Sons of the Forest – Crude, Violent Survival on a Mysterious Island Filled With Secrets and Abominations!

Sons of the forest header

“All roads lead deeper into the forest” – Darkwood

Developer: Endnight Games
Released: 22nd February 2024
Price: € 28,99

Platforms: Windows PC
Available on: Steam
Engine: Unity


  • Excellent graphics, alongside realistic effects and unobtrusive UI, provide a deep immersion.
  • Enormous open world that feels rewarding to explore, filled with many interesting locations to discover above and below ground.
  • Solid overall gameplay variety, that equally distributes combat, survival, exploration and base management.
  • Highly challenging combat on Hard and above difficulties; higher tier foes that can outright 1-shot you if unprepared, and come in great numbers.
  • A simple but engaging story that has enough mystery to keep the player interested until the end, despite being somewhat confusing at times.


  • The base building system often proves clunky and impractical, due to its own technical limitations.
  • Excessive amount of world-spawned supplies, especially later on, which makes survival aspects less impactful than they should be.
  • Companions that can fight can’t be commanded to consistently follow you, so they prove unreliable in their support.

Bugs & Issues

  • Some companions may not always execute orders correctly and get stuck in the environment or into buildings.
  • Rarely, player animations can break and prevent the inventory from opening. Load a save to fix.
  • Certain items can be duplicated if taken by multiple players simultaneously or deposited in a holder in specific ways.

Machine Specs

  • i9 13980HX
  • 64GB RAM DDR5
  • RTX 4090
  • NvME SSD
  • 3840×2160

Content & Replay Value

It took me, alongside another player, around 35 hours to complete Sons of the Forest on the default difficulty, taking extra time to explore all locations and complete optional objectives. With two different endings, a variety of locations to build your base into, and highly customizable difficulty, there’s good replay value for at least another run.

Is It Worth Buying?

Yes. The price of 29€ is fair for this amount of content and quality; if you like open-world survival games, I’d suggest to buy even without a discount.


A straight upgrade from the already-spectacular The Forest. This chapter takes everything that made the first game a hit, and improves upon it in nearly every aspect. A must-have.

Sons of the forest monster
The cave dwellers are not friendly.

Sons of the Forest – In-Depth Analysis

Writing & Wordbuilding

Billionaire Edward Puffton has gone missing on a mysterious island he recently purchased, so you, as part of a private security force, are tasked with finding him and discovering why comms have gone dark. Of course, things don’t go as planned, and you soon find yourself, alongside your eventual co-op teammates and the inseparable AI-powered companion Kevin, stranded on the very island you gotta investigate. From that point on, you’ll have to fend for yourself in the wilderness, under constant attack from savages and unspeakable abominations, while enduring the weather and survival needs.

The enormous island is visually spectacular: forests are lush, caves are dark and creepy, and cliffs windy and barren. Even if largely dominated by nature and native outposts, you’ll also find man-made structures such as bunkers and construction sites, albeit sparingly. The cycle of seasons is dynamic and directly impacts flora, and fauna spawns and also survival difficulty, with harsh winters being especially brutal.

With its simple premise, the story isn’t Sons of the Forest’s fortè, but does the job, especially when compounded by the many optional lore pieces you can find around. Bordering on ‘à la X-Files’ sci-fi at times, but mostly dominated by a dark splatter/horror mood, the narrative isn’t Oscar material, but is also not terrible.

Sons of the forest inventory
You can carry a lot without being weighed down, but you’ll still need a base to store the excess.

Exploration & Secrets

You’ll initially move on foot on the large island, a GPS always available to display your position and also any important location you might spot or find info about on acquired lore pieces. Faster means of transportation will become available at some point, but all of them have certain drawbacks such as fuel or inability to be used everywhere.

Generally speaking, exploration is rewarding due to the sheer number and amount of resources you’ll find on a generic stroll between camps, outposts, caves, bunkers and random loot containers that periodically ‘magically’ refill. All marked POIs always have a unique tool, key item or weapon in them, alongside a unique layout and usually threats to deal with. Careful exploration will be rewarded, as there are many missable items, blueprints and weapons hidden in remote, but not impossible-to-find, locations of the world.

Combat System & Bosses

Unlike in the first game, this time around you’ll have access to a roster of guns and other ranged options, other than several melee tools. Fighting native incursions and raiding caves packed with Lovecraftian abominations isn’t easy, and you’ll likely die many times before figuring out each enemy’s unique attack patterns, behaviors and weaknesses.

Death penalty is minimal regardless of difficulty, in fact, you’ll respawn alongside your gear at a short distance without any downside. Enemies hit like trucks, and without armor you’ll die in a few hits even on Normal difficulty, let alone harder ones, which I tested in my second playthrough. Having a teammate to help even the numbers is helpful, since your companion Kevin can’t fight, and those who can, can’t be commanded to act consistently. Combat is gory and has very good weight behind it, with dismemberment and decapitations being a regular event.

There are a couple of bosses found in major locations, which, however, exceptions made for the final one, are little more than reskins of normal enemies, just with much higher damage and health pools. Even the final unique boss is not very strong, and with the resources you’ll have by endgame, it will be little more than a pushover.

Survival & Base Building

You’ll soon need a place to shelter yourself, deposit excess loot (there will be a lot of it), plant crops, dry meats, and do everything else in order to survive the next oncoming winter, or the next savage horde knocking at your walls. You’re free to build anywhere on the island, with a freeform system that allows creating customized buildings using tree logs – a system that is fantastic sometimes but can also be a real pain due to how it works, and there isn’t any real tutorial for it, either. Of course, building closer to savage camps will lead to more incursions, while building closer to caves will have more abominations to ruin your days. In either case, your base will come under attack by stronger enemies as days go by, with a roster of traps and defenses to help you fend them off. Yes, everything can be destroyed if you get overrun – don’t let it happen.

Survival needs include sleep, hunger and thirst. They won’t kill you, but instead reduce your maximum stamina to the point you’ll be unable to perform most actions without being exhausted. Staying decently fed and rested will be vital to not become an emaciated cyst flatlined after a single axe swing. Generally, this isn’t a hard task: clean water and basic foods aren’t hard to come by with some basic tools found in early game; after that, it’s a downhill course. Dungeons like caves are usually more than enough stocked to prevent it, as well.

Sons of the forest base
Prepare your defenses: they are coming.

If you liked this game, you might also enjoy…
The Chant | Keplerth | Kholat

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