Rust is a game of survival by any means necessary. Created by Facepunch Studios and Garry Newman, creator of Garry’s Mod, Rust casts you as a naked native who must gather resources and craft them into survival tools.
The core gameplay is something you’re probably familiar with by now; you start with one rock and one torch and craft items from the starting list which can be followed by the ‘next level’ of blueprints. However, Rust is more than just a “realistic Minecraft” or a “3D Starbound/Terraria.” Rust really has its own special flavor (a Sour Patch Kids like sour then sweet kind of flavor) from its demented community of players.
Before I became aware of the sick post-apocalyptic wasteland it would eventually reveal itself to be, I was really looking forward to my first time in the world of Rust. With hours upon hours packed into Starbound I was already thinking about what to build before it was even loading.
The black screen fades into a…black screen? Oh, it’s nighttime on this Rust server. So I pull out my torch, which offers very little light in the pitch black wilderness. My gut tells me to lower the light and equip my only weapon: a rock.
As the sun rises instead of searching for food (derp), I start my journey searching for a high point to check out the lay of the land. Stumbling through an array of forests and rock formations, it all eventually leads to a road. Civilization! Maybe?
It’s only a short walk down the road before I meet my first player. From a distance, I can tell he’s outfitted well with warm clothing and we approach each other, slowly. He must know I’m a new player, given my cold and hungry condition. Then I see the barrel of his shotgun pointing at me. I can’t bring a rock to a gun fight so, I experience something I’ve never felt in a game before; I’m completely at this player’s mercy right now. He knows he’s in control and starts having a few words through his microphone. I type away to respond and let him know that I’m a new player with no idea of how to survive. Oh so thrilled to have met a new player, this guy urges me to follow him back to a base of his filled with other players. Seems legit. If only I had known…
My new “friend” and I climb over a cliffside and a tall tower surrounded by ramparts appears on the horizon. When we reach wooden walls of the tower, my new friend punches in the passcode for the front gate and we pass through. Inside the walls are armories stuffed with automatic rifles and explosives, backup stores of food, a corner of maybe 50 shacks with sleeping bags, and of course the mighty tower at the center. I’m in the compound maybe 2 minutes before an actual friend of mine signs in to Rust and joined the server I’m playing in.
My friend is thrilled at my purchase of the game and asks about what I’ve done so far and where I’ve ended up…and where I’ve ended up is a terrible place. My friend warns that I’ve just walked right through the front gate of a “concentration camp” for noobs. Those shacks lined up along the walls are not a sleeping quarters at all. Upon further examination I realize all the shacks are locked, with naked starting players inside.
Realizing what has happened I can’t help but ask myself, “Have these guys really been locked up, and continue to play? Just hoping they’ll find a way out?”
I don’t waste much time thinking before I open the console and give the command “suicide”. But, my first day in Rust isn’t over…
Whoever “them” is I can’t let them get away with this; I have to save those noobs! After my suicide I respawn near the compound and wait until nightfall. Under a blanket of stars I’m nearly invisible as I sneak onto a rock and hop over one of the wooden walls. There’s no sign of any hostile guards and I do the only thing I can do, I start bashing shacks with my trusty rock.
Shacks began to fall and I instructed any players who were awake (logged in) to “Run! Run away as fast as you can!” In a matter of minutes there were naked men hopping over the walls of the compound and any sleeping players were left to rot, or whatever happens to players who don’t escape from that hellish place.
During my first adventure in Rust I realized that there is something really unique here. The fact of the matter is that I didn’t have to have that adventure. I could have been any other player who works to build and survives to survive. Instead I found my own adventure in Rust in which I thwarted an evil shotgun wielding monarch; something that feels like it should be a Fallout side quest (Fallout is great).
A post-apocalyptic sandbox builder sounds like a great idea on paper and so far in execution. There are still a lot of updates to come to Rust, and it looks like this game will really deliver but, that really shouldn’t be a surprise with Garry Newman behind the wheel. Rust has already sold more copies in its alpha stage than Gmod has since its release in 2006. Facepunch has been continuously delivering updates to Rust and there’s so much left to this game that still remains to be seen.