Scouting Didn’t Prepare Me
The Boy Scouts of America organization taught me a lot about survival in the woods. Find water, a way to get help, make shelter, and no matter what, don’t panic. I remember a scenario that came up at summer camp. We had to survive and create an SOS message using rocks and logs. Everything was going well until our counselor randomly began “killing” scouts with boulders and wrecking our shelter to simulate weather. The constant chaos of our impending doom from a teenager with our lives in his hands is how Green Hell always feels. At least we didn’t have the counselor sending out waves of zombies.
Green Hell is an excellent example of how well Steam Early Access works for developers. A year after hitting Early Access and the full release adds the long-anticipated story mode. It successfully stands out in the overcrowded survival genre by smoothly blending story and survival.
Green Hell Review | Balancing Story and Survival
Green Hell maintains an open-world to explore and survive in with countless threats against your life without being a linear campaign. The story comes alive as you lose yourself in the rainforest, although it ends up on the backburner when danger creeps up on you. As goes with most survival games, Green Hell is no outlier in focusing on needs like hunger and thirst. The developers at Creepy Jar try to be unique without overcomplicating your needs by having protein, carbohydrates, fats, thirst, and sanity.
The story mode eases you into the plot. Then, almost in the blink of an eye, the struggle to survive hits you like a brick wall. Consistently walking the edge of death is why Green Hell is both a terrible time and a great one. Early on you get a watch that tracks your needs to help combat that struggle.
Green Hell Review | Leeches, Jaguars, and Food Poisoning, Oh My
Growing up in the woods of New York taught me that ticks are a pain. However, it didn’t prepare me for the chaos of the Amazon rainforest. My first few hours of Green Hell involved suffering from food poisoning, passing out in a river, death by a jaguar, and more. I don’t know why I ate a clearly labeled poisonous dart frog. Something about curiosity and a cat.
The sheer amount of times I died from something different shows how many different threats exist in Green Hell. Instead of starving to death, you’re more likely to starve from food poisoning or become dehydrated. Simultaneously, a jaguar attack isn’t always fatal immediately. If you don’t bandage a wound and deal with infection afterward, you’re bound to perish. The Amazon rainforest consistently finds a way to make your life more difficult.
Creepy Jar created a feature where you inspect your body for injuries and parasites on each limb. The worst part of the rainforest is checking nonstop for leeches because you’re wearing shorts. While leeches are a minor but irritating nuisance, worms and infected wounds can be a struggle.
Green Hell Review | Using Your Ears to Survive
I spent the majority of my time in the Amazon rainforest looking at the ground and listening to my surroundings. You rarely know what poisonous predator you just stepped near or what animals watch your every move. The sound design creates an atmosphere where I feel as if I am actually in a rainforest. The wind rustling through leaves as an armadillo runs away from me screeching. Birds chirping and the most annoying mice squeaking that I can never slaughter enough of.
You’ll get your feet wet in Green Hell after a few deaths. As your lives get longer, you learn to tread carefully no matter what. Each time the leaves rustle, I always frantically look at everything around me. Practically forgetting the number one rule to not panic. I must have missed the merit badge on fighting jaguars. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the time it’s a cute capybara or grunting boar that’s more afraid of me.
The combat system is relatively weak since you can take out the majority of predators easily on normal difficulty. One arrow to the head is enough to kill most animals regardless of whether they’re passive or aggressive. The only time you need to worry is when the aggressive ones catch you by surprise as they usually do.
Green Hell Review| A Hoarder’s Dream
Another area Green Hell suffers is inventory management. Normally I can cope with some jank, but with how frequently you use your inventory it’s frustrating. You can’t move items around your inventory if it collides with itself. This prevents you from moving an item over one row in your grid-based inventory because it thinks the item you’re moving is blocking it.
People playing Green Hell for the first time will get the most out of the new story mode. The struggle in surviving alongside learning creates a great balance while discovering the plot. Those well versed in the survival mode will still enjoy it, but they’ll get through it much quicker than someone inexperienced. It isn’t always obvious where to go or what to do, but your character takes notes to keep on track.
As long as you don’t get stuck wandering for hours with no idea what you’re supposed to do like I have, the story is captivating. Green Hell plays like a roguelike in the way that you have to mess up a lot before you get the hang of it. However, once you do, it feels natural and the main challenge dissipates. It’s a tough spot because it can be frustrating enough to make you give up. On the flip side, it sure does feel rewarding when you become comfortable in the wild.
TechRaptor reviewed Green Hell on PC via Steam with a code provided by the developer.
- Immersive Sound Design
- Strong Storyline
- Unique Threats to Your Survival
- Poor Inventory Management
- Missing Minor Details Can Lead to Hours of Aimless Wandering