After years of promises, Rust Console Edition has finally received its big release. As someone who has gotten very into the survival genre since the pandemic began and hadn't played Rust since the Early Access days, this was actually a very exciting prospect. The idea of Rust making the transition to consoles made sense with its recent boost in popularity, and getting to experience the game with a much larger base of players seemed like a great concept in theory. In practice though, Rust doesn't work quite as well on console and the nearly eight year old game is really showing its age.
For those unfamiliar with it, Rust is a multiplayer survival game that drops players into its world completely naked with only a rock to defend themselves. The rock must be used to break apart nearby stones and trees to be able to craft things like axes or weapons. From there each player must try to find a safe place to build a home that protects them from hostile creatures and other players. To survive for longer, though, it is necessary to either keep a low profile or form alliances with others to protect each other. For these reasons Rust can be equally frustrating and horrifying, because you never know if the survivors you meet are friendlies just trying to stay alive or insane monsters who attack without saying a word.
The Same Old Rust
At its best Rust Console Edition manages to capture the exact same feelings that the original game presents to its players. I was honestly very shocked to see how little about Rust has changed since I stopped playing a few years ago, which was actually pretty disappointing. There have been so many new entries in the survival genre in the last decade that concepts Rust offers up feel very outdated at this point. Games like Valheim, ARK, and even its contemporary DayZ (which made the jump to console two years ago) have managed to take Rust's ideas and improve upon them in many different ways.
"Rust Console Edition finally brings the Rust experience to PlayStation and Xbox players, but when stacked against newer survival games, Rust really starts to show its age."
One of the biggest problems is the huge amount of work that is required to acquire the simplest kinds of resources. Stones and Plant Fiber are necessary for a great number of crafting recipes, but finding them out in the world can be a pain. The longer it takes to get your hands on crafting materials drastically increases the chances that another player will end your life and take your items for themselves. There is also the added frustration that the players who are able to completely rule a Rust server are the ones who are able to devote all of their time to playing. Those who only have a few hours a day to play will only have enough time to construct a base to hide inside while they are logged off, and even then its pretty likely that another player will find their way inside to steal all of your hard earned materials.
Servers Need Some Work
As far as Rust Console Edition itself goes, I experienced several issues with the game that made it more frustrating to play than the standard version. My biggest complaint has to be that the game is definitely not designed with a controller in mind. It took a lot of adjusting to get to a point where the controls worked for me, and even then they never quite felt comfortable. There were also a series of server crashes and bugs throughout my time with the game, but these can mostly be forgiven considering the game just launched. It does seem like Facepunch underestimated the number of servers that Rust Console Edition would require though, because all of the North America were completely full almost every time I attempted to play at night. This meant I was forced to play in European servers and deal with much higher ping.
Now this isn't to say that Rust Console Edition is all bad. The game looks absolutely terrific, and the ability to use quick chat to converse with nearby players is intuitive and easy to use. Additionally, even though the control scheme takes a lot of getting used to, it is actually really easy to build and improve buildings. Players who are unfamiliar with the genre or have never played Rust before can use this as an excellent starting point, as odds are most PC Rust players will stick to playing it on the PC. This means that the majority of players probably have little experience with the game, and newcomers can get acquainted a little easier.
Rust Console Edition Review | Not For Survival Genre Vets
Rust Console Edition successfully recreates the Rust experience for consoles, but at the end of the day, I am not quite sure that is a good thing. This console version may be a great place for beginners to hop in, but anyone who is a big fan of the survival genre will probably wind up underwhelmed by the entire experience. This edition of Rust is going to require several content updates before it feels worth investing in.
TechRaptor reviewed Rust Console Edition using a PlayStation 4 code provided by the developer. It can also be played on Xbox One.
- Familiar Rust Experience
- Excellent Quick Chat Method
- Intuitive Building Mechanics
- Poor Control Scheme
- Not Enough Servers
- Outdated Mechanics