|a game by||Redbeet Interactive|
|Editor Rating:||8.5/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.5/10 - 4 votes|
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|See also:||Open World Games, Relaxing Games, Low Spec/End PC Games, Base Building Games, Sandbox Games, Crafting Games, Building Games, Sailing Games, Games Like Subnautica, Games Like The Forest, Games Like 7 Days To Die, Games Like Kenshi, Games Like Sea of Thieves, Games Like Don't Starve, Games Like Stranded Deep, Games Like Space Engineers, Games Like Don't Starve Together, Games Like Project Zomboid, Games Like Scrap Mechanic|
If you are one of many people who enjoy taking part in a tranquil survival experience, then check out Raft. This 2018 release from Redbeet Interactive is a truly interesting take on the survival niche. The gameplay is simple – you start with a very small raft, and need to build it up based on the resources that you collect. Since it was first released in Early Access, the game has developed from a repetitive loop with sharks as the sole threat to land-based journeys and a whole lot more interaction than one would have assumed. How good, though, is Raft? Is it a survival classic?
Survival at sea
The main thing to note about Raft is that you can spend a lot of your time basically hoping for the best. You are entirely dependent on what you are able to grab and pick up as your raft drifts. Over time, you slowly but surely add more to your raft, including things like sails so that you can better direct your raft. It’s got a lot of similar qualities to lots of modern survival games; you can see the inspiration from everything from Minecraft to Don’t Starve.
Played from a first person perspective, your job is to basically try and scavenge as much as you can. The larger your raft – built alone or with a friend in co-op – the more you can do. Over time, you will get attacked by things like sharks, and you’ll need to fend them off so they don’t destroy your raft. The gameplay loop is simple – you start out with nothing more than a hook, and need to grab as much as you can.
Hop off the raft if you must to grab something out of reach, but be prepared for the angry sealife.
Survival of the swimmest
It’s an intriguing idea, and over time a more detailed storyline is being added. You eventually unlock a two-way radio that allows for you to research more facilities and features. You also slowly but surely find out the player is looking for their family, and your various adventures see you visit a deserted world to try and find out where your family – and everyone else – has gone.
Storyline aside, which is still really bare bones due to Early Access, you ae playing in a highly engaging survival game that will see features added regularly. The game is at the moment highly repayable, offering great story beats and intriguing opportunities. For now, you might get more out of more complete survival games such as The Forest, but this comes with a really interesting, inoffensive, enjoyable gameplay loop that can be enjoyed for almost any age.
- Interesting and tranquil atmosphere
- Easy to enjoy, addictive gameplay loop has been developed
- Storyline is being added with a lot of new updates regularly
- Great pace to updates, making every playthrough feel fresh
- Still in Early Access; not likely to be finished anytime soon
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
It's safe to say that, lately, the survival/crafting genre of PC games has become as popular as platformers were back in the '90s. Even with the advent of battle royale games, there's still a big niche of gamers looking for a good, and original, survival experience. That's were Raft comes in: a unique take on the genre that's sure to leave you wanting more of its immersive world and exciting setting. Keep reading to find all you need to know before you brave the waters aboard your raft.
There’s a simple question that keeps popping up every time we have to talk about a game like Raft: is the game original enough to differentiate itself from the sea (pun very intended) of competitors in its genre? The answer to that is not as clear as we’d like it to be, and we’ll tell you why in our small review below.
About the game
Raft pits yourself against a never-ending open sea, complete with a man-eating shark that follows you wherever you go, just waiting for you to take a foot outside the safety of your vessel. Start small and build a strong raft that takes you through the ocean and around the many islands that are full of valuable resources for you to gather. The game features an online component, so you don't have to be stranded alone in your raft. While some might argue that the game's setting is more enjoyable as a single-player experience, playing with your friends adds an extra layer of depth that's well-received in this kind of game.
Survival at sea
Like we said before, the survival genre is pretty popular these days, and the base-building mechanics and crafting elements are hardly groundbreaking by this point. Take a look at Subnautica, for example, another survival game focused on marine exploration, resource gathering, and building your own living habitat. Unlike Subnautica, Raft sticks to a more realistic setting of castaways at sea. This is a welcome change for some players that might not be fans of Subnautica’s neon-colored carnivores that would maybe feel more at home at a parade than in an aquarium. Bruce, the shark in Raft, is a relentless force of nature that appeals to our most basic fears and will provide players with more than one powerful jump-scare.
Ironically, something that sticks like a sore thumb in this ocean survival game is its shallowness. The game is serviceable as a single or multiplayer experience, but don’t expect to sink as many hours in this one as, say, in Minecraft. The Early Access aspect of the game shows that there are many great ideas that still haven’t quite solidified, and we expect the game to get better with time. As it is now, though, it’s good for a quick adventure alone or with friends, and to fulfill that need for a good shark survival game.
Graphics and Visuals: At the moment, with just a single “main” island to explore, there’s not much to say about Raft’s visuals. The muddied colors and brown tones make a nice contrast with the endless blue of the ocean, and Bruce is very well-animated and rendered. Don’t come expecting an outstanding visual experience in Raft, as the game’s focus is very clearly not in the graphics department.
Gameplay: This is where Raft excels. While basic, the survival and crafting mechanics are deep enough to be easy to grasp and fun to master. The raft building aspect is very unique and fun, especially when done in multiplayer. Additionally, the game has underwater sections for resource gathering, and they’re not as bad to control as the dreaded swimming controls in many other games.
Sound: The sense of emptiness and hopelessness is boosted by Raft’s sound design. The surrounding ocean and sea breeze shroud you while you’re on your raft, while a lower roar is most you can hear in underwater sections. All in all, the sound in the game is basic but adequate, another thing we can attribute to the game’s early access status.