When given the opportunity to dive into another early access survival crafting game, I was hesitant… the whole food/water scavenging and building a grass hut thing is something I’m all too familiar with. Developed and published by Creepy Jar for the PC Green Hell is an early access survival crafting game set in the Amazon Rainforest.
Green Hell is a game I’ve had my eye on since it was first announced, as it looked to be a bit more on the hardcore side when compared to some of the other survival offerings on Steam. Grab your sharpened sticks, it’s time to dive into the jungle.
Green Hell is a hardcore psychological survival crafting game. There isn’t much story in it yet as it’s in Early Access. When the game officially launches there will be a campaign where you have nothing but your radio and have to rescue your loved one who set off to meet one of the tribes, and something went wrong along the way. On top of the campaign, it has a regular survival mode where you’re dropped into the jungle with nothing and have to stay alive as long as you can. There are also challenges for you to do with set parameters, which is a nice addition to the formula.
As you try to survive the jungle, you’ll encounter various species that all seem like they’re trying to kill you. Sharpening sticks and collecting ropes are your only real means of defending yourself or obtaining food. Unlike other survival games, your food needs are actually broken down into 4 categories: proteins, carbohydrates, fats and hydration, each of them coming from various sources like fruit or fish that you can catch using your stick. Of course, you have to build a campfire to cook most of the food.
Once when I was trying to catch fish to get my protein level back up, I hadn’t noticed that I was bitten by leeches. They were slowly draining my HP. To remove the leeches I had to use the body inspection system, allowing me to rotate my limbs to check for injuries. After pulling off the leeches and wandering through the bushes a bit to try and find leaves to make a bandage, I heard a hiss and was immediately bitten by a rattlesnake. I died shortly after. My next survival attempt was cut short by a group of tribal warriors who probably proceeded to eat my intestines after slaughtering me with their clubs.
The crafting is fairly intuitive, you right-click on items to expand a menu and select crafting. This then brings up a crafting interface where you can drag other bits from your backpack to try and combine them into various tools such as a stone axe or a bow. The tutorial that’s included is the first few days of the campaign story and it teaches you how to manage food and create a fire or bandages, other than that you’re on your own.
One thing I’ve noticed this game does particularly well is capture that stress of being alone in a high-intensity survival situation. Every decision counts in one way or another. Resources are scarce and you will quickly lose your mind if you don’t keep yourself healthy.
Though I have played a lot of these crafting survival types of game, I must say none of them looks quite as good as Green Hell.
I am playing the game on high settings at 1080p and it looks absolutely fantastic. I’ve encountered minimal graphical bugs in my time playing. The way sunlight and moonlight pass through the leaves of the trees, it’d be a beautiful place to vacation if not for the very deadly things trying to end your life under every bush. Speaking of the foliage, Green Hell also does a particularly good job on the textures and density of leaves without being too taxing on your machine. The rain effects in the game are really well done, too. When it rains it really feels like being in a rainforest, everything gets drenched. The first time I loaded up Green Hell I couldn’t believe how good it looked. Visually it was just astounding that an early access game could look like this. The water effects going across rocks in the rivers and down the waterfalls were particularly nice to look at, even if filled with gross leeches that wanted to drink me.
Green Hell also runs surprisingly smooth for a game in early access with so many textures and effects going on, I haven’t encountered any real frame rate issues to speak of. Held at a solid 60fps the entire time I played, even when raining, which is more than I can say for some other games.
One big thing I noticed while playing with a headset on, is that there are many ambient sounds in the jungle. While walking around I could hear the squish of the mud or the squeaks of the tiny mice running away from me. It really added to the immersion and made the jungle feel alive. The directional sound was something else, I could hear which direction the snake was in reference to my leg before he took a bite out of me. Too bad it didn’t help me avoid the snake. However, It did teach me a lesson. Hear a hiss? Run the other way. Fast. There’s always some sort of sound going on. The jungle is never silent, which is great. I’ve never been to a jungle, but I assume there’s always some bird or something making a sound, So they’ve done a good job of emulating that here. One of the most terrifying sounds I have encountered in the game is the sound of the jungle tribesmen finding out you’re nearby and shouting to each other as they try to surround and murder me. Their warcries were intimidating as heck.
I’ll tell you this; I could spend a lot of hours learning to survive the jungle. It’s a tough, stressful and yet fun time. I’m not sure how long the campaign will be, but the game does feature a regular survival mode and challenge modes on top of that. I can see this game having a fair amount of longevity, especially if Multiplayer gets implemented after the full release. There’s plenty to keep the player engaged long enough to get the standard $1/hour amount of gameplay I look for when buying a game. I can see myself easily getting much more than that, given the game is fairly cheap.
This game is a pretty outstanding offering from the early access program. I wasn’t expecting much from it and yet was pleasantly surprised when the game killed my time and time again. As much as I died I couldn’t bring myself to give up. Green Hell has put the drive to survive in me, and I will continue to play this game through its development. I’m excited to see how it’ll turn out when it officially releases. I give it the Gold award, if you’re a fan of survival crafting games, this one is damn near a must-have. I highly recommend picking it up and giving it a fair shake. Once you start learning the recipes and surviving it can feel very rewarding to play.
Disclaimer: A code was provided to complete this review