Green Hell stands out as an intimidating beast in the survival genre. First off I’d like to state that: I do not consider myself a seasoned or particularly ‘good’ survival player. I have, however, spent time with titles such as No Man’s Sky, Conan Exiles, and The Long Dark. I thoroughly enjoyed them, even while not necessarily being the best at playing them.
This game is punishing. From the moment Creepy Jar unleashes you upon the gorgeous Amazonian Rainforest, one detail becomes blatantly clear. Green Hell is a predator, and you are it’s prey.
Now, how one derives fun from a product tends to be highly subjective. Therefore ALL forms of review are opinionated, and should be taken with a grain of salt. (This included) So let’s examine the product through the lens of metrics such as; Graphical fidelity, story/characters, content/length, controls and gameplay, then finally, sound design and cinematics.
One of the first things I noticed about Green Hell is: damn this looks sharp, even on dated hardware. Use of lighting is both deliberate and intentional, making reflections look incredible. In tandem with the shading effects, it creates realistic depth and presents degrees of tension in relation to available light sources. Environments are beautiful and luscious, and the scenery is oftentimes breathtaking.
Performance-wise, Green Hell ran as expected at 60fps 1080p, with little to no hitching, clipping or glitching. Visually Green Hell is a treat, though much of the lush forestry is saturated with greens and browns, making it directionally disorienting at times. This, however, is difficult to consider to the products detriment as getting “lost” and using your compass effectively are intentionally included game mechanics to add depth and realism to navigation.
Characters and Story
On September 5th, 2019 Creepy Jar expanded upon the initial early access content with a Story mode prior to this the bulk of available content was an endless survival mode. Without spoiling anything, Green Hell introduces Mia and Jake (Player controlled) as the protagonists, as players uncover a cryptic mystery involving the local tribal natives.
Both Mia and Jake are excellently portrayed in my opinion, with Marta Da Silva and Brandon Fague phenomenally acting their parts and breathing life into their roles.
Content and Length
With the addition of a story mode, Green Hell starts to feel like a more fleshed out package, though for less than full price of a triple-A game it feels well worth its asking price. Additionally survival style games tend to be extensively replayable, and this rings true for Green Hell as well.
Gameplay length will vary with each and every player, as the non-story survival mode lasts for as long as you can survive – be that hours, days or weeks. The story can be completed in approximately 10-15 hours by competent players, of which in this case I am not.
Controls and Gameplay
Green Hell handles well on PC, though it might take new players a while to orient themselves to the keybindings and interfaces. Interraction with the backpack feels both fresh and intuitive. By extension the crafting system is also complex and expansive. As previously stated, Green Hell is absolutely brutal, and I oftentimes found myself in a detrimental snowball effect of literal death, exemplified by the following.
So you’re walking towards a destination, and you hear a rustle in the grass; and you (Jake) get bitten by a rattlesnake. Now you need tobacco dressing to counter the venom, so you get searching. During your search for tobacco leaf you get dehydrated, and now need clean drinkable liquids. If there aren’t available clean drinks, you may have to settle for dirty water, which could potentially giving you parasites. Green Hell is a delicate, skill-oriented balancing act of essentials, dangers, risk and reward.
Not only must players account for the previously mentioned stats and hindrances such as hydration, venoms, consumable purity/availability, but also basic health, condition, energy, stamina, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats as well. If this all sounds intimidating, don’t worry – it is. But it’s also gloriously satisfying when it all comes together and ‘clicks’ in your mind.
Sound Design & Cinematics
The second thing I noticed about Green Hell was the outstanding audio work, from the rainforest and it’s inhabitants, to the voice acting that truly brings it’s characters to life. The attention to detail allows every creak and rustle in the Amazon to perk your ear. The rain is natural, and the rattlesnake’s sounds are clear and defined. The subtlety of the sound design is what truly brings Green Hell to life, the crisp yet gentle chirping of birds or flowing water, contrasted by primal and terrifying tribals.
Overall, Green Hell is a well constructed, solid survival game. It borrows the best from similar titles, yet manages to innovate on many of these systems to deepen the player experience. Gameplay mechanics are polished, and the world feels refined.
I have zero reservations about giving Green Hell a comfy 8.2/10. If you’re a player who enjoys a both a challenge and collection/craftin survival games, then Green Hell will be thoroughly enjoyable.
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A savage survival game, worth the price of admission
- Score: - 8.2/108.2/10
+ Amazing Graphically
+ Innovative Survival Mechanics
+ Great Sound-work
– Progression Difficult
Just a Canadian dude who’s passionate about gaming, and the industry as a whole.