The First 2 Hours of ‘Sons of the Forest’: A Deep Dive Gameplay Experience

The Sons of the Forest is the latest game, following the success of its predecessor, The Forest. The game takes place on an island that is filled with mutant cannibalistic beings that are aggressive. The game features you surviving the elements of nature, as well as the mutant threat. The more you change the surrounding landscape to gather resources, the more aggressive these mutants get.

Now we’ve gotten the introduction out of the way, let’s talk about Sons of the Forest! In this article, we’ll talk about the first 2 hours of gameplay, what we’ve experienced so far and any bugs that we’ve faced. We’ll also do a comparison to the first game, to give a better idea on what to expect in this game.

Upgraded Multiple Cinematics


Right off the bat, you’ll notice the improved graphics of the game. The game starts with you being in a helicopter, reminiscing of The Forest, except this time you’re part of a mercenary group that is deployed to the island to find a missing rich guy and his family who are supposedly somewhere on the island. The upgrade that you’ll soon discover through multiple gameplay is that depending on where you crash, you’ll get a different sequence of events. Crash landing into the ocean gives you a short interaction where you have to get out of the submerged chopper and crashing into the snowy mountain. While the differences are slight, it still gives us a better immersive experience. We got the snowy mountain cutscene. Here we go!

Introducing Kelvin, The AI Companion


While The Forest can be a lonely experience if you’re playing alone, Sons of the Forest gave us Kelvin, your very own personal butler on the island. Kelvin is one of your surviving fellow soldiers who have seemed to lose his hearing and some cognitive functions in the crash. But he is keen to help you out.


To instruct him, all you have to do is interact with him and scroll through the different commands available on the notepad. Get him to gather materials for you as you’re planning your base. As of now, the one thing that Kelvin is incapable of doing is aiding in combat. This is an awesome addition to the game considering the large amount of resources that you’ll constantly need when you’re building up your base and items to survive.

Making Down The Mountain


Once getting our bearings of our immediate surroundings, we quickly scavenged the helicopter crash site before we made our way down the mountain. Veteran Forest players would know that frost damage would be imminent if you plan to stay in that area for a long period of time. As we made our way to the treacherous mountain, looking for a good place to start our base, we noticed the majestic landscape design.

Diverse and Detailed Landscape.

The island map is beautiful, comprising all the details that you’d find in each of the biomes available on the island. From thick forest bushes to majestic waterfalls, the level of detail in the environment design is one step above the previous game.

Jacked up Sound Design

As we were making our way down, we quickly noticed multiple scampering noises in the forest. If you know what awaits you somewhere on the island, you should be afraid. But fortunately, any encounter you face in the first few days is met with curious but harmless interactions by the natives. That is, if you don’t start immediately go swinging your axe at them. What bugged us is that the sound design for a lot of the creature elements can be quite overwhelming. The sound of logs is loud, the little critters around can be quite overpowering, and you might miss out on the other more life-threatening sounds, say a mutant that’s about to sock your face.

Native Meet and Greet


Immediately after we started working on our first base, we’re met with visitors. And in the Sons of the Forest, these mutant cannibals are given an overhaul in how the looked and interacted with the players. A regular looking woman wearing a swimsuit is seen doing random yoga stretches and bowing. She is harmless and can be a potential ally if you treat her well. But if you’re new and you try getting close to this normal-looking human, you’ll quickly realize that the additional appendages that she carries around probably makes her another potential danger to you and your team.

The Darkest Night


Sons of the Forest is not your typical sandbox survival game. It is meant to instill horror and a general sense of uneasiness with each minute you play. And as we dreaded, the night came, and it was a horrifying experience. The flashlight forms a cone of light as the thick dark of the night covers the terrain around you. What’s worse, your usual emergency light that comes in the form of a lighter is now one of those electric lighters that doesn’t really give out much light. All you get a hue of ultraviolet purple and that’s it. No effective illumination whatsover.

Improved Inventory System


The inventory system in The Forest was beautifully designed. They could’ve gone with the generic inventory system, but in the name of immersive experience, they went the extra mile. And in the Sons of the Forest, we get an inventory system that is an improvement from the first game. Everything is stacked up neatly in groups of items. Interestingly, hotkey equip is now replaced with a backpack system where you put your most used weapons and items into the backpack. The inventory mat also comes with an adjustable light color, just to add a little bit of zhuzh. Might as well be scared with style.

Hostile Starter Mutants


While the mutant cannibals absolutely detest your presence and your actions throughout the immediate surrounding, it wouldn’t start attacking till mid-game, as our experience from the first game had taught us. However, we did have a curious visitor that kept getting in our way. A monkey-like cannibal started scampering around our camp, and started hurling rocks at us. While it is annoying at first since we’re rushing to build a cabin to sleep in, it became hostile when it started randomly attacking us.

Building Bug


And the annoyance factor increased as there is currently a bug where unfinished structures will collapse if you attack or are attacked near it. The structure building in Sons of The Forest is now a tad bit complex, as it introduces different measurements of logs to be used in order to complete a structure. This could take a while to grasp for older Forest players, but it’s something that can be immediately learned. The only problem is if you try attacking or being attacked near the structure, it randomly collapses. You lose half of the resources spent so far on the structure you’re building. So if you’re facing this particular bug, make sure that any combat you engage in is far from the unfinished structure.

The Mutant Camp


We’ve had enough with the monkey mutant. We tried attacking it, but without taking into account how low our HP bar was. It took two strikes for it to down one of us, and while the other was too busy trying not to die, our teammate died. Now instead of respawning at the crash site, which was a tedious thing that we’re expecting, it was different in the Sons of the Forest. Instead, we’re tied up to a pole in one of the mutant camps. This is a creepier and anxiety-inducing scenario as you find yourself tied up while a couple of mutant cannibals are strolling about.

Backpack Spawn and Escape


Obviously, this is a cutscene that allows you to escape and quickly rejoin your camp. And instead of losing backpacks on the death spot, you’ll find near the camp. After quickly grabbing the backpack, as well as some supplies at the mutant cannibal camp, our teammate joined us after a quick stroll and a short chase by the mutants. Pretty cool experience! Not sure what’ll happen if we’re caught the second time. God, I hope we don’t start at the crash site on top of the moutain.

Verdict After 2 Hours

Sons of the Forest is a unique survival base-building game that will have you hooked for hours. While we’ve spent most of our time decimating the local forest, there’s so much more in this game that is yet to be explored. Our only hangup is the structure collapsing bug that took away most of our game time since we always end up with half of the resources used in building it half way. The cinematics, graphics, design and overall feel of the game have definitely improved from its predecessor. Sons of the Forest is an exciting game that can be enjoyed by a single player, but is a much more rich and fun experience when played with friends. We’ll keep playing this game and release new articles about it. Come and visit us again!



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1 Comment

  1. Sons Of The Forest: 12 Beginner Mistakes To Avoid -

    May 4, 2023

    […] Sons of the Forest is the successor of the Forest, a popular indie game that has its very own large following. The second game features a much more robust gameplay by introducing new game mechanics as well as infusing it with beautiful upgraded graphics. While it is an exciting survival horror game that will put you at the edge of your seats, you might get frustrated from restarting your gameplay over and over again. For a in-depth review of the first two hours of the game, check out this article. […]

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