Three long years after launching and exiting Early Access, Rust has hit consoles. This challenging game has practically redefined the genre of open world survival and, even at this point in time, is capable of garnering tens of thousands of players on Steam. To see how it compares to its PC counterpart, I was able to take a close look at the console version, although I was a little disappointed.
After waking up naked by a river, you must go outside to collect the materials you will need to survive the dangerous world of Rust. Death lurks around every corner as you need to get your thirst, hunger and health under control, but also protect yourself from environmental hazards such as radiation or cold. Of course, the other players are also a threat as you explore the mapping. So you should be well equipped and armed so that you don’t risk looting your entire inventory.
There is no story or objectives in this game. Instead, you have to look for fun by facing the elements that surround you, an up and coming narrative they call it. Using basic materials like wood, stone or fabric, you can build your own furnace safe from the horrors of the outside, and from there build weapons and armor that will help you better protect yourself. The central loop for gathering materials and building better gear is addicting and there is always some sense of danger that is even attractive as your inventory is always in play while you look around.
My biggest problems with Rust stem from his punishment. There isn’t a tutorial to familiarize yourself with the mechanics of the game, and it was quite frustrating to lose all of my inventory every time a naked player crushed me to death with a rock. It’s something that may sound attractive to some players as there is no help at all and that is the closest thing to the next time dealing with such elements, but I can’t say I liked it. I had to land on YouTube and watch videos to learn the basics and the truth is that the idea of losing my progress countless times is not exactly what I would call fun.
If you’ve played Rust on PC before, you might be wondering exactly what the differences are between this new version of the console game and the original. Well the truth is that there aren’t that many who can be viewed as something positive rather than negative. On the positive side, the PC original has been adapted very faithfully and only a few changes have been made to introduce it to a new audience. On the other hand, there is nothing special about this particular version to justify existing users making the jump to another platform.
It is interesting that there is cross-play between PS4 and Xbox One, although it is not possible to play with PC users. That said, there is also the option for the consoles to look for servers with users from the same platform or from the one the player likes. Personally, I think it’s a good idea not to mix PC and console users. On computers, gamers have the decisive advantage that they can use hotkey combinations with quick shortcuts and the mouse is a much smoother control system than the analog sticks on a controller.
Now I have to raise my hand and admit that I’ve never played Rust on PC, but I can assure you that I haven’t had any problems handling it with an Xbox One controller. You can enter inventory using the D-pad and, like many other action games, the A button to collect materials and the RT trigger to hit or fire your weapon. The user interface is very clear and can also be easily navigated in sections such as the craft menu with different object categories.
Since this is a game that premiered in Steam Early Access in 2013, it’s understandable that Rust’s graphics no longer meet current standards. Of course, I knew the developers didn’t want to fully improve this aspect by adapting it to other platforms, but I was surprised at how crude it looked compared to other more modern versions. If you look at the pictures of the game it is easy to believe that it works on Xbox 360 and that it doesn’t buff characters, environments and textures. If the team had decided to launch it earlier on consoles (possibly in 2018, coinciding with the move away from Early Access), the difference might not be as shocking.
Rust Console Edition is a faithful adaptation of the PC game that preserves all good and bad. The UI on consoles is pretty clean and easy to navigate, and I guess crossplay has only been enabled for PS4 and Xbox One players. While it’s a good match, its harsh nature counteracts it and can be a point. Friction for many players. On the flip side, it’s too old-fashioned visually and its existence is almost more of a curiosity as it hits the PC almost three years after its final version was launched.