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Green Hell (Early Access)

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 12 - 2018

Also available in other colours. Probably.

Much like the current influx of Battle Royale games, the survival game genre seems to be simply overflowing just lately with new options for the survival player. From 2D pixel offerings to state of the art visuals, and from surviving a fantasy world to an alien landscape, there really is something for all players to choose from. For those who have a sadistic need to make a cameraman suffer Bear Grylls style, Creepy Jar’s Green Hell, which recently launched on Steam Early Access, may provide just enough foliage to keep the jungle fever at bay.

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Green Hell players are not just dropped into the Amazonian rainforest and told to survive, like Bear Grylls and his cameraman. Oh no, in Green Hell there is a story going on, something to drive the player forward, and it is pretty compelling so far. Basically, the player is introduced to a couple of scientists who happen to be making contact with a remote tribe in the rainforest. For some reason that I can only describe as pure folly, the players partner heads off to make contact with the tribe alone, and as you can surely imagine, things appear to go wrong. This sets the scene for what will be the story mode once the game is finished, but in its early access state, things pretty much stop there.

But damn, it’s pretty compelling stuff. This introduction to the story mode pretty much acts as the tutorial, and is best played before trying to go it alone in the jungle through the survival mode. In this tutorial, the player is given some of the things they will need to survive and get a handle on the jungle, as much as they can.

However, once the player drops into the survival mode, all bets are off. It is often said that everything in the rainforest will try and kill you. While this may be somewhat of an exaggeration, it is not that far from the truth. Armed with only the knowledge that the player has managed to take from the tutorial story mode, and a handy watch that can monitor things like hunger and thirst, it is now down to how long they can survive.

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Survival game fans will recognise a lot of what’s going on here. Gathering all manner of seemingly useless stuff, from sticks and rocks to dry leaves, in order to make the tools necessary to survive. However, Creepy Jar have gone to great lengths to make Green Hell as realistic as possible, which comes through in some of the more logical decisions a player can make. Get a Coconut and enjoy its luxurious contents, but then use the shell to catch rainwater for a handy drink. There is a lot of common sense involved.

In the search for realism, Green Hell offers a host of hazards to the player, from falling off cliffs as they explore the dense forest, to predators and other dangerous animals. There are even other native tribes to be found in the jungle, and they tend not to be friendly. However, perhaps the most danger, aside from simple starvation or dehydration, will come from infection. Unattended wounds, bites and even leeches will have to be examined and treated on the characters body, and the player will have to experiment with different types of local flora and fauna to determine any useful properties. Even taking a stroll from camp can be pretty tense when the player can easily get lost or suffer a seemingly innocuous bite. It’s all very nerve-wracking and quite successfully messes with the player head.

Which brings us to the sanity side of the game. While at this early point in development, the sanity meter has not been fully implemented, the idea of that constant strain on the survivors mind inducing visual and auditory hallucinations and creating full on panic is yet another danger to watch out for.

With promise of the game world being expanded and the game being fleshed out, it is still early days for the realistic survival game. However, one area which really shines for a game this early in development, are the visuals. Green Hell looks absolutely fantastic, creating a very realistic and claustrophobic jungle environment where moving only a few meters can leave the player disoriented. The detail is amazing, fully immersing the player in the experience, and the sound work is equally impressive, with little sounds often being the first warning that something bad is going to happen. My hat goes off to Creepy Jar for polishing the game to this level before even launching on Early Access.

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The future promises to bring a larger playing area, completion of the very interesting story mode, and a whole bunch of new tools, enemies and mechanics to further expand the survival experience. But even at this early stage, Green Hell is already an impressive game. Survival fans would do well to keep an eye on Green Hell, and maybe stock up on insect repellent.

Green Hell is currently available on Steam Early Access.



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