Garry Newman, the same person at fault for Garry’s mod, is the brains behind Rust, another in the line of games that wish they were Minecraft. But where in Minecraft there is some sense of decency and still an air of fun for fun’s sake, Rust plunges you naked and screaming into a world that suffers from griefer syndrome. Before I go off on the playerbase, the game itself is actually quite fun, for a pre-release.
First, you start naked, and who doesn’t like to be naked. At least it is fun until the sun goes down, then you realize what this game is all about. If a game about digging in the ground and building is called Minecraft, a more appropriate name for Rust might be Mancraft. Aside from a free-flailing dangle-down, your inventory includes a rock, a torch and some bandages. Of course, the bandages don’t heal you, just stop bleeding. So when you are randomly spawned and an asshole with a fucking pistol chases after you shooting for kicks, your best defense is to fucking run for cover. I recommend loosing him among rocks, but he’ll still get you with a shot or two. The bandages help there. So once it gets dark, you’ll say “Good thing Garry gave me this torch!” but that shit is like herpes, keep it to yourself or someone will cut your dick off. Take out that torch, O, naked wonder of human deduction, in the middle of nowhere in pitch darkness and what do you become? A blazing goddamn beacon of newb-dom. If you have the presence of mind to try gathering resources upon being thrust into a new world, as nearly no one fucking does, you might have some resources, and that is all the reason most people have to cut you open. For the rocks you were keeping in your bunghole.
So, it should come as no surprise that God’s own multi-tool, a fucking rock, is the most useful thing you begin the game with. By all means, swinging this rock becomes a sort of divine experimentation when you begin as you try to gain resources. Look in your crafting section and you might see things you can make and things you need to make them. Rocks and wood are among the most necessary base materials. Now, for wood you just hit the rock on trees. If you find a wood pile, even better. But when I was looking for rocks, I felt like Christopher fucking Columbus exploring the Atlantic ocean: lost as a cumshot in a snowstorm. There are TONS of fucking rocks around, especially near the mountains, so you might try harvesting them. Those are, however, scenery and you are running out of time. So it is a rock-bashing experiment until you realize which rocks you need.
So, if by some fluke of merciless fate you spawn during the day time and you were blessed with ample time to figure all this out and get the necessary resources, you might just be able to survive. Did you go looking for food too? O, yea, forgot to mention that. You have a hunger bar that depletes over time, and the more active you are, the faster it goes down. So that shit goes down but fast when you start just about fucking anywhere naked. Basically, unless you lay your ass down and prepare for death, your health bar depletes faster than you realize. Now aside from the locations where prepared food can be found (and those are usually camped by tuna-eating lunatics with hatchets hoping for the last chocolate bar on Earth) you have to take that rock, which is a more reliable inanimate best friend at this point than the companion cube, and chase down chickens, pigs or deer. Should you be the asshole undaunted by the challenge of running around in the open naked whacking deer with a rock, you find the reward is… chicken. Wait, what? Yes, everything you kill provides, for the moment, little, raw chicken cutlets. Eat up! And promptly spew your guts out, because somebody just had to make it realistic and give you salmonella poisoning! I swear to god, people – including me – are paying money for this. So, once you have your materials and chicken, you can build a little campfire and get cooking. It’s a good thing they didn’t include stomach grumbling noises for all the players on the island or it would sound like you were constantly being stalked by ninja whales.
By this time, it is likely the middle of the night and you have died at least three times. Aside from hunger and salmonella, which is shown above by the green health bar, you will get cold. At the time being, campfires are the only thing that can warm you up with torches and furnaces expected to do this as well in later updates. At night is when the scary things come out. During the day you have bears and wolves to contend with. Originally it was zombies, but the devs thought this enemy was just too played out. So they went the realistic route and make it so that you have to outrun bears and wolves that will maul you to death, slobbering over the idea of gnawing on your femurs. The scary things I am referring to are the other players. And these assholes are relentless. I have played a number of servers that advertise their friendliness to noobs and ‘outlaw’ the killing of nakeds. This just amounts to bandits not killing you on sight every time. Sometimes they will see you, follow you a bit and then kill you. And I have run into groups of players that rove and hunt noobs and still others that just kill whoever they feel like at that moment. It’s like a page out of The Lord of Flies without the little boys. That would end in rape, given the mentality you’ll regularly see.
But that really is the fun of the game. That and building houses out of foundation and wall segments. You can customize your own little mansion on a mountain, craft a rifle and start taking potshots at people wandering by. You’ll probably be killed by someone doing just that during your first days. Survival against all odds. Every once in a while, as if the game wasn’t brutal enough, an airplane flies by and performs an airdrop. This makes me laugh. It’s as if civilization knows were here and, not only do they not care, but they are throwing finite amounts of supplies down at us and watching the battles ensue. Did I mention areas are randomly irradiated? Yep, usually around where there is pre-packaged food.
So what pisses me off the most in this game? Aside from everything else in this game that makes no fucking sense ever again, one thing that stands out are the visuals. They developers put a lot of time and effort into making the game pretty. The trees are variegated enough that you feel like you are in a forest. The grasses look like fields of gently-waving grass. I mean, everything looks very very nice, so you get that ‘beauty of nature’ fix before dying a brutal death at the hands of almost anything within sight-range. It’s like somewhere above the trees you can hear a melody soft and sweet that is clipped short by the gunshot travelling through your skull. One of the most frustrating things about the game is that it is multi-player only. You have to go find a server and deal with it. There is no ‘remember your first game of Rust’ discussions on the Rust forums. That shit reads like a PTSD support group. The benefit, however, is that all servers are using the same map. No procedurally generated randomness to contend with here, so if you find a great place to build your house, you can fight over the same beachfront property with other people on another server. Ain’t life grand?
All-in-all, it’s definitely worth playing, especially for the $20 asking price on Steam. It’s a bit of a niched game that caters to the “minecraft isn’t realistic enough about survival” crowd. Weird that such a deranged genre would arise from such a harmless source material. Well, as harmless as any source-material where zombies chew on your bones at night.