You wake up on a beach. You are a naked man. You have a rock, and a torch. That’s it.

Well, that’s not it. There are myriad things to do in this unfinished game, which is still in early access on Steam. You could hit things with your rock until you have enough materials to make more things. You could hit other players with your rock until either you respawn, or they do.

Really though, you can do anything (within the limits of the game), and this is both Rust‘s strongest and weakest point. I won’t lie, this is my first MMO (that’s Massively Multiplayer Online, for those who are unaware), and I can see both sides of the coin here.

So first, the good: I like that Rust has no backstory, no definition of the world you inhabit, and no objective. It means that you (and everyone you are online with) can do anything you like. All players start as equals — naked. You can’t be more equal than naked. Unlike other MMOs, you don’t have character selection, each with its own drawbacks and strengths. You play as you. If you were a naked man.

Herein lies the bad as well: unless you find friends to play with, you’re going to have a hard time in Rust. So many other players gang up just to destroy everyone else. There are more bad points, but I like the game too much to think about them, and I want to say this next bit:

Rust is less a game, more a reflection on human nature. This can be seen in the wonderful variation in interactions between players. From peaceful bartering to “I’m bored, who wants to fight-to-the-death with a rock”, as well as the potential to make things anyway you want. Or destroy the things other people have made. There really is something for everyone.

Words by S. Hooley

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