By Stephan Bazzocchi
Anticipation: it can make you do some strange things while you wait for a new game to come out, such as South Park’s Stick of Truth. Sadly, at the time of this article’s writing, Stick of Truth has not been released. Since I haven’t played it, I can’t write about it as of yet.
To pass the time, and to make good use of my valuable time, I have been stuck playing some older games: Rust and Minecraft.
Apart from DayZ, there did not seem to be much in the way of progress in the genre of survival games, but I then discovered another PC game called Rust. Similar in premise to DayZ, you are in a post-apocalyptic world, only this time it is sans zombies. Instead, you are surrounded by radioactive bears and wolves, which are equally deadly and terrifying.
For equipment, you get considerably less than you do in DayZ. To be more specific, you start with a rock. That’s it. A rock. No clothes, no flashlight, no food. Just a rock. Not even pants. This makes it somewhat stressful when running into other players. Thankfully, most of them aren’t wearing any pants, either. Eventually the game allows you to craft pants, which helps against the onslaught of naked men running around.
Still, on heavily populated servers, it’s like being in the men’s locker room at the local Y. So parents beware: this isn’t really a kid-friendly game. At times, I have asked myself if even I am really old enough to be playing this.
Your rock does have its uses. You can club the boars and deer that also populate this world, collecting animal skins that you can fashion into some clothes to hide your shame. The animals also give you sustenance with which to survive.
However, the nuclear event that brought this world into existence must have been a doozy if wild boars can be harvested for chicken breasts. Or maybe they ate all the chickens. This would explain why you don’t see any, but yet all you can harvest is chicken breasts.
All attempts of understanding some of the logic in this game has left me with a desire for a bit of inebriation, but what does one expect from the creators of the infamous Gary’s Mod?
Other uses for your rock include using it as a rudimentary axe, allowing you to harvest wood from trees. Wood that you can turn into planks. Planks that you can turn into walls!
Hidden under all this silliness is a crafting system. One that admittedly needs some improvements and a little more variety. In fact, a lot of the game seems to be borrowed from Minecraft.
The graphics are all its own and can be at times rather nice. Seeing your campfire’s glow through the roughly-thrown-together wood plank walls adds a lot to the ambience of the game, making you feel that it truly is about surviving the night in this radioactive, desolate world.
Sitting on my tower overlooking the valley around me inspires a more hopeful approach to the game.
Most days, I look out for other survivors, who would hopefully want to help me build a town or share some cooked chicken breasts while swapping a tale or two about battling the red glowing bears. Otherwise, I might be tempted to discover another use for my rock.