Rust Console Edition Review: Engaging Yet Frustrating Survival

Popular survival game Rust has come to PS4 and Xbox One in its Console Edition. Here’s how the cutthroat game holds up on its new platforms.

The formerly PC exclusive survival game Rust has made its way on to PS4 and Xbox One with Rust Console Edition. This version comes roughly three years after the full PC release of Rust, and is co-developed by a separate studio, Double Eleven, but still published by Facepunch Studios. Rust Console Edition is an online-only, cross-platform experience, where the presence of other players is constant and the stakes are high. The game’s immersion is its highlight, with fairly intuitive adjustments for consoles, but the presence of many bugs and clunky gameplay in general are a detriment.

When entering a server in Rust Console Edition, players wake up on the beach wearing nothing but their underwear, carrying only a large rock and a torch. The process of survival in Rust starts immediately when food and water bars located in the bottom right corner start to gradually fall. Players are unceremoniously dropped onto the map with little direction. Every once in a while, helpful tips will pop up, but the player has almost complete agency.

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Encounters with other players depend entirely on the disposition of the two parties involved. A cooperative search for supplies or the formation of a roving band may ensue, but more often than not a kill-on-sight doctrine is enforced. Even fights between two mostly naked, ill-equipped players are frequent, where rocks and wooden spears are the weapons of choice. If survival can be maintained for more than a few minutes, there are plenty of crafting options available, provided the required Rust materials can be scavenged or stolen. Bases can be built to store materials and house stationary tools such as workbenches and furnaces, but they also must be protected and maintained.

A structure housing a water pump in Rust Console Edition

The immersive nature of Rust Console Edition is quite captivating, and the systems are buoyed by effective console adaptions. For instance, the larger crafting menu would clearly be easier to navigate with a mouse, but the game provides a quick crafting radial menu, which changes based on currently held materials and features commonly crafted items.

Unfortunately, the gameplay itself is rather clunky and frustrating, particularly the combat. The default stick sensitivities and turning acceleration did not allow for very accurate aiming, and adjusting the settings took a long time to find something that felt right – not to mention tweaking settings in the game is a dangerous endeavor, since other players are liable to attack while in a menu. As a result of the controls’ limitations, melee combat devolves into repeated jumping to dodge while constantly moving toward and away from the opponent, in an attempt to land a hit but stay out of striking distance. The frustrating sensitivities also lead to wasting precious bullets.

On the whole, Rust Console Edition runs very well, especially through backwards compatibility on a PlayStation 5 (which Double Eleven emphasizes the game is not optimized for, but performs admirably on nonetheless). Frame rates are steady, Rust‘s textures look good, and the lighting provides effective ambiance. The day/night cycle bolsters the immersion, with dark nights being particularly stressful when low on supplies or on the brink of starvation.

Related: Rust: What Forced Wipes Are (& When They Happen)

Performance only becomes an issue when encountering semi-frequent bugs. Some are borderline game breaking, such as tools becoming unusable for no apparent reason, or trees becoming impossible to interact with. One particular session was marred by nails fired from a nail gun becoming stuck in the player character model and not disappearing upon death, leaving them floating in view with no way to remove them aside from rebooting the game.

Smaller bugs such as textures not loading (or missing entirely, perhaps), with the item glowing a bright, uniform white instead, were obnoxious but not impossible to ignore. They simply pull the player out of a game that is otherwise engaging on multiple fronts. The constant search for food and water, new loot or materials to expand a base amidst the ever-present danger of other players makes Rust Console Edition a compelling title for players interested in the survival genre or unable to play the PC version, but be prepared for some frustrating and immersion-breaking occurrences.

Next: Rust Hits New Player Count Record Yet Again On Steam

Rust Console Edition will be released on May 21, 2021 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Early access for players who preorder the game began May 18. Screen Rant was provided a PS4 code by Microsoft for the purposes of this review.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5 (Good)

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