Who Are The Real Monsters In The Forest? (Probably You)

By Graham Smith on January 14th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Where's the forest? All I see are trees.

Let’s put words to it: 2013 was the year of the roguelike; 2014 is the year of the survival game. Whether they’re still in alpha or not, this feels like DayZ and Rust’s moment, and there are a dozen games on the horizon hoping to get in on the fun. The Forest is one of them, putting a significantly different singleplayer horror spin on the foraging formula.

In an interview with Eurogamer, with Endnight Games’ creative director Ben Falcone, laid out some details of the game’s story and NPC AI.

Unlike its open-ended survival kin, The Forest will have an ending, albeit an optional one. There are no fixed missions, meaning that it’ll be up to players to work out how to pursue progress and ‘finish’ the game.

Falcone also talks about the lengths they’re going to in order to make the grey, slick, cannibal enemies complex, telling Eurogamer that they’ll call for help, attempt to protect one another, and grieve when one of them gets killed. By you. “You’ve invaded their forest, you’re murdering them, you’re chopping down all their trees,” says Falcone. “Maybe they’re just trying to survive in this forest. Maybe you’re the bad guy. So we try to make it emotional when you kill one of them and have them care. They’re not all bad, even if they are trying to eat you.”

Who is the real pale slick cannibal here? Is it the pale slick cannibals trying to eat you, or is it you, the plane crash victim who keeps caving their heads in with giant rocks? Here’s an idea: maybe you’re all jerks.

The Forest’s two very fine trailers saw it quickly greenlit on Steam. Here’s the second trailer:

And here’s the first trailer:

That’s all the trailers.

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44 Comments »

  1. Thirith says:

    Lost by way of The Descent and Miasmata. Colour me intrigued.

    • Edeph says:

      Indeed miasmata is the first game that came to my mind!

    • captain nemo says:

      Loved Miasmata, particularly the triangulation.

      This looks great anyways

      • WrenBoy says:

        Miasmata is the best. I loved the momentum based movement even more than the triangulation I think.

    • Bahlof says:

      You have to throw in I am lengend too

    • Blue_Lemming says:

      reminded me of the descent too, when it shows them scuttling about like a tribe of overtly aggressive golums

  2. Cinek says:

    ” The Forest will have an ending, albeit an optional one. ” – they implemented jumping off a cliff?

  3. Terragot says:

    Whilst every man and his dog seem to be ham-fisting the idea’s presented here (chop wood, build shit, survive), the execution on this one looks absolutely phenomenal.

    This one’s top of my radar.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      The lifted-out-of-an-RTS green glowy “place here?” outlines for building stuff wreck the immersion however. It would be much better if they just use a transparent version of whatever you are about to build

  4. Ergates_Antius says:

    STARING EYES

  5. soulblur says:

    Generally speaking, I feel less guilty about plowing someone’s head in with a rock (or stick!) when they have been trying to kill me and eat me. It’s less murder, and more self-defense, even if they then feel bad about having one of their own be killed.

    • Geebs says:

      When you’re dealing with cannibals, it’s less self-defense and more extreme dieting

  6. Talon2000uk says:

    Why does everyone of these games have to have an antagonist. Why can’t we have a survival game where its us against the elements?

    All developers seem to feel its not a game with out zombies, cannibals, killer cats or other such antagonists to liven up the game play. I just want to experience the thrill and danger of surviving in an unexplored world without having to look over my shoulder in case the pig people eat me!

    • tk421242 says:

      While it is not much of a survival game without them you can turn off zombie spawns in 7 Days to Die.

    • SillyWizard says:

      Well in Don’t Starve, the Pig People are harmless and quite useful to have around.

      There are other dangerous animals to look out for, but it does seem to be a game where you can focus on surviving (just be sure to prepare yourself for the occasional wild dog attack) as opposed to these games with their zombies and their cannibals and such.

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        “the Pig People are harmless and quite useful to have around.”

        Well, not *always*. >_>

    • cafeoh says:

      Because survival without antagonists is too easy?

      And even if the elements are extreme enough to make it hard, it’s probably going to be very repetitive and uninteresting. (Heat, food, water, heat, food, water)
      It’s fun though, surviving to mad cannibals in the forest looks cliché, but in fact I can’t remember any game like that.

    • Zelius says:

      Agreed. Although I could deal with killer cats if they were of the realistic variety (tigers, panthers, etc.) and behaved in a realistic way.

      In fact, remove the cannibals and add realistic wildlife as the “antagonists”, and The Forest would be my ideal survival game. Right now, though, I’m not as interested as I could be.

      • tk421242 says:

        I suppose my thing about a survival game without zombies/monsters/killers is that I can just go out on a hike and camp out and boom… survival simulator 2014 :)

        Don’t Starve is a great suggestion mentioned above and I really like their unique art style.

        • Ovno says:

          ‘I suppose my thing about a survival game without zombies/monsters/killers is that I can just go out on a hike and camp out and boom… survival simulator 2014 :)’

          Perma death seems a little harsher when its real life though.

          And besides you want proper survival sim 2014, then you need to be dropped in the wilderness, with no training, knowledge, equipment, water or supplies, Bear Grylls style but without the camera crew and safety nets…

      • Ovno says:

        As far as survival against the elements with only real life animals to deal with goes.

