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Sons of the Forest Promises More Survival, More Horror

Despite its jankiness, I have some fond memories of The Forest. My summer of 2018 was filled with laughter and cries for “more bones for the bone basket” as my friends and I fought off legions of cannibalistic mutants. Those were heady days—literally filled with so many severed heads. Sons of the Forest seems to be more of the same, full of familiar terrors, but with a surprising amount of polish for an Early Access title.

Sons of the Forest is a first person open world survival game with horror elements developed by indie studio Endnight. You play as an agent sent to find a billionaire on a remote island full of cannibalistic tribes and mutant terrors. Things go wrong right from the onset as your helicopter crashes, leaving only yourself and Kelvin to survive—unless you’re accompanied by friends in multiplayer.

Kelvin represents one of the new changes in Sons of the Forest—companions that can help you gather materials and build structures. They won’t help you fight however.

While Sons of the Forest is an open world game that tracks stats like hunger, thirst, etc, it's also a game with an underlying story. As you look for the missing billionaire and his family, you'll run into roadblocks, and you'll need to search for items to overcome them. To do that, you'll need to get into the bowels of the island -- into its deep dark caves, where all the most horrible creatures dwell, and where the island keeps its most compelling mysteries.

Since you’re not looking for your son this time around, as you were in The Forest, you might not feel as guilty frolicking around with Virginia, or taking your time building the biggest and coolest base you and your friends can manage. Base building works similarly to how it did in The Forest, with a guidebook acting as a building catalog of sorts. You choose what you want to build, place an outline of the structure, and you and your companions can bring materials to complete it.

Combat in Sons of the Forest is probably its weakest feature right now. While there are a whole bunch of horrific creatures to fight, using melee weapons feels weightless. Enemy AI can be interesting, however, with some enemies advancing to harass you with rocks while others sneak up behind. It would be great if there were hotkeys you can assign to weapons, but right now we’re stuck with its cool, but unwieldy inventory system.

Sons of the Forest has released into Early Access, which will last from six to eight months—an optimistic estimate, since its predecessor took around four years to finish development. However, Sons of the Forest is at a high level of polish already. According to its Early Access info box on its Steam Store page, developer Endnight plan on adding more to do, discover, and build while keeping community feedback in mind.

With over 2 million copies already sold, Sons of the Forest hardly needs my recommendation. I’m just excited to see how it looks when it finishes its development. I do hope that Endnight tweaks the combat system a bit, however. While it isn’t perfect, Sons of the Forest is definitely fun solo, or with up to seven friends.

Sons of the Forest is out now on Steam Early Access



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