Sons of the Forest is as beautiful as it is terrifying

Graphically, the beauty of Sons of the Forest is undeniable. The recently released sequel to The Forest has brought about a major shift in the desolate, spooky forests, transporting players to an environment so stunning that some will forget for a moment that the game’s premise mutated into terrifying ones cannibals and not a stroll through some scenic woods. With the addition of photorealistic reflection, passing seasons, and different areas on the island housing various small ecosystems, it’s hard not to find joy in the simpler elements of gameplay, from long-distance hiking to sledding down snowy hills.

The first thing many players will notice is the water. The quality of the reflections, the raindrops, the wet mantle over the world after stormy weather… all of this makes you feel like you are really crossing an untouched land that is only enhanced by the rain. If you look at the sea, you can see how the sun falls on it from different angles. When looking at smaller bodies of fresh water, look directly into the pristine streams or lakes instead. There are different types of turtles depending on the type of water they live in and fish are visible swimming around.

Sons of the Forest landscapes
Image Credit: Twinfinite via Endnight

Animals can be found everywhere, from the water like the turtles to the forests where the deer roam. The flora is of course beautiful, but the fauna gives it the perfect touch. Snow-white rabbits roam the mountains while chestnut squirrels forage for food under the forest canopy. You may encounter birds, hinds and even moose. While there is a sense of loneliness on the island with no other unmutated humans, life is complemented by animals and nature. This only adds to the peaceful environment (apart from the cannibal camps of course) and makes exploring during the day even more relaxing.

The animals also serve as a good source of food and a good distraction from the harsh reality the protagonist finds himself in. You can take your time to focus on survival in a more realistic sense, building houses and walls or hunting animals. These are the elements of the genre that make games like this a method of relaxation, and much of your gaming can be spent that way.

Sons of the Forest landscapes
Image Credit: Twinfinite via Endnight

The seasons act as the icing on the scenic cake as they add to the island’s beauty. Winters bring soft, fallen snow that crunches pleasantly underfoot as you walk through it. You can turn back and follow your footprints for miles behind. The once-flowing water freezes and shatters under the weight of your body as you step over it. When spring arrives, rain pours down, gently washing away the white to make way for flowers and greenery. Summer then brings in a brighter sun and autumn rolls to paint the world in red in beautiful shades of orange.

During any season, so much time can be spent just sitting back and just taking screenshots or building tree houses and towers to overlook the island’s stunning scenery. There are items that make traversing the map seasonally fun too, from the sleigh you can speed down the hills in winter, or the golf courses you can play with friends when the warmer seasons arrive.

Sons of the Forest landscapes
Image Credit: Twinfinite via Endnight

While Sons of the Forest is intentionally terrifying and filled with hungry mutants, it’s impossible to ignore how stunning the island and its other inhabitants are. Between combat and crafting, the core of the game lies in its exploration, and that exploration is enhanced by the sheer beauty of land (and water). Sons of the Forest has definitely seen a leap in quality over its predecessor, especially when you look at it graphically.

Its horror aspects are not neglected either. Beauty can be found in terror as it reinforces the need for self survival. Hunting, fishing, and building are all peaceful elements associated with survival, but the need to be aware of potential dangers is equally important and doesn’t necessarily have to be stressful. Instead, it can feel essential to the survival experience.

The vivid bloodstains that mark the walls of a cave or act as pathways along the forest floor are a good example of this, as is the ambient noise itself. Along with a bird’s chirp, you can hear the crunching of nearby leaves and the calls of others hearing about the humanoid creatures that inhabit the island. These things don’t have to take away your enjoyment; They can contribute by creating a well-rounded survival experience.

If you’re looking for a gaming experience that can be either peaceful or stressful, you should definitely check out Sons of the Forest. Its reputation lies more in its terror than in its exploration and survival, but all traits deserve recognition. You can also browse related articles and similar content below, or check out Twinfinite’s homepage for more game guides and news. Sons of the Forest is as beautiful as it is terrifying

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