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The Sons of the Forest 1.0 launch is here, and an old nemesis is back

Horror survival game Sons of the Forest version 1.0 is here, with more locations, new enemies, item upgrades, and the mysterious Artifact.

Sons of the Forest version 1.0 - The player holds up a strange metal artifact as it transforms, glowing with red lights, in the horror survival game on Steam.

2023 saw the return of one of Steam’s best survival games, as sequel Sons of the Forest made its debut in early access in February. Boasting a peak player count far eclipsing some of its biggest rivals such as Ark and Rust, and putting it in close contention with the mighty Valheim, the cannibal-infested horror survival sim from Endnight Games has scored a ‘very positive’ 85% user rating after its first year in early access. Now, almost one year later to the day, the Sons of the Forest 1.0 launch is here, with plenty of new tricks to its name.

Sons of the Forest version 1.0 adds lots of new features, chief among them being the story content. Timmy is now voiced by Shawn Ashmore, best known for his roles as X-Men’s Iceman, Lamplighter in The Boys, and Quantum Break protagonist Jack Joyce. He’ll join you in the hell caves, and can become an integral part of the updated ending for the survival game, which Endnight technical director Nathan Srigley describes as “way more epic.”

Speaking to IGN, Srigley also reveals that the 1.0 launch will finally let players assemble the Artifact that we’ve been collecting pieces of in recent updates. While he doesn’t give away exactly what it does, he notes that it has multiple different functions and there’s a lot to look forward to. We’ll also (perhaps unfortunately) get more of Jianyu Zhang, the shady lawyer who serves as Sons of the Forest’s primary antagonistic figure.

The map has been updated with plenty of new, unique points of interest including bunkers, caves, excavation sites, and stranded NPCs. Of course, you can expect some new and dangerous enemies, too. ‘Holey’ is the spiritual return of an old favorite, the Cowman from The Forest, and is a similarly hefty creature that will hurl itself at you with big, heavy charge attacks, while ‘Legsy’ boasts way too many limbs and will impersonate rock formations in the environment to catch you off-guard.

There’s new heavy armor worn by some Sons of the Forest mutants, meaning you’ll have to place your attacks carefully if you want to bring them down without some serious resistance. Perhaps less scary is the arrival of raccoons, who will climb trees and taunt you from a distance. Srigley claims that you can hunt these cute new pals, but you’d have to be some sort of unimaginable monster to do that, so we’ll pretend it’s not a thing. Instead, impress them with your newfound ability to scoff berries faster than ever before in 1.0.

Another welcome feature is a glider launcher, giving you a quick and easy way to gain enough height to soar across the Sons of the Forest map. There’s also upgrades to golf carts – they now boast their own GPS and a radio to blast some tunes as you drive around – and the introduction of proximity player chat, giving you a more authentic in-game experience that will adjust the sound of your voice as you walk through caves or dive underwater.

Sons of the Forest version 1.0 launch - Several enemies wearing golden bone-shaped armor approach you, looking angry.

The Sons of the Forest 1.0 update launches Thursday February 22. You can buy it now on Steam – expect to pay $29.99/£24.99.

If you’re looking for even more places to explore, we’ve got more of the best open-world games in 2024, along with all the best co-op games to play with your friends, many of which offer crossplay to ensure you can join them wherever they may be. Or, explore your relationship with your fellow man and consider why the best cannibal games were so prominent last year.

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