Green Hell Review | Set in an intense Amazonian rainforest with nothing to your name but the clothes on your back, you’re tasked with surviving the unknown by doing anything as a means to keep yourself alive. As you venture across the largely uncharted territory to find a way out towards safety in Green Hell, you will have to keep a close eye on your physical and mental well-being. If you want to even stand a chance against the threats and harshness of open-world survival, you’ll need to learn quickly. Green Hell has been developed and published by Creepy Jar to provide us with a true survival simulator that can be unforgiving should you fail to prepare. Required to constantly craft, build, hunt, fight, and defend yourself – there will always be something you can do to improve your chances of escaping to freedom once again. Just be cautious of your surroundings; you never know what dangers might be lurking around.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher.
This review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Incredible atmosphere | The feelings of dread, anticipation, and genuine curiosity were with me through the entirety of playing Green Hell; it was incredible. I couldn’t fault the atmosphere which has been created to really make you feel like you’re in the game itself, making the level of immersion top-tier. It’s exactly what I would expect from a survival game but what really got me was the unexpected appearance of aggressive animals out of nowhere which constantly made me jump and shout in fear. There are obviously the more common sounds like those of chopping wood, walking through shallow water, crackling fires, and so much more that brought everything together. A beautiful creation by the developers.
- Intense story | The story in Green Hell follows that of anthropologist Jake and his wife Mia as they set out to meet the Yabahuaca tribe for questions and answers regarding their good health as Mia is diagnosed with cancer. Without going into any more detail at the risk of spoilers, I can say the story has a massive impact on how I percieved the game which I did not expect; it’s filled with emotion and adrenaline that continually adds to the pressure mounting on Jake for a number of reasons. The experience was amazing and I would suggest it to everyone who plays Green Hell, even those who want to play purely for the survival mode. It gave me purpose when exploring, lore to follow, and never failed to keep my attention which is all I could ask for.
- Additional modes | Not only is there the main story to play through but also an endless mode, pre-story experience, and time-based challenges for players to try out if they so choose. This gives plenty of variety to those who want a more unique/custom experience alongside the story. It also opens up the whole area for extensive exploration, endless building opportunities, and countless choices based on how you want to progress. The prequel-story experience, also known as The Spirits of Amazonia is recommended for people who have played through the story to provide more information on the events leading up to the story. Then, for those who like to challenge themselves even more there is a timed challenge mode that is relatively self-explanatory. Plenty of content to go around for everyone.
- Multiplayer capabilities | Having the option to play through the story, survival, and the spirits of Amazonia experiences in a multiplayer setting was a brilliant inclusion by the developers; I was especially surprised by the story mode aspect as I just assumed I would have to complete it alone. Survival simulation games always have a place for multiplayer but to include it within almost every mode was incredible. I had great fun playing through with my partner and found the gameplay was much easier with an additional person as gathering materials was much more efficient, making everything else move along even quicker. I would highly advise playing this with another person but that isn’t to say you can’t play Green Hell solo.
- Detailed graphics | I stood in awe multiple times just simply admiring the beautiful surroundings of the tropical rainforest. The sunlight, the towering trees, the weather effects, the running streams – I could go on but everything had its place and looked great. Due to the immersive nature of Green Hell, the graphical appearance and quality needed to be of a high standard and I’m pleased to say I didn’t find any faults with the graphics. The use of natural textures and matching colours we would associate with real-life features just made Green Hell stand out amongst many other survival games, in my opinion. It’s genuinely a delightful-looking game.
- Survival mechanics | Not only is there the crafting and exploring elements – there is of course the pure survival factor you always have to keep in mind. Your watch is used not only as a compass and clock but also as a macroelement scanner. High tech, I know. In order to maintain your health/stamina and keep yourself from becoming fatigued, you must keep referring to your watch to make sure your stats are all within a healthy range. This is split into four sections – carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and hydration. Now, discovery is key when it comes to these as different foods and drinks will have varying levels of nutritional value; some items may be more beneficial cooked or avoided if possible. It definitely caught me out on multiple occasions and can be fatal if ignored.
