Survival horror means struggling to line up a shot on a zombie because your PlayStation controller is a bit funky. It’s mostly something that happened in the ‘90s.
Survivalist horror means scraping together scant defence against the emergent threats audibly moving about the woods outside. In both technology and design, it couldn’t be more now. It’s defined by games like The Forest - part Tomb Raider, part Minecraft, and all a bit much. Am I okay to crawl under my desk now?
The Forest casts you as the sole survivor of a commercial flight over some seriously iffy islands. So far, so Far Cry 3. But rather than acquiring magic tattoos, you’ll be chopping down trees and planting vegetables. And just like in that very notable tree-chopping and vegetable-planting game you’re now thinking of, the place changes when the sun goes down.
This new trailer montages life in the woods a “few weeks” after the crash:
What is he doing to those arms?
Like BioShock, The Forest is evidently a game that requires the player to become indistinguishable from the monsters they’re fighting if they’ve any hope of getting home.
It’s obviously really pretty, too - developers Endnight Games are partially made up of special effects artists who worked on Tron Legacy and 300 - two of the last decade’s most effective CG showcases.
It was Greenlit by Valve back in June, shortly after our Jules took a look at in his Spotlight on Greenlight. And yup, it’ll support the Oculus Rift. Expect an alpha release on Steam before Christmas.
Do these look like the sort of nightmares you’d like to be subjecting yourself to?