Sons of the Forest Early Access: Honest Review and Thoughts

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Photo Credit: Steam Community

After the release of the groundbreaking survival horror game Forest in 2014, we waited almost ten years for its sequel. The newly released sequel, the alpha version, was incredibly anticipated, with some high expectations. Unfortunately, the first part of the game has set the criteria may be too high. 

The Forest included some of the best building and construction mechanics, such as crafting, building, and resource management. The combat system is very versatile, with good mechanics, and includes horror elements. All these things are why we waited this long for the follow-up, Sons of the Forest. Unfortunately, exceeding all these expectations is not that easy. 

Now that the sequel is playable, we can finally discuss whether the developers managed to justify the time we waited for it. Our Early Access review will focus on the most important gameplay factors compared to the original game. We’ll also review the new things that were added to the game. Does this game manage to improve on everything that made the first game so great? 

sons of the forest
Photo Credit: Newnight

Watch out! Spoilers ahead 


The campaign story is set on another fictional island where you, as the main protagonist, are sent to find missing billionaires who own the organization where you work. The spawn points are random; they are not fixed on one location.

The player can spawn in the Forest, beach, or mountain. The more nights you spend in the Forest, the more truth you will unravel about the island’s secrets. The story is different from what we expected in essence. Also, its ending or endings depend on the players’ choices.

They are tied to an achievement that leads to them. But overall, there are technically three endings in Sons of Forest, but they all play out the same. Since the game is in its alpha version, we should expect more plans to expand its story. However, fans weren’t satisfied with the lack of story and time to complete it. 


sons of the forest
Photo Credit: Newnight

Compared to the story, the visuals are a massive upgrade over the first game. The game offers beautiful landscapes, nature, an enormous map with many elements for specific parts, and an extensive cave system. This tells us that immersion has been achieved almost entirely, just in the alpha version of the game.

The island setting is a beautifully rendered Forest where the player can enjoy the beauty of nature like in real life. The addition of seasons makes the island more beautiful and makes the visuals even more enchanting. 

The only problem is that the season switch happens too fast every week. But overall, the level of detail, sounds, and visuals make the game immersive and beautiful. 


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Photo Credit: Newnight

The combat has taken a big step up from the first game. New elements have been added that make the game more detailed and immersive. In addition, the AI has been upgraded and offers much more options when facing enemies.

The cannibals and mutants can climb trees, make ambushes, disguise themselves and watch and follow you over time to see when you are the most vulnerable. In addition, the combat has some good mechanics. 

Also, some important mentions are that the player can use guns for defense. Besides bows, you can have handguns, revolvers, and shotguns, but remember that ammo will be scarce. 

Every fight with a large group of enemies or just one powered enemy will be a heart-thumping experience. 

Horror Elements

After the game starts, the player will be able to see that in the first encounters with cannibals, they are not just brainless monsters. Moreover, they think and are careful; predicting their steps takes work.

As you proceed more in the game and explore the island, more powerful and terrifying monsters will appear over time. The definition of horrifying is being alone and without shelter at night. 

Cave systems are a story for themselves. They hide monsters and secrets, which will require the player to have some serious courage to investigate.

The number of hostile mobs has increased significantly compared to the first game. This will give the feeling that everything on the island wants to kill the player. 

The lighting is done beautifully, which means that nights and dark places are a big no without torches or a flashlight. Compared to Forest, the horror elements are considerably improved, making the game survival horror. 

Crafting and Building 

The building system is overall okay but not good either. Most of the valuable tools are the ones that are to be found. The player doesn’t craft them; specific crafting requirements can also be confusing after acquiring them. 

The building system primarily depends on logs which are easy to get. But that’s not the problem. Trying to line things up and build particular parts of objects can be confusing and impractical. Especially when making and adding every single piece of the structure.

The building options and crafting are limited, so attention must be paid to fixing them in the next period. Also, one honorable mention is the need for tutorials for construction and essential things in the game. Right now, it’s a bit confusing. 


This is one of the most critical questions regarding early access to the game. Unlike its predecessor, Sons of the Forest has fewer bugs than the Forest did have.

But unfortunately, there are some. The most frequent examples are linked to the start of the game, for example, the loot respawning every time you reload or maybe the energy not regenerating when you sleep. 

Also, one honorable mention is the game’s optimization, which is poorly done. It will put any computer under heavy load, even on low and medium graphic settings. 

sons of the forest
Photo Credit: Newnight


There are some ups and downs regarding the newly released game, but overall, for everyone interested in survival horror games as a genre. Sons of the Forest deserves to be on your must-try list. Over time the game will improve, and let’s hope that the developers will work as soon as possible to adapt and fix it to make it better

Written by Vuk Jovanovic

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