The advent of survival games can be linked with the release of Minecraft in 2009 which subsequently led to the development of many games belonging to the same genre. Many of these were direct carbon-copies with little to no innovation that could be visibly assessed. Others (Dayz, Ark: Survival Evolved 7 Days to Die) however, were far more interesting and added an array of original features. I have invested hundreds of hours of my useful and productive time in playing survival games of varying quality but only a handful of them have been able to satisfy me and have survived my unwonted habit of bashing games for being blatant rip-offs. Rust is a game that I have had since it was in its ‘legacy’ version and have watched it reach the skies from the very grass-roots. It is something of a glamour fest that one can never forget. And even though my experience with it has been sort of a love-hate relationship, I can hardly get over it. In a way, it is something that I hold very dear to myself.
Rust is a survival video game developed and published by Facepunch Studios for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux. The game only features multiplayer modes. Rust was initially created as a clone of DayZ, a popular mod for ARMA 2 with the addition of crafting elements. Originally released onto Steam’s early access program in December 2013, the game was fully released in February 2018.
Gameplay & Mechanics
Gameplay: Being a spiritual successor of Minecraft, Rust bases its gameplay primarily around crafting. After all, a survival game with no crafting cannot not retain the title of ‘survival game’.
The players spawn in a random location on a procedurally generated map, chiefly around coastal areas or amid never ending grasslands. They are provided with two basic items– a rock to chisel off ores/stone from various nodes, harvest wood or to hack people to death and a torch to guide them at night. Next, the players must use these items to gather resources and build a base as quickly as possible. Crafting is necessary to sustain. Work benches up to level 3 must be constructed to craft advanced items but with a little twist to it. Unlike the earlier system which made it mandatory to farm barrels for blueprint fragments(these fragments, 10 each, as far as i remember, can be taped together to create a blueprint, which all in all was a very laborious process with very little reward to claim), the more recent version condemns that and instead encourages the player to explore monuments for rare items. These items can then be taken to a Research Table (an in-game item) of a specified level to convert to a blueprint in exchange for ‘scraps’. Scraps are a form of resource that can be found in loot crates and barrels all around the map, near monuments(some of these monuments have low-high amounts of radiation, entering without proper clothing is a suicide) or by the side of roads. Tool crates kits also spawn at regular intervals by roadsides and may contain anything from around a pickaxe to a sword to rifle ammo (consider yourself lucky if you find one of those) depending on the rarity. One cannot expect to go on a journey with an empty belly. Thus, food can be obtained by foraging for mushrooms or by hunting animals like chickens, bears, horses, deer or if you are the tribal kind, human meat(which will severely dehydrate you for some reason). Additionally, food crates also spawn near the barrels to keep the by-passer full. Hydration is also a factor. Clean water can be consumed from rivers, salty water on the other hand makes the player nauseate and more thirsty.
[Also, something I found really humorous was how the players can gather cloth from hemp but not roll it up into cigarettes.]
Mechanics: Rust is fundamentally a team based game. Soloing is optional but the recent updates have proved that solo players will face more problems than a congregation. As a game that focuses on clan vs. clan or clan vs. individual combat, the crafting of weapons becomes a prerequisite before going on long explorations or mounting battles. Raids are extremely common, and hence turrets of various kinds and traps can be set up as defensive measures. Rifles and pistols and melee weapons of distinguishing quality and capability can be crafted as usual. These weapons have definite recoil patterns like CS:GO. And this adds a bracket of skill as players must master the patterns to beat their opponents. The iron sighting may sometimes feel a little askew and unstable but is to add a layer of reality to the game, thus making it harder to shoot off guns at long range without the aid of attachments. Attachments can also be crafted in plenty to fit your weapons and give a steep advantage during shootouts. Like the silencers reduce damage while making suppressed shots, the muzzle brakes reduce recoil and the scope increases the range and also makes it easier to aim from distant locations.
Graphics, Performance & Sound
Performance: Rust was run on a PC with the following specifications:
- Processor- Intel Core i5 4440 3.10 Ghz
- GPU- Nvidia Geforce GTX 750Ti
- RAM- 8 Gigs DDR4
- OS- Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1 64 Bit.
Despite being an extremely graphics hungry game, it ran at about 58-60 FPS in ‘Simple’ settings. Previously it used to stutter even on the lowest settings but ever since the recent updates it has maintained stable frames. Needless to say, the developers have spent considerable amount of time in fixing optimisation issues. It proves that they have not abandoned their game even after 5 years after release. What’s really heart warming is that they still patch and update it from time to time.
Graphics: As a game that has been constructed in the Unity Engine which is renowned in the video game industry for the liberty it provides to developers, Rust has fairly good visuals. It is not clotted with overly pretentious particle effects. Infact, it is the lack of these that Rust appears shipshape and simple. I don’t want to go on cracking water jokes, for if I were to do so my boss would put my head on a spike. But there is one thing I would like to address out of unmitigated honestly, the water visuals are really well done and are seriously something to behold. Other than that the art style is not uber-realistic but fairly represents a world that is in correspondence with ours. The character models are really well designed albeit, they are initially nude and have to be clothed for the sake of Sanskar. What I find really irksome about this is that you cannot change your character or even its gender. So if you spawn with a guy with small genitals, you are basically stuck with him as your character for eternity. But regardless, the environment design earns a thumbs up of satisfaction from me as it adds three biom types. The patches of grass slowly dissipate into the roads or the river sides, the sandy deserts or the snowy mountains. Altogether, the graphics are fairly simple and pretty to look. It suits the theme of the game.
Sound: The main menu music is really melancholic and chill. The in-game sound implementation is pretty spot on. The sounds of the guns and impact noises all seem pretty original and appropriate. There is an in-game communication system which, although it was pretty half-baked at first, was rectified later. This mechanism allows the players to communicate while inside the game without any complications and is pretty common in online games now a days.
This is by far the worst thing about Rust. The community is outright toxic. It is full of people who will shoot you on sight, track you and take you down again and again, follow you back home and door camp you till you are forced to log out. It is full of people who are willing to troll you and twist your arms into refunding the game. They will make you hate them and will try their level best to destroy what you create or impede when you are in the process of making it happen.
But if you are resolute, you can overcome even the greatest of difficulties. All you have to do is withstand it. After all, ‘What can’t be cured must be endured’.
Rust is a decent game that I genuinely, thoroughly enjoyed. If you have friends it is one of the best survival games out there to play with them. I must say, I was especially discontented with the sheer lack of content and how the developers have not contemplated on adding more into it. But at the end of the day, it is a game that will make you go mad when you lose all your items in a raid or an open shoot out against an entire clan or when someone sneaks up on you while you are looting an air drop and blows your brain to pieces (ps. based on a true story) with a shotgun. It is rage inducing but at the same time it is fun.