Developer: Creepy Jar
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 08/10/2020
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Green Hell takes place in the Amazon rain forest where like its actual life counter part death awaits around every tree. Luckily for us are safe in our own homes….mostly.
You play as Dr Jake Higgins, who along with his girlfriend Mia have just touched down in their Amazonian base of operations. Mai is an interpreter, and she is there to do a study in a local, possibly hostile tribe. The next morning she leaves early to get to the tribe alone – You can see where this is going. When Jake awakes he looks for Mia to find a note saying she is away ahead of him. After trying to contact her on the walkie-talkie. With no response, Jake goes after her. This is where things go from bad to worse.
Green Hell is all about survival and trying o make it feel as ‘real’ as possible. Jake has a smart watch that shows his vital stats protein, thrust and health: this is the one emersion braking element, but not so far from reality that it feels shoe horned in because the devs wanted very little HUD. While Jake is out on his own, he will need to manage all of his vital stats to survive if not he will die rather quickly. For an extra layer of emersion, Creepy Jar added a sanity if that drops then Jake will start hallucinating, making a claustrophobic environment even worse.
To make a fire
In all good survival games there has to be a building element along with a survival element. Green Hell has this down to a tee. I play Alot of survival games I have 100s of hours on Ark for example (only stopped as i started review writing). The building and survival elements are so well intermingled in Green Hell you HAVE to build simple things like fires to stay warm or cook foods. Now here is where forward planning IS needed. for a fire like in real life, you will need kindling small sticks to catch fire and sticks to burn.
There are two ways to get these scavenge hope you find the sticks you need on the ground. Jake can also forage this would need a few elements in place, firstly an axe or knife, then cut down a tree, break the tree down in to the parts you need like small sticks and sticks. After then find the kindling at the start of the game is scarce a bird nest for instance. Find a spot, build it up by placing each part one by one. THEN…..to light it you will need flint to start a fire. Let’s just say it’s very involved process.
The building process in Green Hell will take up the majority of the time, but after a few goes it becomes fairly simple. Once you have item management down, you will know what Jake needs to keep and what needs to go. Building is not the only thing to do, Jake will need to forage for foods and other materials. Then there will be wild animals to contend with, tribes coming to kill you, parasites, leeches and other things that want to kill you. And all these elements are just as involved as a smile camp fire. Just like in the real Amazon, you will need to be ready for everything and anything.
Not all the systems work so good, however, the controls are fiddly on the Switch. Green Hell was a PC game to start with and lots going on the button mapping was simpler. Creepy Jar and Forever Entertainment have done a fantastic job of making this all work. Because of the limited buttons, these controls are sometimes fiddly and take time to remember. The one other thing I noticed as where is a fair bit of pop in and the draw distance is very close. Yes, it’s on the switch and it’s not even a problem most of the time, however I wandered a little too close to things that wanted to kill me.
However, Green Hell looks stunning still it is up there with some of the best graphics I have seen on the Switch. There is still so much to talk about, but I will be here all day.
I going to go out and say this: if you can get past the fiddly controls then Green Hell is one of the best survival games on the Switch to date. It is so involved and you must plan everything in order to survive. It will not disappoint you.
It will not be for everyone, but Green Hell is still worth looking at even if you are casual survival player.