After almost 4 years of waiting, the survival horror game “The Forest” made by Endnight Games has finally got a sequel. The sequel titled “Sons of the Forest” was first introduced to the public in 2019 through The Game Awards.
Initially, the latest survival horror game from Endnight Games was scheduled for release in May 2022. However, for some reason, they decided to postpone the release to October 2022. Unfortunately, they were once again unable to finish the sequel to The Forest on time, and finally released Sons of the Forest on February 23, 2023 yesterday with Early Access status.
Despite having similar gameplay to its predecessor, Sons of the Forest brings several improvements in the graphics, gameplay, mechanics and AI ( artificial intelligence ) sectors of the enemies. Priced at IDR 245 thousand, Sons of the Forest is currently only available on PC via Steam.
Released as Early Access, Sons of the Forest immediately received more than 70 thousand positive reviews on Steam. However, with a price tag of more than double that of its predecessor, is Sons of the Forest still worth it ? So, to answer this question, this time I will give an honest review of Sons of the Forest.
Without further ado, here is the Sons of the Forest review .
The enemies are smarter, the combat is more difficult
As I mentioned above, Sons of the Forest’s gameplay is pretty much the same as its predecessor. However, there are several aspects that the developer has improved — such as much smarter enemies and a more gripping gameplay and atmosphere.
Similar to The Forest, the cannibals in Sons of the Forest can attack you by surprise. Whether you’re building a house, chopping wood, or cooking a meal, groups of cannibals may suddenly visit and make you spit out aphorisms.
Even more sinister, the cannibals in this game are more adept at sneaking and hiding. They can cover themselves with leaves, wait in the middle of the forest, and ambush you suddenly. Not only that, they can also climb and wait in the trees. And when you’re not aware they’re there, they’ll jump up and attack you from above.
The smart thing is, if you manage to finish off some members of the cannibal group that attacked you, chances are they won’t continue their attack and prefer to run for their lives. However, there are some cannibals who get emotional and cry when they see their friends killed and become more aggressive.
Regarding the combat, even though it was released in early access, it seems that Endnight really polished the Sons of the Forest fighting mechanics. Every shot in this game feels real and hits the spot. Animations and ragdolls from the enemies are also made very realistic . However, the fisticuffs are not as easy as in The Forest.
The reason is, now the cannibals who are your main enemies are also smarter in fending off your attacks. They are also more dynamic in seeing the attacks you will make. When you swing the axe, they can retreat, dodge, and even block it using their weapon.
The story of saving the CEO’s family who mysteriously disappeared
The game begins with you taking a helicopter to a private island owned by a wealthy businessman. Not for vacation, you are assigned there to find the CEO and his wife and children who have been missing for weeks. Unfortunately, on the way, your helicopter was shot by unknown troops and crashed in the mountains.
Sobering up, you see that the team you flew with on the rescue mission didn’t survive the helicopter crash — except for one man, Kelvin. So, you and Kelvin will later investigate what actually happened on that mysterious island while surviving attacks from cannibals and scary monsters.
Even though the setting is different from The Forest, the story presented by Sons of the Forest is still related to the prequel. In fact, there are several characters who have reappeared, such as Timmy (the missing child in The Forest) and Eric (Timmy’s father, the main character of The Forest). As for the story that is presented, it is fairly short, it only takes me all day (about 5-6 hours) to finish it.
However, the first minus point for Sons of the Forest is in the story. There are several scenes that are too quiet, aka lacking dialogue. Like when a helicopter crashes, your team doesn’t scream or even speak a word. Even at the ending , no one spoke at all. This makes the story experience feel less ‘alive’.
Apart from that, in my opinion, the climax of the Sons of the Forest story is also somewhat less challenging. There is no final boss and no indication that you have reached a climax. In fact, my two friends and I were confused when we reached the ending of the story. “Oh, this is over?” Of course, this is understandable given the release status which is still early access.
Dynamic weather mechanic, beautiful graphics, but still a lot of bugs
One thing that really satisfies Sons of the Forest is its really beautiful graphics. Using the Unity Engine, this game manages to present super realistic reflections of light, water, waves, and a forest atmosphere. Walking in the middle of the forest feels like actually climbing the mountains in Bogor.
With my potato PC (AMD Ryzen 5 3600 and Radeon RX 560), this game can run pretty smooth at 30-40 FPS. Of course, I have to play with left-aligned graphics settings but still at 1080p resolution. Even though it is aligned to the left, the sunlight which is blocked by the leaves of the trees and the reflection of the water is still pleasing to the eye.
In addition, the weather on this remote island can also change dynamically. Some days can be snowy, which can kill most plants and require you to keep your body temperature down. The next few days can also rain heavily plus strong winds that can shake the trees around you.
Speaking of plants, sometimes there are some leaves and rocks that suddenly appear and disappear in front of you. Not only that, when I was cutting wood, suddenly the forest in front of my eyes disappeared and became an empty hill. Moments later, the forest reappeared but took its toll. My friend who was walking around got stuck in a tree which suddenly reappeared.
While playing Sons of the Forest, I also encountered other minor bugs and glitches such as ice lakes with the sound of water, items that often get lost somewhere, to cannibal corpses swallowed by the earth. Once again, this is understandable, considering the status is still early access.
This sequel to The Forest is definitely worth buying and playing with your friends. With a price tag of IDR 245,000, you can have fun slaughtering cannibals, building bases , and exploring the mysteries of this remote island with your friends. In my opinion, some of the minor bugs and glitches that I experienced were tolerable because of the excitement of the playing experience.
However, for those of you who are curious about the storyline , I can’t advise you to enjoy the story from Sons of the Forest — at least for now. This is because the story embedded by Endnight still feels less polished, with several drawbacks such as the lack of dialogue and content. My advice, wait until Endnight has the courage to release Sons of the Forest’s early access status.
Well, if you’re interested in playing Sons of the Forest right away, you can buy it on Steam.