Game Preview: Rust Alpha

Rust is a very silly game. Since it’s in the Alpha stage of development, it is an unfinished “early access” game that lets you play it as the developers add new content and fixes glitches. You start completely naked with only four items: a rock, two bandages and a torch, in the middle of what can best be described as Yosemite National Park with a simple circular road and a couple of very basic towns.


With anywhere from zero to 200 other players running around on the map in each server, things get very ugly for you very fast. Unless you’ve got some friends to play with, you’re in for a quick death. Rust is a game where resource gathering is absolutely crucial to your survival, and the more friends you have in your party, the quicker you all can gather resources to build a shelter and collectively not die together. Shelters are really important in Rust because instead of your character mysteriously disappearing when you log out, your character actually falls over unconscious on the floor.

So it’s best to create the most elaborate and difficult-to-breach shelter that you can. Otherwise the next time you log in you’ll find yourself naked again in the middle of nowhere with the same four items you started with. The shelters are often some of the most hideous structures ever designed by mankind. Given what you’ve gathered (wood, stone and iron) with your rock and in the manner that you had to put it together, it’s easy to see why your functional disaster of a shelter is no Palace of Versailles.

After you’ve built your horrible do-it-yourself shelter, your next best bet is to follow the road and murder every single animal you come across with your rock, gathering animal meat to cook and eat later, until you reach an abandoned town.  Once you reach a town, you’ll notice your invisible Geiger counter begin to go crackle like crazy and with that, the starting pistol has been fired.

Once you’ve reached this point, you’ve got to sprint into town to find anti-radiation tablets or anti-radiation armor to counteract the radiation you’ll die horribly from radiation poisoning. The game’s radiation mechanic is currently shallow at best, because you can just keep popping tablets to keep you radiation “number” from getting too high.  The towns have loot in military camouflaged bags or crates on the floors of buildings which contain a bunch of random stuff. It’s anyone’s guess what you’ll find, as it seems to be more random loot spawns, but you’ll mostly find guns and ammunition, which is really the main thing you’re in town for.

So, should you buy into Rust’s early access? Unless something about this article has really gotten you hyped about the game, I would recommend waiting at least another six months before picking up Rust. It is in extremely early Alpha, and though there is some fun to be had, I feel it’s best to wait until we get a more clear idea of content and it’s execution before throwing down your money.

Collegian Entertainment Reporter Diego Carrera can be reached at