We keep an eye on the ever-changing fortunes of Steam‘s most-wanted games, and there have been some interesting developments recently. A few weeks ago, there was the whole The Day Before debacle, in which one of Steam’s most-wishlisted games mysteriously vanished due to a trademark dispute, a story that only got weirder(opens in new tab) from there.
And this week, horror survival sandbox Sons of the Forest surpassed Starfield, Bethesda’s highly anticipated RPG. More Steam users appear to be interested in exploring a single creepy island than in visiting 1,000 planets in outer space.
Of course, there aren’t many explanations for why an indie survival game recently surpassed Bethesda’s next RPG on players’ wish lists. Starfield will be available on PC Game Pass at launch, so I’m sure many Steam users won’t be able to play it. And, despite much speculation(opens in new tab), Starfield has yet to receive a release date. Also, why bother adding Starfield to your wishlist? It’s not like you’ll need an email from Valve to remind you when it finally launches. Every streamer, YouTuber, and gaming website in the world will be talking about it.
But it’s still an impressive feat for a game about chopping down trees and hacking up cannibals in the woods, especially given that developer Endnight Games only announced two weeks ago that Sons of the Forest will launch in early access on February 23 rather than as a full release. The phrase “early access survival game” does not usually inspire confidence in gamers.
What exactly is Sons of the Forest?
Sons of the Forest is the sequel to another survival game, The Forest, which was released in early access in 2014. (back when Steam Greenlight was still a thing). You were stranded on an island and had to build a shelter, make weapons and tools, collect food and water, and deal with the island’s terrifying inhabitants, a tribe of vicious cannibals.
The Forest had a rocky start, as many unfinished games do, but it also showed a lot of promise with stunning visuals, terrifying enemies, and memorable survival and combat systems (you could use a severed leg as a melee weapon). Over the next few years, the developers patched it numerous times, adding new features such as co-op and even VR support, and eventually drew a crowd. More importantly, the audience remained: thousands of people continue to play The Forest every day, and its peak consecutive player count of over 76,000 occurred only a few months ago.
As a result, The Forest became something of a cult classic, and the sequel promises to be entertaining. You’re not alone this time as you visit an island in search of a missing billionaire. You will not only be able to play Sons of the Forest in co-op, but you will also have a companion to assist you. According to IGN, an AI-controlled survivor named Kelvin will pick up the slack by chopping wood, stockpiling resources, and performing other mundane tasks while you focus on building or exploring. Other companions, including a three-legged mutant, are apparently available later in the game. That piques my interest enough for me to add it to my wishlist.
Sons of the Forest plans to remain in early access for 6-8 months, according to its Steam page, though this may change depending on player feedback. It will be available on February 23rd.