It seemed impossible, but we made it. The famous phrase of an equally famous amaro lends itself quite well to the debut of Rust on consoles, three years after the official launch on PC (2018) which in turn took place after a good five years in Early Access. Since 2013, steps have been taken, for a game that has conquered the spotlight on Steam in spite of its extremely punitive nature towards which not everyone could be in favor.
The success on Twitch and YouTube was not enough to guarantee him a conversion on consoles in a relatively short time, unlike other games on the same level such as Ark and DayZ: only today we can enjoy the fruits on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (it is not foreseen at the moment a next-gen version) but looking at the final result are we really sure it’s good?
Before continuing, we would like to specify that this Rust review for PS4 and Xbox One it will be about the conversion itself and not about the game as a whole: the experience is the same, indeed not entirely being further behind in terms of content than the original. If you want to know it in detail, we recommend the review of the PC version.
A quick overview of Rust
However, we want to spend two words to contextualize Rust, in order to make you understand what it is in broad terms and possibly push you to read the review.
Developed by the independent studio Facepunch Studios, it comes without beating about the bush un survival game PvP: although PvE is also present, it is more of an accessory, useful for getting an idea of some mechanics without the constant threat of other players. The player’s task, of course, is to stay alive using every possible means and starting from having only a stone, a flashlight and underwear with him. Gathering resources is essential, as is managing hunger and thirst, avoiding radioactive zones, always keeping warm and avoiding, or learning to manage, dangers of various kinds – animals or humans, the latter represented by the other players.
Thanks to the resources you can build useful tools, progressing from the basic ones to other more complex and efficient ones, be they weapons, buildings, clothing or whatever. This provided you can survive long enough and no, it’s not at all simple: death is a constant in Rust, which brings us back to that famous shore, half-naked and vulnerable, every time we leave. It is therefore an exercise of patience, a constant testing of our will in and out of the game, because we can also turn off the console, but Rust still lives on – with all the consequences of the case. Travian, OGame and similar games should have taught you that for certain experiences there is no concept of pause: either you constantly follow the misadventures of your avatar, or you prepare a strategy to limit the damage in the moments in which you cannot play. If not, welcome to Groundhog Day.
A rusty conversion
Without sweetening the pill, Rust Console Edition is not a good conversion. In graphic terms is faithful to its PC counterpart and this is the problem: we were not here to expect a quality equal to the most modern triple A, but we are faced with 3D models that are not well defined and poorly cared for animations, accompanied by low resolution textures that do not just cry out to the miracle. The audio sector in turn it does not shine for efficiency, presenting poorly realistic sound effects and in many cases not differentiated from each other (just think of moving on different surfaces, you will notice very few if any changes); in the same way, the feedback returned by the clashes, whether in fire or hand-to-hand, certainly cannot be defined as commendable. Again, without claiming the aesthetic / sound miracle we would undoubtedly have expected an extra effort.
Not wanting to make these aspects weigh too much, let’s move on to the experience itself, specifically to controls. Facepunch Studios has done a good job overall, looking for the best compromise for an experience that on console cannot have the same fluidity as on PC. This at least as regards the intuitiveness of the interface: inventory and menus are easily recalled, while the classic mapping of commands regarding crafting and combat allows you to get carried away after a fairly short practice. Occasionally it feels a bit clumsy and cumbersome, but nothing that makes the experience unplayable.
Intuitiveness, however, is not enough to make everything effective when you get to the heart of the experience. The controls show their side especially when it comes to aiming and shooting, two vital actions in a ruthless world like Rust’s and that if hindered become a problem; shootings in particular, as you may have guessed, and no matter how much we go to tweak the settings or target sensitivity – they will never look optimal.
If all these aspects have already made us turn up our noses, the real, serious problem of Rust on consoles are i bug but in this sense we have to make a premise: we played the Xbox One version of the game on Xbox Series X, as there is no next-gen optimization, and this means that some difficulties could be due to having tried it on this console. However, it is difficult to believe that every single problem is attributable to this situation, indeed, usually the greater power of Series X drastically improves the frame rate and the general graphic quality.
Occasional problems with crafting, input lag, weapons crashing, abrupt termination of the game while trying to enter a server, minor bugs such as floating objects, fluctuating performance, freezes … all issues that the patches have not helped to solve , sometimes increasing the number of bugs that can show up. When compared to the PC version, Rust Console Edition is an inferior product in every respect, old even before it was born and destined to walk on a path parallel to the original (the same roadmap will not be the same for the two editions). As it stands, the game sabotages itself and that’s a shame, as it sometimes manages to deliver those a la Rust sensations that PC gamers know well. However, if, for every enthusiasm, we are forced to pay the penalty of being randomly kicked from the server, not being able to create certain objects or interact with others, there is definitely something wrong. In general, even in the best-case scenario in which a game does not suffer disabling bugs, the feeling is still that of finding yourself in front of a mediocre experience that nothing shares with the original.
An excessive price for a mediocre yield
We might have been slightly softer if the Rust Console Edition wasn’t sold at a price which has no reason to exist and in general for a vague hint of “pay to win” due to the different versions and related advantages: it goes from the basic edition for € 49.99, to the Deluxe for € 59.99 up to the Ultimante for € 79.99. Of course, they can give us all the small advantages of this world but if we do not know how to make good use of them the situation does not present imbalances. However, it is undeniable that, for the game it proves to be, even the basic edition is not at all in line in price. Considering the cost as a negative factor, within a review, is always a delicate question to evaluate, but in this case we cannot avoid: Rust Console Edition is an inferior product compared to the PC counterpart, complete and reliable, yet it costs a lot of more.