        I’m on it and have been for a while.

        • Zelius says:

          Interesting! Could I persuade you to share a little more about your project?

          • Ovno says:

            Yeah definitely mate, only in private though, just trying to get back onto the rps forums so I can private message you.

          • Ovno says:

            Private message sent.

    • jonahcutter says:

      The Long Dark sounds like it will be largely you against the elements. Though there are animals and other humans, some of whom will be antagonistic. But there’s no zombies or mutants or other sci fi creatures.

    • Dorchadas says:

      There’s always Unreal World, though the graphics are obviously a bit more primitive.

    • unangbangkay says:

      Konami has a long-running survival series that’s just you against the elements. The localized releases were retitled as “Lost in Blue”, and it’s literally you on a deserted island, surviving until you get rescued and usually caring for some helpless companion or other.

      Unfortunately, “survival against the elements” without some kind of conflict-inducing agent (like zombies, disasters, or other players), is pretty much just babysitting various interface bars. The Sims in 1st-person view.

    • RevEng says:

      It shounds like you might be interested in Banished. Yes, it’s more of a city builder than a lone survival game, but the basis is about surviving against the elements. Where time is your enemy (with townsfolk aging and dying and can only be replaced through reproduction) and gathering and managing resources being the major hurdle between prospering and failing. Where inefficiency means starvation, hypothermia, and death come winter.

      But yes, I agree: it would be great to have a survival game where the only antagonist was Mother Nature herself. Where a random event wouldn’t be a goblin attack, but a blight or flash flood or tornado. Where you’d start by trying to make it through the night, then try to make it through the winter, then try to make it through natural disasters. I wonder just how much depth could be found in that. I suspect you’d at least need to have wild animals as natural threats, since otherwise you’d hit a comfortable plateau as soon as you found a source of water and food.

  7. OscarWilde1854 says:

    Can we talk about how the last (second) trailer says for PC and Occulus Rift…? This may be the first game that’s actually intrigued me for the rift! I can just imagine turning my head and having the shit scared out of me by some (cannibal; presumably?) . It’s like being in a live action horror movie!

    • zachdidit says:

      This game on the rift with noise cancelling headphones. I’m going to have a heart attack O.O

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        If this comes out on the Rift, I want a mod that replaces the rock and the squishy mashing head noise in the face-bashing sequence with a doggy squeaky toy

  8. RedViv says:

    I do not know about the monsters, but I definitely remember that John is the demons.

  9. Shuck says:

    That does look pretty amazing, though the bit with the bird landing on the outstretched hand makes me laugh every time I see it. Is it a survival simulator, or a Disney Princess simulator?

    • lautalocos says:

      why not both?

      snow white trying to survive the attack of the 7 cannibal dwarfs

      • Shuck says:

        I would probably play a Disney Princess Survival simulator. Even without the dwarves.

  10. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Fine I’m a wussy but am kind of grossed out by the rock / face bit. The graphics are real enough that its triggering the actual sense of revulsion I would have doing or seeing this in reality, and I don’t really see this as a good thing. Looks like there’s something to be said for shitty graphics.

    • Nucas says:

      i’d speculate making you reflect on that was exactly the intention. sounds like mission accomplished.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        I know, but it’s exactly that which seems rather cynical and forced. It gives me a similar reaction to the torture scene in Far Cry 3 in that it seems a manipulation. The difference here perhaps is that it may be optional

  11. aerohavok says:

    Hopefully the AI will seem much less mindless because of their sympathetic atributes. If they make a coop mode or something and expand on the unique AI system that would be awesome.

    So something like: herp derp wandering through the woods at night with my survivor buddy. Maybe he/she gets caught in a trap or maybe even drug off through the woods! Where, after charging along the bloody broken underbrush trail, I find buddy bro in a clearing, wounded and crying in pain. Upon further inspection buddy bro has a broken leg and I just have to car… Except ITS A TRAP and the pale slick cannibals kill and eat both of us.

    -Dont know how possible that is but still something like that would be terrifying and exhilarating.

  12. The Random One says:

    I’m glad the “baddies” are meant to be sympathetic, because the second trailer gave off serious “civilized man vs. the wild savages” vibes. Even if they looked like the savages from Mad Max (wasn’t one of them wearing a CD necklace? Probably all AOL free trials…)

  13. Megakoresh says:

    Aside from graphics nothing to see here. All the same boring thing. I wonder what’s appeal of these games. If the primary elements are those of survival and not, say, combat or exploration or storyline, doesn’t that mean the whole game is spent boringly taking care of your thirst/hunger/horny sliders? Isn’t it just an expanded version of Far Cry 2′s malaria thing? Sure seems so to me.

  14. Mondaik says:

    Black maneating savages as the good guys? How utterly predictable.

    • Ich Will says:

      White civilised folk as the good guys? How utterly predictable.

      Everyone’s a bad guy? How utterly predictable.

      Everyone’s really good? How utterly predictable.

      • Megakoresh says:

        Good guy is bad guy and bad guy is good guy? How utterly predictable.