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Rust (Alpha) Review – An Fun Yet Masochistic Survival Experience

Facepunch Studios

We moved our digital characters’ little footsies as fast as they would carry us—all ten of our raiding party that is. We were heading towards the crest of a hill ahead of us, just as the morning rays of the sun began filtering through the bushes and trees all around us, within the temperate woodland environs. It was the largest base raid that I’d ever been on and so my heart pumped with anticipation.

Just as with most raids in Rust, you always wonder if anyone will be home at the enemy’s base. If it was indeed occupied would it only be a skeleton crew? Perhaps the entire enemy clan would be there, who knew? I guess we’d soon find out…


We’d brought enough supplies with us to throw up a quick forward operations base (FOB) near the enemy lodgings, where we could stow some sleeping bags. Getting the bags down would allow us to respawn much closer to the enemy’s base should any of us go down in combat. As we crested the hilltop, we cautiously gazed down upon the base in question. It was larger than I’d anticipated (others on our team had scoped it out days beforehand) and consisted of half a dozen or so large, multi-stored building surrounded by some seriously high stone and metal walls.

After erecting our makeshift FOB and laying down out bags, we performed some further reconnaissance on the base. Suddenly, someone on our team reported seeing movement within the base. Sure enough, I could make out someone running around in it. They then left the base and went in the opposite direction from where we were. Was it a decoy? Had the enemy spotted us and were now trying to draw us out? Or maybe it was just someone from their crew going out in order to harvest some resources or some other menial task. We all decided to strike as quickly as possible.


After descending upon the fortress we planted our explosives and guffawed with glee as we blew a large hole in their outer wall. We stormed through into the central area and were trying to figure out what building to assault when gunfire broke out, and it wasn’t ours. We collectively dashed for cover as our enemies shot at us from elevated positions within the surrounding base’s buildings. This was not good.

We decided to attack a particular tower building with some C-4. We planted the demolitions charges and watched as its first door was blasted open. We rushed in with our guns drawn when the first two of us went down in a flurry of flames and heavy gunshots. Then the next two went down. Just then I saw them. Within the tower’s narrow airlock hallway our enemy’s had placed a flame turret and a shotgun trap. Things would not turn out well for us from there…

Even though our raid pretty much bombed, mainly because of poor planning and execution, we had also become victims of two of Rust’s latest additions. But let me break down what the game is all about for those out there whom are uninitiated.


Rust is a survival crafting game set in a post-apocalyptic world. Each time you start a game the map is procedurally generated so you have no idea of where everything is. You also begin with nothing and have to gather resources in order to craft tools, weapons, and supplies for building structures.

There are also special loot zones scattered across every map, But since they contain the most valuable found weapons and equipment you are more often likely to come across other players who are also scavenging. Some of them also are irradiated and so you will either have to have a bunch of anti-radiation pills or a Hazmat suit.

The game is mainly based around not only survival but building bases, as well as raiding other people’s bases. In this regard, playing Rust is sometimes akin to engaging in voluntary masochism. On one hand, Rust’s base-building mechanics are probably the most robust out there right now among survival games. They’re highly intuitive and allow you to get very creative with both your layouts and also your defensive considerations. On the other hand, it just really sucks getting your newly built base blown up by some clan which happens to be tearing across the map like a bunch of bloodthirsty Mongols.


However, the latest Rust update (as of May 18th) allows players to outfit their bases with a couple of new defensive options. The first new edition is the shotgun trap, which is pretty much a shotgun situated on top of a swiveling pole. The second new option is that flamethrower turrets now require less space from interior walls to place down on the floor. What this means is that you can place them in clever, more enclosed areas such as airlocks, which makes them not only much harder to detect but also makes avoiding fire from them more difficult as well. As you can see from my aforementioned recent gaming experience, they can both really ruin a would-be base-raider’s day.

Due to the highly attentive developer’s updates, Rust’s graphics are constantly being updated. That means that week in and week out, you’ll notice little visual improvements here and there. Compared to a couple of years ago, Rust has really made some serious strides in the graphical department and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it goes beta and then finally full release.


Rust is both a highly frustrating, and highly rewarding game at times. Sometimes you can get set upon by bands of scurrilous bush-whackers, while others it can be a blast to enjoy the game with friends. In fact, I’d say the optimal Rust experience is to play the game with a group of your gaming buddies since going it alone can be so hard.

SCORE: 85%

Rust offers some much improved visuals since its debut back in 2013. However, you have to have an equally fast gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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