If you’ve ever watched any survival programme like Bear Grylls or SAS: Are You Tough Enough and thought ‘I could do that’ then I encourage you to play Green Hell. The story is set in the Amazon rainforest where you play as an explorer and devoted husband to an interpreter who is meeting with long lost Amazon tribes. She goes missing whilst with them and you lose all contact. Your job is to survive with no resources except a useful smartwatch given to you by your wife.
Green Hell is a first-person survival game in which you have to carefully manage your stats, known as micro-elements such as hydration, protein, fat and carb levels. You also need to search through the jungle looking for sticks, stones and other useable items as well as foraging for things to eat. You can find a range of mushrooms, fruits and bugs to eat, some are fine while others can make you ill. Once you become better equipped you can then make fires and hunt to get a proper meal under your belt.
The jungle is full of life from tiny insects, frogs and ants to bigger animals like capybara, tapirs, snakes and crocodiles. Staying to close to ants nest or a snake means you run the risk of being bitten. You will need to tend to any wounds by checking your limbs, and don’t be surprised if you find bites, cuts or even leeches having a meal. Each injury will require attention before infection sets in.
The game provides you with an in-game notebook which updates when you encounter something new, giving you an encyclopaedic viewpoint of the dangers and how to combat them. There is also a huge array of crafting options, some of which are easy to find like sticks and vines which you can use for basic items or to make fires, though these break easily, whereas better equipment will last longer and is more effective. I recommend crafting an axe to cut trees and a spear to protect yourself and for hunting, as well as a shelter so you can sleep safely and save your game.
Throughout the game you follow steps your wife has taken, looking for notes and taking part in mysterious rituals which will help unlock the past and throw you deeper into the jungle. On standard difficulty you must also battle with your characters sanity as he deals with the fear and isolation. Things such as sleeping rough, injuries or being dirty will see your sanity decrease. If it progresses to a certain level you may start hearing or seeing things that aren’t there..
In total there are four different modes in the game. There is the standard story mode which I played on. Survival mode takes you into a new jungle, without story and you have to just survive as long as possible. Challenge mode which gives you a set time to hunt, find and produce set items; you’ll have to be less cautious here than in the regular game. Alternatively, if you’d rather just relax and explore the island you can turn all hostile enemies off and enjoy the atmosphere of the jungle. I feel that takes away from what this game is meant to be which is a hard, testing environment and a difficult trek through the jungle to complete the story.
Green Hell isn’t without its problems being originally made for PC so you can see times where it would be far easier playing with mouse and keyboard, such as difficult crafting controls and a finicky menu can make it frustrating. I also had issues with the darkness of the game as it’s incredibly dark to the point that I couldn’t actually see what I was doing as the sun started to set in game, and made the jungle virtually impossible to navigate.
I did enjoy my time with the game. The difficulty is brutal even on normal and you will die a lot but it gives you a great sense of achievement when you find new wildlife or craft new items to progress through the story. You do really feel like you are surviving everything the unforgiving jungle can throw at you. I score Green Hell
7 / 10
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