This game was reviewed using a copy of the game provided by the game's publisher,public relations company, developer or other for the express purpose of a review.
Rust Console Edition Review
Rust finally comes to consoles, but at what cost?
Originally released in 2013, Rust was one of the original breakout survival successes on Steam. There were many other games like it, but very few of Rust’s counterparts have remained in the spotlight for as long as it has. Despite drawing a massive audience on Twitch and YouTube, Rust never made its way to consoles in all the years after its release unlike other similar survival games like Ark and DayZ. That is, until now. Rust Console Edition brings the unforgiving survival experience to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the game’s console debut feels half-baked.
Rust is a great game. Rust Console Edition is not. If you’ve played Rust or watched someone stream Rust, then you already know the basic premise. You wake up naked on a beach, and from there, your only goal is to survive. You’ll need to gather whatever resources you can to protect yourself from the elements, wildlife, hunger, thirst, radiation, and other players. It’s brutal and unforgiving. Death is a common occurrence. Raids are an aspect of everyday life. That’s what makes Rust so compelling to people, though. The game’s cutthroat nature can create some intense moments, and the high you get from an exciting brush with death is enough to keep people motivated even when they lose everything. There’s an unmatched sense of tension in Rust, and that’s why the game resonates with so many people.
Not knowing who’s a friend and who’s a foe, not knowing if your stuff will still be there when you log on the next day, these are things that make Rust a fantastic multiplayer experience, and those feelings are still present in the console version. You can still go on massive raids with your friends, you can still door camp unsuspecting solo players, and you can still yell at naked people over voice chat. The innate joys of Rust are here, even if the console version lacks many of the PC version’s newer features. The servers also wipe everyone’s progress regularly, placing everyone on an even playing field so you can start the process all over again and try out new base designs and strategies. It’s like when you and your friends decide to start a new Minecraft world for the 100th time, only this time it’s mandatory for everyone. The forced server wipes and the game’s reliance on social interaction result in basically limitless replayability, something that no game has been able to replicate quite as well as Rust has.
Unfortunately, Rust Console Edition is not a great port. The controls feel wonky, especially aiming and shooting. This is a problem in a game where a single bullet can mean the difference between life or death, and the floaty gunplay can lead to some incredibly frustrating moments during combat. Even if you tweak your settings and aim sensitivity, it never quite feels right. The UI and inventory are also a pain to manage with a controller. Organizing your inventory with a controller is a cumbersome experience, and it just makes you even more vulnerable if you’re looting a monument or trying to make it out of a raid alive. It’s not unplayable, but it’s definitely not ideal.
The real problem with Rust Console Edition is the bugs. This should have been an early access release. It’s buggier and has fewer features than the PC version, but it’s being sold at a higher price with expensive deluxe and ultimate editions. Crafting glitches, input lag and inconsistent performance, weapons not firing, server browser issues, all these problems have been present throughout the early access period and more bugs have been popping up as more people get into the game. There have been a few patches, but fixed issues don’t always stay fixed and new bugs appear with each update. The early access period may be over on paper, but it’s clear that this is not the case. This game needed more time in the oven. When placed side by side with the PC version, Rust Console Edition is a vastly inferior product. Granted, I played the game on PlayStation 5 via backward compatibility for this review and the game isn’t officially optimized or tested for next-gen consoles yet, so that could be the root of some of these issues.
If Rust Console Edition launched in early access at a lower price point, this review would not be as harsh. The game just gets in the way of itself in its current state. It shows so much potential when it allows you to have those classic Rust moments like one-shotting an unsuspecting player with an Eoka or pulling off the perfect raid, but you’re more than likely to run into a few glitches along the way that get in the way of the fun. One day, you’re laughing with your group after a successful monument run. The next day, you log in and find out that the game kicks you from the server if you eat corn, or you aren’t able to craft certain items, or ladders don’t work anymore. Even if you don’t encounter any bugs that ruin the experience, you’re still going to feel like you’re playing an FPS that’s mediocre at best because of the game’s controls and occasional server desync.
Rust Console Edition is, well, Rust on consoles. It’s not the best version of Rust, it’s not even a particularly stable version of Rust, but it’s Rust at the end of the day. If you really, really want to play the game but never had the chance to jump in on PC, then now you finally have the opportunity to see what all the hype is about. If you’re not absolutely desperate for that Rust experience though, then it might be worth it to hold off until the game has a few patches under its belt. It’s still janky at launch even after a lengthy early access period, the controls need tuning, and there’s still a lot of missing features that have yet to be added. In the meantime, there are a ton of other survival games on PS4 and Xbox One that can provide a more complete and enjoyable experience. In its current state, Rust Console Edition is a vastly inferior version of the game being sold at a higher price.
Rust Console Edition
- Score: 3 / 5
- Available On: PS4, Xbox One
- Published By: Double Eleven
- Developed By: Double Eleven
- Genre: Survival
- US Release Date: May 21, 2021
- Reviewed On: PS4
- Quote: "Rust Console Edition is a vastly inferior version of the game being sold at a higher price."