The New Rust Has Risen, and Its Good
A curious thing happened as I was perusing my friends list on Steam, casually seeing what everyone was playing. As my eyes scrolled down the line (Dota 2… Dota 2… Dota 2… Dota 2…) one caught my attention and gave me pause…
It had been months since I had seen any of my friends playing it; the game that took the Steam community by storm now leading a strange and enigmatic existence. I shot the friend playing a quick message:
“Hey… How is Rust these days?”
“Really good, man. Really really good.”
I had been following the development of Rust for months. I held interest in the game long after its “stagnation”; the period when hackers began to completely take over and my friends lost interest in building a base, getting resources, losing said base and resources, and restarting.
A History of Rust
For those unfamiliar with the strange path of Rust, here is a brief breakdown:
- Rust launches in December of 2013.
- Rust sells a whopping 1 MILLION units in just over a month.
- People are obsessed with Rust.
- In June of 2014, Gary announces that Rust will be built from the ground up on a new engine, mystifying fans.
- Because of the development of “new Rust”, some strange design decisions and hackers begin to frustrate the ever decreasing fanbase, “Is Rust Dead?” threads begin popping up as esteemed developer Gary Newman (Gary’s Mod) seems to abandon the original game.
- I stop playing.
- “New Rust” Beta opens in 2015, and Gary and the team begin to chronicle the changes made on the new iteration of the game at playrust; the game is an utter mess.
- I try the game four or five months ago. It is still a confusing mess, but the graphics are astounding. I stop playing.
- I see the friend online.
- I play Rust again.
So how was it?
Really good, man. Really, really good.
A Complete Rust Experience
It’s an interesting thing to play a relatively bug-free Rust. To not constantly shrug at disappearing items, strange new ways to break into houses, uncountable hackers and say, that’s Rust! is weird to be honest. My first few minutes back in the game can really only be summarized as smooth. The user interface was sexy, the graphics were gorgeous and held at a steady framerate, items and resources were gathering like they should… It really was enjoyable. The procedural maps are a more manageable size, and with the new “gift sleeping bag” feature, your friends can all find each other almost instantly – everything is streamlined.
Structures and radiation have found their ways back into the game in all their stressful glory. For those not familiar, Rust started as a zombie survival game, featuring “Rad Towns”, or radiated areas that held the best items; guns, blueprints, building parts, etc. The radiation killed you slowly, then faster and faster, and if that didn’t get you the zombs usually did. These were taken out of “New Rust” for God knows what reason, so for a while the game was just a procedurally generated world where you could run around and occasionally build if the game was feeling generous. So having them back makes me feel warm and fuzzy with comfort… or is that radiation?
The building system is also better than old Rust ever was; way more flexible and simplified, allowing you to build in caves, on rock spires, mountains, and even in the water if you’re clever enough. C4 has also been added back into the game, and raids are more intense than ever.
The Rust Servers are the Best They’ve Ever Been
What really stood out, and what has always made Rust so unique, was the community. Local chat is back in, and there is nothing as exhilarating as a run-in with another player, especially when you have a full bag of loot and didn’t hear them sneak up. There is still plenty of killing on sight, but it seems that as a whole people have calmed down on the trigger finger and are more interested in carrying out dialogue. A fond memory from my brief return was a particularly brutal raid on an ally’s base. They had somehow managed to get on the roof of his fort, which had been precariously placed on a stone spire in a desert biome. Using up the last of their C4, they had managed to burrow into the main storage room of the base, and were armed to the absolute teeth; they were also very much stuck, as it is nearly impossible to break armored walls with basic tools.
So here we were, about ten of us and three of them; they with the guns, and us with the numbers. Nine other naked men stared at me in the light of the smelting furnace as we brandished our spears and bare genitals, our hands trembling in anticipation as the enemies’ pic axes echoed off the metal ceiling above us. We climbed the stairs to the doors leading to the hostiles, counted to ten, and rushed them. It was a glorious sight; a fury of man butts and bullets ripping across the screen, our unarmored bodies being torn to shreds by a hail of bullets. It seemed an impossible task; seven of us were dead in as many seconds, but that’s when we heard it… click click click. They were momentarily out of bullets. The owner of the base, some guy named twinklewinkie, and I charged in the window of time we had, jabbing them with our spears and mauling them with hatchets. Down they went, and the fort was ours once again.
Rust has come a long way on its new engine. The graphics are fantastic, everything seems to be in working order, and building is so enjoyable now that you can lose yourself for hours on end just trying to design a unique homestead. In the end, however, it wasn’t the smooth framerates or the polished UI… it was the community. As if resurrected from the dead, servers are beginning to repopulate; players passionate about the game are uniting and creating truly enjoyable narratives on every server; on our little island we had faction warfare that played out like a Hollywood script, no name-calling, no drama… just good ol’ fun.
So I urge you; if you ever had any interest in Rust, whether it was a burning passion or a passing fancy, try it out again. Reinstall it and feel the thrill that you first felt when you began your naked journey with a lopsided rock and a torch.
Rust is back, and it is better than ever.
Also, watch this insane video of a huge faction-battle… Its nuts!