you find in the game. Once you have got to one of these structures, you can select it and save the game.

Some actions, such as fighting mutants or cannibals, requires you to be able to quickly move out of the way of incoming attacks or launch a counterattack. Some of them move rapidly, so you need to be on the lookout for where they are at all times or risk being caught unawares.

The text in the game is quite small and cannot be changed, and, as it is often overlaid directly over gameplay, in some instances it can blend in with the background, making it quite difficult to read.

The map is an item which you can find in a cave, which is also the same place you go after your first death, so it is relatively easy to get then. You need to get the map before you can continue on with your objectives or get new ones, and it starts blank, but gets gradually filled in as you explore. It shows your location, objectives and some noteworthy geographical locations, but its style can make it a bit confusing to understand.

Although much of the game is quite bright, it is often quite low contrast, with lost of varying shades of green and brown. At nighttime and in caves, it becomes very dark and can be extremely difficult to navigate or see anything if you don't bring a light source. Alternatively, in the menu, you can change the colour profile in the Advanced Settings tab, which can help to brighten up the game. Some of the game's interactive elements can tend to blend in with the scenery. Although you cannot outline these interactive elements, many will have icons above them showing how you can use them, which has the similar effect of making them easier to identify.

Sound is used in the game to help you identify imminent attacks, and, especially if you have not previously identified the assailant, can give you an advance warning. As this information cannot be displayed visually, you are at a disadvantage if you can't hear these cues.
 
Our The Forest Accessibility Report details 17 accessibility features:

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Games Like The Forest

Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to The Forest or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to The Forest, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 18 or ESRB MATURE 17+ games.

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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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