The Forest updates to Unity 5

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The Forest

Horror adventure The Forest has undergone a major overhaul, including a move to Unity 5 aimed at dramatically improving its visual quality. None of the improvements in the update, which are detailed here, sound super sexy on their own, but collectively they represent a major change to the game.

The old shaders have been replaced with new physically-based rendering materials and textures, and most of the tree models have been replaced as well. The first version of the ocean shader has been implemented, skin shaders have been rewritten, and plant shaders now have sub-surface scattering. Sub-surface scattering! There are also new adjustable graphics options, which should improve the game's performance on lower-end systems.

Animals in The Forest have also been upgraded: Geese now fly from lake to lake (and can be followed around, if that's the kind of emergent gameplay you're looking for), and deer no longer run head-first into trees. There's even a new "drag away by cannibals system," because in 2015 what game is complete without it? Improvements to network code have been made that should help smooth out the multiplayer experience, and player audio has also been partially implemented; I'm not perfectly clear on what "player audio" means but I assume it has something to do with character voices, since the same bit also notes that there's "a new take on the female skinny audio."

Shortly after the launch of the update, developer Endnight Games put out a hotfix to correct problems including missing volumetric lighting under 32-bit versions of Windows, the failure of "water blur vision" to kick in when swimming underwater, and "sparkly disco-looking cave floors" when bloom is enabled. Get it here.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.