I’ve never played a game that makes greater use of voice chat than Rust. On the world’s tiniest island, you’re naked and lonesome. Rather than rely on a storyteller or an announcer, you are left to your own devices as you futilely thrash your rock against the next pine tree. In addition to mushrooms and flax, you may have gathered enough to keep you from going hungry and make a burlap shawl out of your shame. If you’re really diligent, you’ll have set up a fine wooden cabin near a supply of clean water and dependable supplies, which is the minimum need for any Rust campaign to be a success.
There it is in the midst of it all. At first, just faintly. Carried by the wind’s sway. Rust has yet another one of its kind.
I’m at a loss as to why this game is so frustrating. Rust has a specific regressive influence on humankind, whether it’s due to the fact that you spawn naked and unfiltered, the cruel immensity of the design, or the sheer boorish satisfaction of doing awful things to others human beings. When you’ve noticed by an idiot, you’ll start hearing the shit-talk tickling your ear as the voice chat combines with the draw distance. While you’re leaping over shotgun rounds, swallowing a complete glossary of obscenities, they’re getting closer and closer.
I wish I could say I didn’t enjoy it because it’s so hilariously adversarial. As much as I’d want to deny it, it felt wonderful when one of those scumbags attacked me with their rock, and I swung my scrap metal war ax at him, killing him with a single well-placed blow. A prepubescent boy’s voice in my headphones saying, “Hey dude, wait a second!” as I stood over his dead corpse made me laugh my ass off at the time. If I could, I’d claim that I didn’t murder him. This is the first time I’ve seen a video game take advantage of our lack of empathy in such a blatant way.
Rust has been a part of our lives for a while now, and that’s because we have. Facepunch Studios, the makers of the game, published it in Early Access in late 2013, and it has since become a staple of YouTube parodies. You may think about Rust as a dumber, nihilistic Minecraft if you don’t already know what it is about. The only tools you have are a rock and a torch. Your rock may be used to harvest stone, wood, and fabric that can be used to make primitive weapons like spears and hatchets by bashing them against a few environmental doodads. A lot of other survival games include scavenging features, but Rust’s tech tree is so extensive that it stands out. You’ll eventually be able to create handguns, flamethrowers, and rocket launchers from the same basic elements plus a few technical leaps of faith (such as workbenches and furnaces). If you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself tying a rock to a stick and firing at a wandering soldier’s handgun in Rust, one of the game’s most renowned quirks.
Rust’s core is found here. Do terrible things to one another and flee for your lives in the morning. There is no greater story, or mythology, or winning condition than this. A peculiar feeling of futility is created when the island is scrubbed clean of any remaining buildings or fortifications left behind by the players, as is the case with most servers. Yes, you’ll need to keep track of your hunger, thirst, and health, and you’ll find more efficient methods to do so as you go up the technological ladder, but that’s about it. For much that there are radiation-stricken spots on the globe that suggest you and your fellow misanthropes are living in a post-collapse world, such moments seem more like window decoration than anything else.
I spent the great bulk of my time in Rust playing alone, but I don’t want to ignore the infamous community of players who join together in clans and conduct wars of aggression on the common hunting grounds. Because everything in the environment is permanent, even when you’re logged out, players may equip their bases with land mines, punji sticks, and keypad locks while they’re gone from the game. In certain cases, clans even recruit members from all time zones to ensure that there is always someone on watch.
From afar, I was impressed with the level of cooperation. As a result of a large number of dedicated Discord channels throughout the globe, a large number of documented raids have been created on YouTube. As a result, I only interacted with Rust’s residents on a casual basis. A well-armed guy sees your trembling limbs and drops a crossbow on them. Rust is responsible for it! During an abandoned gas station heist with me, I offer him the spare pair of trousers I’d been carrying. As soon as he sees me looking the other way, he smashes his rock into my head and goes off with my belongings. That’s Rust, too.
Because of the tone, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I encountered a poisonous and childish group in Rust. My departure from the channel was necessitated by a significant concentration of racism and sexism.
Unsurprisingly, the onboarding process for new players is a rough one. Creating a tutorial was not a priority for the development team (which makes some sense, when you consider how long the game has been available). For example, in the top-left corner, you’ll see “gather wood!” and “make your own hatchet!” if you join one of the game’s numerous servers. Crafting is very straightforward, with detailed tooltips for each item in the catalog, and you can quickly amass a sizable arsenal if you’re fortunate enough to stumble upon a few rare resource spawns. This game’s PvP combat isn’t going to be winning any awards, but the bone-crunching sound effects and tactile experience of connecting your hatchet to an idiot’s skull are all I needed. Additionally, there is a bizarre post-release monetization mechanism, wherein you can purchase terrible paint-jobs for your weapons and apparel. If you’ve ever wanted to know why Rust is so intriguing, you’ve come to the wrong place.
It’s nevertheless recommended that everyone try Rust at least once. What I love most about this game is how it doesn’t hold back when it comes to its vision and how much trust it has inhuman ability to get along. On this island, we could establish a paradise! A peaceful community where everyone is nourished, warm, and loved might be built if we put down our guns. With no clear motive to drive us in any certain way, Facepunch dangles that possibility in front of our eyes. On our own terms, we shall degrade ourselves and turn Eden into a war. When you finally fall to violence in Rust, the sensation of complicity is more powerful than in any other survival game on the market. Regardless of the absence of ranks, K/D, or exclusive merchants, or the incontrovertible reality that none of this matters when the server is destroyed, we are at war, and we always will be.