The Forest has been doing really rather well on Steam's Early Access this year. A survival game with an emphasis on crafting and building, and yet it's not made out of cubes. In fact, it's really quite impressively realistic. Apart from, maybe, the mutant horrors. I hope. Oh God, please don't let those be realistic.
I've decided I'm going to master this game. I'm going to be Lord Of The Damned Woods. I'll document my attempts, in words and video. Here's the story of my first go.
I got my log cabin. All my life I’ve been waiting for the chance to be stranded in the woods, and have both the resources, and the wherewithal, to build a log cabin. I may have also killed a woman.
The arrival into The Forest is a bit of a rough one. I’m on an aeroplane, and then that aeroplane is on the ground an awful lot sooner than planned. Sitting next to me on the flight was some kid. I wondered, briefly, if he was my son. I decided he wasn’t. Some kid. He looked a bit dead on arrival, but was then scooped up and carried off by an odd-looking chap. Uh, by then, some kid!
Immediately surrounding the plane is an awful lot of luggage, and then an awful lot more woods. And, rather conveniently, a hodgepodge wilderness survival guidebook. In it are instructions for building the basics: simple shelters, small fires, basic traps… But over a page, oh my goodness, there it is. A log cabin. My very own log cabin.
I’m not a survivalist. I’ve watched a lot of Bear Grylls and Naked & Afraid, and I know that stranded in a jungle, or adrift an ice flat, I’d be dead within minutes. Most likely from doing something incredibly stupid like seeing how long I could stand on one leg. But in the woods, with this handbook: I’m in my element. Log bloody cabin, right now.
I got a fire going first. I have a sliver of sense. At which point things took a peculiar turn, when three near-naked people ran toward me, screaming. I panicked. I was already holding an axe – I’d been chopping down trees for logs, for my log cabin. And then all of a sudden there’s this lady, boobs everywhere, her terrifying face trying to bite me, and I just started swinging. And swinging. And swinging. She was down. And then got back up again! That happened twice! The next time she was down I swung at her again, to make sure – double-tap. And chopped her up into constituent parts. Arms, legs, a head, rolling around the forest floor. Her companions, seemingly horrified that they’d stumbled upon someone even more insane than they, fled back into the trees. I sort of, well, picked her bits up. Because I could.
I tried to put this behind me. It was instinct. She was going to kill me. I was just saving my life from a murderer. I’m not a crazy serial killer who chops up his victims and then carries them around with him! It was circumstance. So I turned my killing instincts toward the rabbits and enormous lizards that were strolling around me. Hit. Dead. Hit. Skinned. Picked up. Cooked. Yum.
But this was only a means to an end – my determination to build this log cabin. I’d quickly thrown up a temporary lean-to, so I’d have somewhere to sleep during my project, a nice fireplace next to it. But the frame for my cabin was there, and only 82 logs away from completion.
Chopped down trees offer around five logs, their trunks miraculously transforming into neatly milled wooden poles as they fall. But the downside of this magical logging is just how roly they instantly become. And this forest is slopey. A lot of my time was spent chasing after rolling logs, and ferrying them back to my future home. Chop, chase, build, eat a bunny, chop, chase, sleep, eat a lizard, chop, chase until. Until!
Yes, things went downhill pretty soon after getting my log cabin. What I’ve learned is that when you get a log cabin, you should go inside it, and then be happy in your log cabin on your bed of magazines. If that means starving to death, because for some reason the abundant supplies of lizards and bunnies have all utterly vanished from the world, then starve to death. Don’t wander off toward the camp in which the woman you dismembered in front of her friends once lived.
They weren’t pleased to see me. I hit her with my axe soooo many times, but she was awfully cross, and eventually hurt me rather too much.
Weirdly, I woke up in a cave. A cave filled with horrendously arranged human heads on spikes, and a really quite peculiar number of bottles of fizzy drink. I tried to light a fire, but things seemed to glitch out, so I resorted to wandering along with my lighter for illumination. And. Oh god. It wasn’t okay.
You’ll have to watch the video of that. I can’t put it into words. I wouldn’t sleep if I put it into words. And whatever it was – whatever Cronenbergian monstrosity lived in that cave – it killed me. And in doing so… Hrnngghh. In doing so, IT TOOK AWAY MY LOG CABIN.
So that was my first go at The Forest.