Rust (Early Access) Review – A Bump in the Road


Facepunch Studios

I, like many gamers out there, have a love/hate relationship with the survival game known as Rust. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure we’ve all heard of the incredibly toxic and unwelcoming community that populate the game’s many servers. They lurk in wait for fresh newbies to spawn in, and then commence to annihilating them on sight.

As a matter of fact, if you look on Rust’s Steam page, you’ll see thousands of reviews of angry gamers who have experienced just that. The newbs spawn in, and if they even live long enough they might gather enough resources to construct their first base. From there though, some of the more seasons members of that server will catch wind of “fresh meat” being on offer and begin conspiring.


Eventually, the newbs will be set upon en masse by the veterans who won’t spare them any mercy no matter how much begging for leniency is exhibited. Indeed, the assailants will most likely taunt and laugh at you before finally taking the unfortunates out of their misery. Needless to say, this can be quite discouraging to new players who are merely trying to learn the ropes.

Strangely, in spite of its bad reputation (as far as its community goes), people seem drawn to Rust nonetheless. It’s almost as if many of them have heard how scandalous it is and see that as a challenge. I’ll admit that I played Rust for my own reasons. Before our initial foray into Rust, a gaming buddy and I decided that we would be “anti-bullies.” In other words, we’d build ourselves up in order to protect the weak (newbies) while dispensing death and misery upon the typical Rust a-hole who preys upon them.

Rust uses the by now standard survival formula at the beginning of each game. You spawn somewhere on a randomly generated map with nothing—when you have a rock to harvest resources with, and torch for illumination during the nocturnal hours, but that’s it. Once you gather enough resources you find a good spot for a base and start building one. The most recent game updates allow you to really trick your base out so that it almost feels you’re in an episode of “Cribs.”


As you build up your fledgling base up into a sprawling fortress, you’ll have to keep a beady eye out for raiders. The constant threat of being attacked by an enemy player raiding party is part of Rust’s appeal. You never quite feel safe. And if you log off your base will still be vulnerable to offline raids. There’s nothing more sickening (and frankly depressing) than to log into your server after a day or two and find nothing but a few ruins, where the base used to be.

And therein lies part of the issue with Rust. Should you invest hours and hours and hours of your life toiling away within one of the game’s servers, only to feel as though it was wasted after being raided? One of the ways that people try to mitigate this is by joining a clan or at least playing with larger groups of people.


My good gaming friend and I, after getting raided over and over, or just killed on sight constantly, decided to do just that. We befriended a few other players who were tired of being bullied as well. Over the course of a couple of weeks our group had swelled to around a dozen or so people. By having more people playing with you, the chances are higher that someone will always be online and defending your base (especially if they are teens with no jobs).

But herein lies another problem with Rust. When you are playing with a large group of people, there is a higher probability that you’re going to have some people that don’t want to pull their weight when it comes to certain things, especially gathering resources. While most folks are fine with being able to wield the group’s best weapons and equipment, not too many are keen on doing the work it takes to craft those items.

My friend and I witnessed this ourselves, as about 4 out of 5 people in our group couldn’t be bothered to go out and gather resources. Some wanted to stay within the confines of the base and arrange things constantly, or became obsessed with interior decorating. Others would just goof off constantly like hyper-active tweens with ADD. It got to be too much for us in the end. After a botched raid on an enemy base, my friend and I realized that our original group had turned into the server bullies, instead of the anti-bullies. So, we stopped playing—at least for a while.


Lo and behold, we recently jumped back into Rust since the developers seemed to have added a ton of content to it in the past year or so. We immediately noticed that the graphics had been bumped up a notch. Personally, I experienced more lag as well, but that could have been just the server (although my ping was pretty low).

When we began to build our first base, brakes were pumped. My friend, the building between the two of us, exclaimed that there was now a resource requirement for base upkeep. In other words, we had to store a bunch of resources, in our case wood, within our base’s storage containers or it would eventually decay. Now I’m not sure why the developers decided to introduce this silly mechanic but it really ruins the game. Having to constantly log online in order to “feed” your base isn’t my idea of fun.


In conclusion, while Rust has made strides in the amount of content it has to offer (new weapons, building options, and POI’s), it has regressed in other ways (mainly the decaying mechanic). Hopefully, they’ll fix the game or revert it back to what it was before, so we’ll see.

SCORE: 73%

Rust features outstanding graphics that make its survival gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy 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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