The Forest vs. Sons of the Forest Differences and Similarities

The Forest vs. Sons of the Forest: Differences and Similarities

Same, same, but different

Although at first glance they look extremely similar, The Forest (2014) and Sons of the Forest (2023) are essentially completely different games! Do not take the years in parenthesis next to these titles too seriously, given the old game spent a solid four years in early access before its eventual release in 2018, while the current one has only now just begun its early access phase. Yeah, these are those types of games that you play while they are actually being made, in seemingly endless early access, but it can still be very fun. Here’s all the differences and similarities between The Forest and Sons of the Forest.

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Related: Full Item ID List for Sons of the Forest

The Forest vs. Sons of the Forest: Differences and Similarities

Okay, let’s check some of the most significant differences between The Forest and Sons of The Forest.

Island vs Forest

The new Sons of The Forest drops players on a seemingly deserted island, whereas the first Forest takes place deep into the inescapable woods. According to the developers, the new game’s area is four times larger than the old one, but because the game is still in early access, not all parts of the island have been fully completed. Still, the unfinished island certainly has more points of interest and more different biomes to explore compared to the previous map which was, well… just the forest.

Inventory and Crafting

The inventory in Sons of the Forest received a serious overhaul and now graphically looks much nicer with smoother crafting animations, while the crafting system itself has remained quite similar – still, the new game doesn’t have overly detailed tutorials for it if at all. The one neat change in the new game is when you die, you will basically be respawned with all of your stuff.

No More Sanity Meter

The original Forest had a sanity meter that represented the player’s character’s ability to survive the pressures and horrors that were unfolding around him. This was one of the recognizable trademark systems for this title. Nevertheless, in the old game, this system was not well implemented, and the authors never fully realized their original vision that more things in the game depend on the sanity meter. Perhaps this is why this system isn’t in Sons of The Forest at all, though given that the game is still in Early Access, it’s not unlikely that the revised sanity system will be introduced later.

New AI system

One of the most significant upgrades is the vastly upgraded AI system. Developers from Endnight Games refer to this new technology as V.A.I.L, and it allows opponents and friendly NPC characters to react far more accurately to player actions in the game. The system is still not fully bug-free, but it is a far cry from the AI utilized in the last game. Opponents may already organize themselves much smarter and devise more intricate attack methods on the player base, as well as express emotions that influence their decisions in real-time.

Related: How to Make Solar Panels in Sons of the Forest

Dynamic Seasons and Weather

One of the big additions to Sons of the Forest is the new dynamic weather system that supports the change of seasons. Shifting weather conditions will have a significant impact on your survival on the island, particularly when it comes to cultivating food, which leads to the need for new tactics. The Forest did not feature a dynamic shift of weather and seasons, so this is a considerable change in the game’s primary gameplay loop.

Better Graphics

As it has been almost ten years since the release of the first early access version of The Forest game, as expected, the modern sequel Sons of The Forest has better graphics. When we say better, we actually mean a little bit better. After all this time the difference should have been more substantial. Still, you can see some progress in the visual aspect with the better models and lighting, but if you don’t pay much attention to details, it’s very easy to mix up the two games.

Related: How to Defeat the New Final Boss in Sons of the Forest – Patch 02

So there you have it – some of the most notable differences between the original Forest and the new Sons of the Forest. As the new game still has a long way to go in the early access phase until we reach the final completed version, we expect that there will be even more differences over time. For the time being, Sons of the Forest appears to be a far more complete title that has a chance to realize Endnight’s original vision of a real immersive open-world survival where players have a lot of freedom on a truly large map full of mysteries to explore and horrors to endure.

For more Sons of the Forest guides and tips in our extensive coverage of this tile here on Prima Games, click on the tag below.

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Image of Nikola "Nick" Jovanovic
Nikola "Nick" Jovanovic
Nick has been a Prima Games Staff Writer since May 2022, an old-school gamer, and a gamer journalist with over 25 years of expertise. Our resident micro-influencer from Serbia! When he's not driving through Belgrade, he's probably racing in Gran Turismo or Forza, playing some strange JRPG games or just watching pro wrestling.