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Green Hell Early Access Review

Green Hell (currently early access) drops players into the Amazon jungle with a very simple goal: survive. There’s extensive crafting, some great mechanics, and some unique offerings that really set this title apart in a fairly jam-packed field.

Before we get into details though, it’s important to point out that currently, Story Mode is unavailable. Creepy Jar has included an introductory tutorial, though, which takes you through the basic mechanics. Not only this, it also introduces the main storyline and it’s safe to say it’s going to be very interesting. In it, the main protagonist has journeyed to the Amazon with his girlfriend, with the aim of making contact and opening up negotiations with a tribe of natives. They’ve had no contact with the outside world, but the hope is that the girlfriend can make contact and our protagonist will be able to support her. Suffice to say, things don’t immediately go to plan. There isn’t much to reveal at this point, but it sets up the plot nicely as players are not only struggling to survive but also embark on a rescue mission.

It’s highly recommended that you play the tutorial at least once. It’ll set you up with basics and teach you how to access various aspects of the UI.

BE PREPARED

If there is one piece of advice to give players, it’s to be prepared. Green Hell is tough. Not only must you maintain four different nutritional needs, but you must also try to keep yourself sane, and that’s before we’ve even gotten to all of the different ways you can become diseased and poisoned. To succeed, you’ll need to stock up on supplies and ensure you’re carrying tools and items appropriate for the area you’re in.

Unlike most survival entries, you are not given blueprints for everything straight away. You have enough to get started and cope with basic survival, but the rest must be discovered and unlocked over time. As you journey and pick up items/materials, you will learn how they can be used to make new blueprints. Alternatively, you can use the crafting system to try combining various materials until you get a viable product. The blueprints aren’t gated. As long as you can find the right combination you can begin using it right away.

There is limited inventory space and after the first hour or so, and this can become difficult to manage. Rather than weight, it’s limited by item size. Don’t be surprised if you need to pause and re-arrange your inventory so that you can carry more things. It’s important to only pick up what you need. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself quickly overwhelmed.

STAYING ALIVE

The nutrients system require you to consume protein, carbs, fats, and water. You have a watch to keep an eye on this, and once you’ve identified useful plants and creatures, it’s fairly easy to keep stocked up on things. The hardest to find is definitely protein, but it’s not impossible. As well as the nutrient system, you have a sanity, health, and energy meter. If it sounds like a lot, well, it is, but it adds a great level of suspense as you must balance all of these to survive.

On the more unique side, there are poisons and diseases, yes, but there’s also an interesting Inspect action. By Inspecting yourself, you can look at various areas of your body and check for things like cuts, abrasions, leeches, and other fun maladies. Each requires a different treatment, from bandages to herbal medicines and more, so it’s important to be careful as you travel.

Surviving is very tough. Even the easiest settings don’t offer much of a reprieve. Shelter is imperative, as is constructing a good bed to sleep in. Without these two, surviving becomes incredibly difficult and it’s easy for things to very quickly spiral out of control, leading to a swift demise. While some may want multiplayer, this would really defeat a lot of the challenge that Green Hell brings. Plus, a full story-driven campaign is a great alternative.

IF I COULD HAVE ONE THING

There is plenty of good to be said about Green Hell, and the only real negative is the difficulty. There are some tweaks and balances that need to be made to sanity and consumption rates, as it’s far too easy to wind up dead through no fault of your own. Still, there is plenty going on to keep players coming back for more.

THE GOOD STUFF

The graphics and atmosphere are fantastic. The jungle really comes to life, and you’re not stuck looking at endless trees either. There are canyons, streams, trails, rivers, and random campsites that you’ll come across. The detail and textures are very well made, bringing the jungle to life. The atmosphere is helped by the audio too: animal calls, strange noises, and the crunching of your boots over dead leaves really bring a sense of immersion that many games lack.

There are very few bugs and the system is stable. Something of a rarity these days. It runs well with smooth, tight controls and easy to navigate menu systems. Despite frequent deaths, it really is a joy to play.

7

The Verdict: Great

Aside from the very steep learning curve and slightly overeager sanity meter that likes to drop off rapidly from even tiny things sometimes, the game is very enjoyable. If you’re looking to play survival scenarios and are getting sick of the same copycat formats, this is definitely one to try. A real challenge to the survival aspect makes Green Hell stand out from the crowd. The setting is also unique, and with the promise of a full story campaign, there is enough here to keep players interested for hours to come.

Melanie Hawthorne
Written by
September 07, 2018
Published in Adventure

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Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!

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