/Played is a regular post where I dissect and discuss a game I’ve recently played.
Recently I’ve been playing Rust! 115 total hours on record as of writing this…
For those who aren’t familiar with RUST, it’s an open world survival game where players must harvest resources to stave off hunger and dehydration and create tools to eventually build a base of their own. It’s been developed by Facepunch Studios who was founded by Garry Newman of Garry’s mod fame. It’s currently in Early Access and available for purchase on Steam
Creating tension through audio
Every time a player gathers resources it triggers an audio cue that signals to anyone in the area that you are near, for example chopping wood from a tree, each axe strike can be heard at a distance. The whole game experience hinges on player interaction, will that person kill me or help me? If you are a new player who needs the basic resources desperately the threat of death and spawning again with nothing is intimidating. If you are a advanced player carrying the best gear, you can still be caught unaware and lose all your high quality items.
Progression tied with item acquisition
There is no leveling or unlock system in RUST, the only way to progress is to acquire more items. Better tools for faster resource gathering, resistance material allowing players to collect rare items from radiated areas and improved weapons and offensive items allowing players to more efficiently raid other players bases. Which works in unison with…
Player persistence whilst offline
Logging off in Rust causes your character to lie on the floor and enter a “sleeping” state. When sleeping you are vulnerable and can have you inventory accessed by other players or simply killed outright. This acts as a huge motivator to build a base, a secure area to log off in so your items (progress) are at less risk of being taken (lost).
These key elements come together to form a very tight gameplay loop. Gather items, craft a base to secure your items, gather more, improve your base to further minimise risk, gather enough items to raid other players bases and up the amount of items you acquire.
The above combined with brutal PvP means RUST is an extremely moreish and tense game.