Sons of the Forest Review – A Worthy Sequel

Return to the forest where it all started.

Sons Of The Forest Review
Overall
4
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Sons Of The Forest is an extremely ambitious follow-up that completely outperforms its predecessor in every way. There is a lot more to do, the world is much bigger, and the new AI greatly enhances immersion and allows you to approach situations in several ways.

Pros

  • Improved Enemy AI
  • Companions To Assist With Tasks
  • Wonderful Inventory System
  • Expansive Open World

Cons

  • Bugs And Performance Issues
  • No Autosave

From the developers of the massively popular survival horror game The Forest, comes a sequel that is more ambitious and grand in scale. The developers Endnight Games have been teasing the game for quite some time, and after nearly half a decade, we now have a sequel. And with this early access review, we aim to tell you whether or not Sons Of The Forest is worth your time and money.

Quick Information
  • Developers: Endnight Games
  • Publishers: Newnight
  • Release Date: February 23, 2023
  • Platforms: PC
  • Game Length: 20 Hours
  • Time Played: 30 Hours
  • Editor’s Note: We thoroughly tested Sons of the Forest on PC, putting just over 30 hours into its completion.

Story And Setting

sons of the forest review
Story. (Image by eXputer)

The story takes a back seat in Sons Of The Forest for most of the time since the game’s main draw is the gameplay. There is still enough of a narrative here for it to make sense and for those who want to immerse themselves more in the world. Other than that, though, there is little to no dialogue throughout the campaign as it exits now in early access form.

At the start of the adventure, we are in a Sahara Corporation helicopter, a name that might be familiar to fans of the first game, accompanied by some troops who appear to have tactical gear on. The players find themselves in the shoes of someone who is possibly an employee of the company, but that is not made clear.

The story takes a back seat in Sons Of The Forest for most of the time since the game’s main draw is the gameplay.

We are heading to Site 2 and are on the search for a billionaire and his family who have been missing for weeks. But as the helicopter approaches the island, it crash lands, and we find ourselves stranded on the peninsula.

There are three versions of the opening cutscene, and in all of those, we crash and land on the island in one way or another. Once we awaken on the island, we reunite with Kelvin, a man who seems to have suffered serious head trauma during the crash. He is the first of the AI companions that we can recruit in the game and communicate with using our notepad.

Gameplay

sons of the forest review
Gameplay. (Image by eXputer)

Sons Of The Forest incorporates all that The Forest excelled at and enhances it. The game is more enjoyable to play even in early access, and there is a ton more to do than in its predecessor. At its core, the game is a survival horror game, and you will spend most of your time constructing structures, exploring the island, or killing cannibals.

But now thanks to the inclusion of multiple AI companions who assist you in these tasks, the survival part of the game appears to have been much more carefully thought out, and there are now a lot more options available to the player.

Sons Of The Forest incorporates all that The Forest excelled at and enhances it.

These NPCs can be used to standardize and streamline the experience for users who play the game in single-player mode. You can give them chores like gathering resources, or any other repetitive tasks that you might detest performing, and while they do that, you can focus on other things such as exploring the island or setting up your headquarters.

But apart from a handful of friendly NPCs, the island is also inhabited by cannibals that you must fight to survive, just like in the first game. This time around, though, the enemy AI has been greatly improved, which makes the entire experience a lot more engrossing and believable, as well as a bit more challenging.

The cannibals now attack you upfront and use many other tactics. They will take your resources when you are gone from your base, halting your advancement, and they’ll organize their attacks in groups as well, forcing you to approach the battles more tactfully. The island’s weather affects the cannibals as well; for instance, during a storm they are more likely to approach you covertly from different angles.

This time around, though, the enemy AI has been greatly improved, which makes the entire experience a lot more engrossing and believable, as well as a bit more challenging.

Yet even within the cannibals, there seem to be a number of groups. When you are thrust into the mix, these factions and groups are engaged in conflict with one another. With more choices at your disposal, such as making the factions battle as you slip past them, this greatly deepens the gameplay experience. And although the actual fighting may seem a little simplistic, this adds to the atmosphere of the game.

Another area where the game excels is the inventory system, as the game features one of the most interactive inventory windows I have ever seen in a video game, if not the greatest. As you put down your tarp to access the inventory, you can see all you have and work with it. It’s just really immersive how much thought was put into each interaction.

The construction system in the game is one of the most elaborate and customizable I have ever seen in a video game.

The construction system in the game is one of the most elaborate and customizable I have ever seen in a video game. No longer do you have to place wooden logs in set patterns and locations, now, you can actively break them down into pieces of almost any length, split them from the middle, carve out edges to make spikes, etc. There is so much depth to the system that it’s hard to know where to start.

But the game doesn’t teach you anything and plops you right in the thick of things, so keep that in mind. The greatest way to enjoy the game, in my view, is to play it blindly without reading anything about it. You have to discover everything on your own. This is the main reason the game lacks a tutorial, but some players could find it to be a drawback.

Visuals And Performance

sons of the forest review
Visuals And Performance. (Image by eXputer)

When it comes to the visuals of Sons Of The Forest, it is safe to say that the game is on par with the major releases from big-budget studios. The foliage on the ground, the moss in the caves, the sunlight streaking through the trees, all of it makes the world look and feel like an actual honest to god forest.

The degree of care that went into the environment design is also noteworthy because you will notice small touches all throughout the island that give it a more realistic feel, such as hanging corpses of cannibals or human heads.

But given that the game is still in early access, it is reasonable that there are a few randomly occurring glitches and unpolished locations. I ran through several bugs during my time with the game, including instances when characters would clip through trees or where the frame rate would frequently dip. Also, there are several bugs that break the game, preventing the player from doing anything and forcing them to lose all of their progress.

Verdict

Verdict. (Image by eXputer)

Sons Of The Forest is an extremely ambitious follow-up that completely outperforms its predecessor in every way. There is a lot more to do, the world is much bigger, and the new AI greatly enhances immersion and allows you to approach situations in several ways.

There isn’t much I can criticize the game for, other than the bugs and performance issues, but I knew what I was getting into since the title was just released in early access. I hope many of these problems will be fixed by the time it is completely published. But whether or not you have played the first game, Sons Of The Forest is a game that you should definitely play if you are into open-wold survival crafting titles.

This has been our Sons Of The Forest Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles. 

This is box title
Get This Game
If you enjoy The Forest or open-world survival games in general.
Dont Get This Game
If you’re expecting a completely different experience from WWE 2K22.
Who Is This Game For
People who enjoy immersing themselves in large worlds where your only way to survive and progress is by exploring and crafting.
Alternative Open-World Survival Games
  • Minecraft
  • Valheim
  • Enshrouded
  • Palworld
  • Rust
  • Grounded
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Asad Ahmad is a Games Reviewer on eXputer who’s combined his passion for writing and gaming into a sweet blend of content for his audience to enjoy. He started off his gaming journey in the RTS genre but settled on RPGs like Skyrim as his go-to games. Asad has a substantial amount of writing experience in reviewing and writing for games, which is backed up by his extensive gaming library on Steam. Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly covers Game Reviews || Education: Bachelors in Electrical Engineering.

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