The Forest: Half An Hour Of John Trying And Failing To Hit Animals With An Axe

Having returned to The Forest last week, I really didn’t want to stop playing. I ended up spending an afternoon I’d booked off as holiday back in front of it, and recorded half an hour or so of that. To share! After spotting a giant sinkhole, and being so excited I had to hit record, it’s safe to say there’s some early disappointment. But then as I keep exploring, there’s lots of new things to discover, and indeed needlessly hit with an axe. You can watch it below.

The game is quite extraordinary, so it’s a bit of a shame I kept uncovering mistakes or moments of crudeness here. But still, my treehouse! My treehouse! Also, the squealing. Look, it’s properly scary!


  1. caff says:

    Yeahhh! I love John’s videos.

    • klops says:

      This was really nice!
      I’ll never touch The Forest (too scary and I’m not into survival/sandboxy games anyways) but I think I’d enjoy watching some more (usually I have no interest in let’s play videos).

    • heretic says:

      Me too! The Forest and John are like a match made in Heaven.

  2. NetharSpinos says:

    I was shouting at you to use the stone with the stick to make an arrow, I was most disappointed when you demonstrated that it didn’t work. It should work! If Minecraft said it works, then it most definitely should for all survival games. Also, y’know, history. Oh well. Perhaps there’s bits of jagged metal you can find?

    Anyway, another excellent video.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      In Minecraft you use flint, rather than regular stone though. So perhaps John needs to find some flint or a way to shape the rocks he has into little pointy bits.

  3. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    If you’d got Alec to make the video you could have called it Meeranding Through The Forest!

  4. median says:

    I read the Return to the Forest article over the weekend recently. It piqued my interest. Saw that sinkhole, stopped video immediately, and bought the game.

    I’m going to be mentally contrasting the Forest with Subnautica; Subnautica is a gorgeous game with some wonderful moments. I think it could be a successful marine research simulator, but it’s going to take dwarf-fortress levels of simulation to really get there. But right now, I’ve done everything there is to do, and the crafting is too blocky to hold my interest for long. Hope the Forest has a longer tail after getting the basics down.

  5. Mr_Blastman says:

    As an Eagle Scout I’ve never seen a point in survival games. If I want to camp, I’ll go out into the woods for a weekend or more.

    • Mrice says:

      Well, i mean, camping and “survival” aren’t really the same thing are they?

      Part of the appeal of video games in general is that they allow you to enter situations that you otherwise cant or would likely kill you. Like surviving in a zombie apocalypse or a dinosaur infested island or, in the case of Dont Starve, Tim Burtons Minecraft.

      And from another tack. You know some people CANT just go into the woods for the weekend. They either live in the wrong place or lack the skill and videogames can provide some escapism for those people.

      It’s like snidely asking why people play skateboarding games when they can just pop to their local half pipe and skate. Skate boarding is hard. Not everyone can do it. It takes a huge amount of dedication to get good at it. Its also dangerous and costs money to get into. There is no point being elitist towards people who think it might be more fun to just have a bash on skate then invest £80 in some half way decent kit and go snap their femur on a half pipe.

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        Serrit says:

        Really nicely put!

      • Mr_Blastman says:

        I’m not being elitist–I just don’t see a point. The game looks neat and all… I can see how it is fun. But it trivializes many things in the outdoors which really are a big deal. Lighting that fire isn’t just hold lighter up and watch it burn. There’s an art to scavenging for the right wood, kindling and sitting down trying to get it to not only combust, but grow into a useful fire.

        Then there is dealing with the ever changing smoke around the campfire…

        The outside is a few steps out the door. Live it. Enjoy it. As much as I love video games, nothing is as soothing as spending a weekend in the woods away from all technology–well, except for spending days at the beach surfing.

        • Scelous says:

          A large part of the appeal for me is that I get to kill those crazy tribals with an axe. Also, I haaaaateee the outdoors — too many bugs and fluctuating temperatures.

