Klei Entertainment’s Don’t Starve: Giant Edition is a survival simulator with a heavy emphasis on survival. Crafting tools, apparel, food and supplies is a necessary past time in this videogame, but watch out, evil creatures lurk about and are constantly on the hunt for something to kill, sadly, you’re the one they want the most. Spending time in Don’t Starves unique wilderness of horror and grim was a delightful experience to have, but it certainly took some time to get used to. Since the game lacks a tutorial system, the player must fend for themselves, making the experience feel like an episode of Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls.
The story begins with a science experiment gone wrong, casting the videogames main protagonist, Wilson, into a chaotic atmosphere full of nasty monsters that want to kill you. With nothing on your person, the player must search and scavenge for anything that may assist the expedition. Carrots and berries replenish your health, while sticks, grass and flints create tools to further extend your arsenal. Having the ability to increase your survival items is essential to the videogames premise which is to survive and stay alive for as long as you can, if you can.
Death is a hard pill to swallow in Don’t Starve and it is also inevitable as well. Roaming too far off path, depriving yourself of food and staying in the darkness for too long will unfortunately get you killed. If that happens, the player will lose everything they’ve carried along their journey and will have to start the game over from scratch. Though annoying and ultimately painful to realize, dying in Don’t Starve can be seen a learning experience as it gradually teaches you the in-game do’s and don’t’s and thankfully rolls over any experience gained during sessions.
Don’t Starve: Giant Edition allows the player to unlock additional characters with gained experience points, some more useful than others, unlockable characters prove to be unique in their own corky way. For example, Willow is a little girl with the ability to hold a constant flame and Wolfgang is a powerful brute who happens to be afraid of the dark. Along with additional characters, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition also includes the videogames, Reign of Giants, expansion pack. This includes more monsters, a larger environment to explore and gamepad functionality. The environmental exploration and additional creatures adds more flavor to the experience, the premise in the expansion pack remains the same but gamepad functionality seems to be shoehorned-in just for the sake of adding a new console specific feature. Using the gamepad makes reading text difficult to accomplish and touch-screen integration is completely absent, which is unfortunate and even more evidence of a shoehorned feature.
Don’t Starve: Giant Edition is a videogame that plays a bit like Minecraft in regards to resource management, but it also happens to be unforgiving and pours salt over your wounds. It doesn’t bother to teach you the basics and instead, throws the individual out into the wilderness and wishes them the best of luck. Don’t Starve was a brutal experience to endure at first. Once I begin the explore the world and died a handful of times, adventuring through the videogame and micro-managing my resources became easier to accomplish over time. Don’t Starve: Giant Edition isn’t a videogame for everyone, especially to those with very little patience, but it is an experience worth having.