Sons of the Forest is a glitchy mess, so why am I enjoying it so much?
Sons of the Forest released in Early Access on Steam just last week. So, of course, the highly-anticipated survival-horror title is going to have its issues. A predecessor, The Forest, launched to a similar fate in 2014, remained in Early Access for four years before fully releasing; in the end, it was fantastic.
I anticipate the exact same will become of Sons of the Forest. After all, the foundations for yet another terrifying title from Endnight Games are already there (except Log Carts). In fact, Sons of the Forest sold two million copies in just 24 hours… you could argue that’s already a success.
Ultimately, Sons of the Forest in its current state is a great time, even with glitches galore. I’ve witnessed friends exploit the game in countless ways that, in any other instance, would ruin our immersion. In Sons of the Forest, however, all that really matters is having an unapologetically fun time.
Whether it’s roaming around underneath the map, essentially inventing a new form of fast travel, or using sticks to enter typically inaccessible areas, Sons of the Forest is about discovery just as much as it’s about surviving. Sure, I think Endnight intended that players discover things differently, but discovering game-breaking bugs and other small glitches is almost just as fun.
It’s been a journey of discovery online, too. As I’ve been writing guides for Sons of the Forest, there are a lot of questions that currently remain unanswered. Will Log Carts ever return? Do Fish Traps actually work? When will we be able to build gates for our currently useless walls? It’s not been a great line of communication from Endnight Games, but the community more than makes up for it. We’re all trying to survive and flee this island together, after all.
Each issue that has arisen with Sons of the Forest has some sort of ‘fix’ that the community has found; players have come together to learn various replacements for gates that might protect our bases, new ways of collecting water, and tips for keeping Kelvin from completely undoing your hard work. Everyone is putting together their survival skills to get the most out of this beautiful, albeit buggy, island.
Speaking of, let’s not neglect our beloved companion, Kelvin. Having sustained some form of brain damage during the helicopter crash, this guy can’t speak or hear. Instead, he is around to take orders on his notepad, sit by the fire, and make our lives more difficult. That said, no matter how much chaos and destruction Kelvin causes, most of us can’t bear the thought of bidding farewell to him.
All in all, it almost feels as though these unintended moments of chaos are a part of the perils of surviving on an island full of cannibals, mutants, and general terror. In any multiplayer game with a survival scenario, there’s always that one member of the group that doesn’t seem to care about being alive and is simply here for the ride; usually it’s me, but in this instance, it’s Kelvin.
Sure, I didn’t anticipate that my own ally would cause our treehouse to come tumbling down (fuck you, Kelvin), but I can’t remotely stay mad at Kelvin. Nobody can. As much as me and my friends are constantly mumbling profanities at our dear AI companion for dropping logs on us, sneaking up on us, or merely staring into our souls, nobody has the heart to hurt him.
Kelvin is a part of the team now, and while I hope Endnight eventually fixes the issues prevalent in Sons of the Forest soon, I sincerely hope Kelvin is untouched; he’s perfect as he is, even if a bit heavy-handed.