Force of Nature is an open world crafting game with a level system and multiplayer options. Players gain levels by building up resources and defeating monsters. Higher levels mean stat increases and additional crafting recipes.
Release Date: December 13th, 2016
Format: PC Game
Playtime so far: 6 hours
- Exploration and Map
- Unlocks by level are helpful
- Weird Controls
- Tutorial lacks key information
- No object customization or terraforming
Force of Nature is played with a static map. Players start washed up on a beach with no tools and begin to craft items like rope and stone knives. Quests guide the player to craft new items and are required to gain levels and unlock new recipes. Gaining levels also increases some base stats, such as passive regeneration and movement speed.
Leveling up increases a player’s combat ability and unlocks new tools to explore the map with. I enjoyed exploring the map and finding resource pockets. The map is laid out very naturally which I really appreciated. Nothing felt forced or devoid of stuff to interact with. It’s also important to have an idea of the nearby terrain, so that kiting one enemy doesn’t turn into a swarm. Enemies don’t give up just because players run far away.
Unfortunately I had a lot of problems with Force of Nature. The first major thing was that the tutorial leaves out a lot of vital information. For example, it doesn’t tell you that you can kick plants to get resources from them before you have the ability to cut them down. Kicking isn’t something a player is likely to accidentally discover either, because it’s only doable by using right-click when the character has nothing in hand. This isn’t listed in the key binds and cannot be rebound. The tutorial also fails to mention that every object can be destroyed, but only by the player. So enemies won’t run through ferns, although neither can the player. There’s also no mention of the different types of stone and metals or how to identify them.
In general the controls for Force of Nature felt awkward. To get objects names to appear on screen, the player has to hold a button and then loses the ability to look back and forth (although they can still move). Why do they lose the ability to look around? Because the mouse pops up and is then use to click on objects to pick them, click on crafting stations to open their menus (there’s no hotkey for this), or in general just use any menu in the game because they aren’t keyboard navigable. This is also the case when any Build, Quest, etc menu is on screen, which also forcibly brings up the Inventory and Character windows.
Levels unlock new recipes, including cool items like portals which can be used to traverse further on the map. Unfortunately I didn’t see any items which could be used to create fun interactions and flex a player’s creativity. There’s also no options to customize items. When building a hut for example, there’s a single recipe for hut instead of wall and floor pieces a player can use to build something they can feel proud of. There’s also no ability to terraform the map, even slightly.
Overall I felt the execution and polish of Force of Nature was lacking. The customization and creativity of a crafting game was also missing. I enjoyed the incorporation of quests and leveling as an interesting take on the crafting / survival genre, but ultimately I felt the game was too weak in the core features. I would only recommend this game to players really hurting for another crafting game.