Rust is one of those games that seem to reveal the true nature of humans. It’s tough and cruel at times, but can create some of the most memorable gaming moments you will ever experience. Just like in the real world, you will find people that help and hinder you, while having one communal goal: Survival.
Upon picking a server, you will be dropped into a seemingly desolate world with nothing but a rock, some bandages, and a torch. Before you know it you’ll be on your way to creating your first wooden shelter and crafting temporary tools. Finding food and creating a fire will ensure your survival, but those resources often seem impossible to find. While a campfire is easy to craft and will provide you with the warmth to help you survive the night, it will also clearly advertise your position to other players – and that is something you really don’t want to do while playing this game.
With various dangers such as wolves, bears and zombies threatening your existence, every night you survive feels like a triumph. With all this danger, it is not the walking dead that scares me while playing, it’s the other players. People living vicariously through these virtual cavemen with no ramifications for their actions is a scary concept. Hiding in the trees while 2 people run past you is one of those rare moments in gaming that will make you feel that if you take one breath, you will be discovered.
While harvesting stone and metal ore, I turned around and found myself staring down the barrel of a gun. “Hand over everything you have and I’ll let you walk away” I heard over the in game voice chat. I dropped all of my stuff at his feet. He could have just killed me and taken my stuff, but something about holding people at gunpoint is a powerful thing for people in Rust that they can’t feel in real life. It’s a concept that scares me. After he had taken all of my stuff, my mugger was true to his word and started to walk away. Left with only a rock and a torch, I watched him leave with all of my hard work.
I was suddenly filled with anger over the fact that somebody had taken all of my stuff, just because he could. If he had the resources to craft a gun and ammo, nothing that I could have given him would have progressed him any further than he already had. I took my rock in my hand and began running after him, adamant on exacting my revenge on my assailant. I had nothing left to lose. I ran up behind him, ready to strike, but then I stopped. I was better than him. And I knew a rock couldn’t win against a gun; I wasn’t going to lose my life for some power hungry asshole. I lowered my rock and walked away, defeated.
It’s hard to find trusting people in Rust, but when you do, it restores any faith you may have lost. I had died of hunger in the middle of the night and respawned in the pitch black. I started to wander not knowing where I could go to survive the cold. I made a note to not use my torch at night to keep myself hidden from others. I decided to use it so I could hopefully make out where I was. When my torch blazed to life, I found someone standing in front of me. I stood still not wanting to make any movements that may be seen as aggressive. “Follow me” the stranger typed in the server chat. I followed, hoping that he would have a house or food. The fact that this guy didn’t kill me on sight seemed like a good enough sign that I could trust him. He led me into the mountain to a campfire that he lit. Sitting next to a campfire in the middle of the night provides you with comfort that slows the decline of your hunger meter. We sat by the fire until sunrise, and both went our separate ways. This stranger had saved me from death and didn’t expect anything in return. Finding nice people in Rust makes the bad things that happen to you feel worth it in the end.
If you decide to play Rust, I recommend you play it with a friend. Having someone by your side really helps your survival, and halves the work load it takes to make a life for yourself. After playing it for one day alone, I achieved little to nothing. I was joined by a friend on my second day of playing, and we already have a house with plenty of food. I plan on playing this game for a long time, and I’m excited to see what the developers add to the world. Until I can find a community to join, and hopefully make some major progress, I will continue to survive in a world full of monsters, and humans more horrifying than any creatures imaginable.
Rust is currently in early alpha on Steam Early Access for $19.99.