In VGU’s Dont Starve PS4 review, Joshua Mobley discusses the artistic survival simulator and why its not for everyone.
Simply put, Don’t Starve isn’t for everyone, but the more you play it and discover its mechanics, the more it seems to grow on you. Learning the lay of the land, what items you should craft, and how to deal with harsh (and random) situations that crop up, can keep you alive and make all the difference. The lack of story telling, tutorials, or a helping hand might turn some people off, but much like science it requires trial and error until the ultimate method is discovered.
“Maxwell might be looking for this.”
Don’t Starve doesn’t have much of a story. For the most part, the plot takes a back seat to the gameplay and lets the player interpret it however they wish. Based on the introduction video, a magical man named Maxwell bestows the main character, Wilson, with special knowledge. With this knowledge, Wilson builds a machine that transports him to a different and harsh world. Wilson must use his knowledge to craft items, gather food, and ultimately survive this harsh an foreign wilderness. Don’t Starve does have an ending (which I won’t spoil), but don’t expect a deep plot or character development.
“Sure beats darkness.”
At its core, Don’t Starve is a game about survival. During the day, you will collect food, resources, and craft items like axes and machines in order to help you survive. During the night, you will build your fire, cook your food, and hope you live to see morning. Don’t Starve doesn’t hold your hand, nor does it give you any clues as to what you should be doing, it leaves that to the player to find out. Don’t Starve is a game about learning the mechanics, trial and error, and ultimately honing your craft. The more days you survive, the more experience point you’ll earn when your game is over. By leveling up you gain access to extra characters and worlds to explore and play in. Each character has a special ability or specific items that start in their inventory to help you survive. Micromanaging your health, sanity, and hunger are also a big part of the game. Let your sanity slide? The shadow monsters will get you. Don’t eat enough? you’ll starve. The game requires you to micromanage your heath and take your time building up your base.
Don’t expect to memorize the game though, the world is procedurally generated, which means that it’s completely randomized every time you play. Each game feels unique and enhances the replay value; each time you boot up the game there is something new to find, and new stories to tell your friends. Unfortunately the learning curve in Don’t Starve is also its downfall. The fact there there is no tutorial is a turn off to people who don’t want to take the time learning what foods are the best, what to craft, and what to avoid.
“I am one heck of a scientist.”
I was once walking through a large field and stumbled upon a fort. The fort had a ton of supplies, and it would protect me from the monsters. I immediately got excited about having a place to call home. I stumbled upon a treasure chest inside my tiny fort and decided to open it up. Turns out that the chest was a fire trap and my newly found fort was burned to the ground. These are the kind of situations that you share with your friends, I find the stories that come out of Don’t Starve are the impaction part of the experience. Like I said in the beginning, Don’t Starve isn’t for everyone and it wont be nice or hold your hand, but it is a fun and rewarding experience where your random experiences are fun to share.
Did you enjoy our Don’t Starve PS4 review? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.