- Customisable difficulty | Although Green Hell can be a challenging experience, there are different difficulties you can choose from and even create a custom difficulty option if there are certain settings you want to make easier, harder, or turn off; namely the arachnids for me. I found this to be incredibly useful as it meant I could customise the experience not only to my skill level but for my enjoyment too. It allowed me to focus on specific elements to learn them without the whole game becoming overwhelming. As a survival game that uses a multitude of mechanics, I welcomed the custom difficulties as I’m sure many others will – whether you’re a newcomer to the genre or a veteran.
- Replayability factor | When you take every aspect of the game into consideration – the modes, the difficulty settings, and the achievements in Green Hell, there is a fair amount of replayability for players to get involved with. The achievement list especially gets players to do miscellaneous tasks you wouldn’t usually think to do yourself to really get players trying new things. Yes, there are a whole host of achievements that can only be achieved on the hardest difficulty so completionists be aware but overall, there’s something for everyone. Even if you just enjoy the crafting and environment over the survival aspect – there is nothing preventing you from doing whatever you feel comfortable with.
- Essential notebook | If I didn’t have my handy notebook with me in Green Hell, I would have been completely lost; it became an absolute godsend. It automatically recorded any new crafting recipes you could craft with any items you had collected which was extremely useful for referencing back at any point during the gameplay. Sadly, this is only saved for the current playthrough; this information would need to be rediscovered for others. It also recorded details on gained experience, animals, crafting, and injuries whenever something was discovered. My only issue with the notebook was its poor legibility and layout in places that I think could have been improved. I can appreciate it looking like scribbled notes but if I can’t make out what they say, they’re simply of no use to me.
- Inventory management | Hurray for backpacks! Yep, all the resources and items you collect are placed straight into it except for either those that are too large or if you’re over your capacity. There was also a weight limit that encumbers your character if your backpack is full of heavy items. It was great to have everything in one place so I could craft easily enough when needed but I didn’t like navigating my inventory for specific items, especially the smaller ones that I had to carefully place my cursor over. Again, it suits the rough look of just shoving items into your backpack so for aesthetic reasons it was great but not for practicality. A grid system would have worked better in my opinion but it was still functional nonetheless.
What we Disliked
- Basic tutorial | I was relatively disappointed with the simplistic tutorial I was presented with in Green Hell as it didn’t teach you anywhere near enough about the mechanics and necessary knowledge needed in order to survive successfully. Perhaps this was intended by the developers to make the experience more of a self-taught one so everyone learns at their own pace. However, I found it frustrating not knowing where to turn when I was struggling with looking for a cure for venom or how to craft more durable items. I think an advanced tutorial should have been included for those who prefer to learn before diving in at the deep end of the more complex mechanics to cater for everyone.
- Steep learning curve | Sadly, I did find it hard to first initially get into the gameplay of Green Hell purely because of the precipitous learning curve I was greeted with as I started my playthrough. I just didn’t know where to start. I started to use what I had learnt in the tutorial to get an incredibly basic bed set up but then came the confusion. There is plenty to explore but if you don’t have the necessary tools for crafting and survival, you can’t do much in terms of progress because the world is very unforgiving. I took an awfully long time trying to understand everything – from building structures to crafting versatile tools/weapons, learning how to heal myself from various injuries and infections, and how to navigate my map with my compass. Because of the level of complexity you start with, I can see this being offputting for many at a first glance – myself included.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 15-20 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 50+ Hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Ark: Survival Evolved, Grounded, Stranded Deep, Valheim
Beginners and veterans of the survival genre I believe will find great fun and immersion within the different modes and difficulties that make up Green Hell. Whether you want to play solo or with friends, the option is there. If you want casual gameplay or challenging scenarios, you can choose what suits you best. The audio and visuals make for an incredible experience, with plenty of detail wherever you may find yourself. There is the issue of being initially quite overwhelming but once you get the hang of the gameplay, it gets you hooked.
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!