          Oh, also, I can’t go outside and craft a wall in like ten minutes.

          I’m trying to think of a survival game that is as mundane and as boring as real life, and the only thing that I can think of that comes close is The Long Dark (which, coincidentally, I found way too boring).

        • aleander says:

          I don’t get the point of Starcraft/Ruse/Chess. If I want to play war games, I just invade the neighbouring country.

    • Jane Doe says:

      Sure, if you go camping in the middle of a warzone or on a deserted island devasted by nuclear weapon tests.

      Camping is not survival.

      • Mr_Blastman says:

        Camping is as survival as you want it to be. You try hiking in zero degree weather, with a sixty pound backpack on your back, eight to twelve miles a day for a week when the ground is frozen solid and after you get back–tell me it isn’t about survival.

        Most folks understand camping to be, “Drive up to the site, empty your stuff, setup a tent and cook some food over the fire pit!”

        Eagle Scouts–and scouting in general, can be far more extreme.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      As a former soldier I’ve never seen the point of scouts.

      You can just join the army and go camping while getting paid for it.

      This is fun!

      (I may not be entirely serious.)

      • horsemedic says:

        As a guy who just kills people for no reason, I’ve never seen the point of being a soldier. People are all around you, and you can just kill them for no reason.

    • Bugamn says:

      So instead of playing CS I should join the SAS or other group? It’ll be a pain to change teams.
      And I guess I should join the army instead of playing CoD.
      Or join NASA instead of playing Kerbal Space Program.

      The game is an abstraction of an activity that is hard to achieve at the moment. What if one lives far from camping area, or simply doesn’t have the time to go camping? And hiring cannibals to pretend to kidnap your son is too expensive. It costs an arm and a leg.

  6. Jane Doe says:

    I had the Forrest on my Steam wishlist for over a year now and finally tried it. Thanks to Dean Hall I’ve become very careful when it comes to Early Access. I simply don’t want to step into another DayZ trap.

    So in short, stepped out of the plane, looted the entire camp and was wondering “What’s so hard about survival if everything is laying arround here?”, built a small shelter, then ran into the woods until I found a cave.

    I roped down with three (3!) stops on the way to take a breather. Maybe my character felt his hands were too hot from the 100-meter-roping. Killed two guys down there with a hatchet in the back and was about to go back up. Then I found a somewhat dark and hidden passage with two hideous flesh creatures that looked like one of the Crones from Witcher 3, but naked to make matters worse.

    I killed one, but the other knocked me out. I thought “alright, back to the shelter”, but no … what followed was a Lara Croft moment of pure glory. I woke up deep inside the cave (I guess, can’t be sure), beaten up and completly out of breath. Luckily those mobs forgot to take my stuff.

    I spent the next two hours trying to find my way out of this cave and quickly ran out of all the first-world loot from the early camp (medicine mostly), crafted myself a couple of torches to fight off fugly creatures and even made me a bow; which is surprisingly useless in a pitch black cave.

    The cave was freaking HUGE. And not casually two-dimensional like from the Witcher or Skyrim. It felt like a real cave with with a hundred meters in height difference or more, tons of small dead-ends with interesting stuff to find, like photos from other people or a Rebreather from a dead diver sitting right next to it.

    I also found a million dollars cash or something. Really, that one room felt like a money shower. Anyway, I’m addicted now. Thanks RPS!

    P.S.: I didn’t find my way out and got killed by another flesh monster which had half a dozen gruesome babies in its nest.

    • maninahat says:

      I befell a similar end. Then I discovered afterwards that the cave with the leg monster and hell babies is the way out – you just have to spot an easily missed rope hanging down amongst where the babies hang out.

  7. moms says:

    Dear John
    If I ever have to crash in a forest, on an island.. I hope it’s with you.
    We probably wouldn’t survive very long, but, I think, it would be pleasent while it lasted.


    ps. Don’t be so quick to give up on that big ol hole.