Minecraft and things of the like have shown there is a lot more to gaming than fighting monsters or jumping on stuff. Unique experiences, unusual ideas and different concepts have led to a diverse range of titles. Rust is certainly an experience that sounds like it would fail on paper. You, with a number of other people on an island, try to survive hostile players and animals, in a brutal unforgiving world. Similar titles, such as Tail of the Sun, failed with the concept but after a successful run on PC, Rust Console Edition hopes to introduce the title to a new group, but will it find the same success?
Rust Console Edition starts with a rather ominous cold open. Players wake up on an island with nothing more than a rock and torch. Characters are randomly generated the second the adventure starts and are set from that point forward. I ended up getting a rather dapper looking chap who had a steely resolve for adventure. This won’t appeal to everyone, my girlfriend was not thrilled with her bald gentleman, though the choice makes it easier to identify with said avatar. It may or may not be what you want but much like real life, it is what you got.
After checking yourself out, Rust Console Edition sets players free to figure things out. There are no tutorials, tips or advice, just two tools that have to lead to bigger and better things. Despite these humble beginnings, it’s clear that Rust eventually, somehow, leads to bigger and better things. Depending on the server and other conditions, the world will show just how far others have advanced. When I started people had automatic steel doors and impressive forts that mocked my rather basic rock.
Even if that is the, or at least a, destination, Rust Console Edition is very much so about the journey. Without revealing too much, the core idea is to make the most of your tools to survive in this harsh world. At this point it should be fairly obvious the rock is important, which is used can be used to hit rocks, trees, stones and other objects to collect resources. After attacking, there will be an indicator of where to hit. Repeating striking this point will make things go faster, though they can sometimes be hard to hit. There will also be resources to pick up, such as hemp, all of which lead to the all-important crafting system.
At this point, provided an animal or player hasn’t killed you, things start to snowball. These resources can be used to create crude tools to make collecting or defending easier. Animals will give bones that can be made into a variety of resources to make survival easier.
Once things start going, it’s important to build a base for protection and storing resources. This will follow a similar process as the tools. Collect resources, craft supplies, think strategically and hope something doesn’t kill you along the way. And, at this point, the adventure really starts to unfold.
Part of what makes Rust Console Edition so intriguing is the constant fear that your end is just around the corner. Sometimes it will be from a looter catching you off guard, other times a seasoned player noticing easy prey or simply betrayal.
It teaches a lot of life’s harder lessons but also provides an outlet for players to create their own narrative. It’s possible to be the villain ala Westworld, taking over critical spots or using better resources to dominate newcomers or a place where you can work together to make the most of the world. There is no telling what will happen in the future, how each adventure will play out but they all lead back to waking up on the island with that rock and torch.
Unfortunately, this does lead to one of the hardest aspects of Rust Console Edition. Simply put, it’s not the adventure that will resonate with everyone. It takes a while to start moving, with the thrill coming from investing a massive amount of time into the world. Being stuck in the stone age isn’t fun, so if you’re going to get Rust Console Edition, you really need to be willing to invest in it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Rust Console Edition is a little on the rougher side for graphics. It won’t blow anyone away, neither will the physics and some of the quirks, though it is the type of adventure that is about the idea over the sum of its parts, similar to Minecraft.
Rust Console Edition Verdict
The main thing to remember with Rust Console Edition is that you need to come in with a desire to build a life and invest the time to see that life through. This makes it hard to suggest to everyone, especially those who will want to fight a bear the second they spawn, a choice you’ll likely immediately regret but it does what it wants to quite well. The meta-game alone can feel hours, days, weeks or even months, provided you come in with an open mind.
[Editor’s Note: Rust Console Edition was reviewed on PlayStation 5 and a copy was provided to us.]