Who doesn’t love Dinosaurs? That’s the bet Studio Wildcard is making with Ark: Survival Evolved, their upcoming Survival game that drops players into a Jurassic jungle and tasks them with surviving a harsh climate, fending for themselves, working with others and taming the prehistoric wildlife. The game hit PC early access in 2015 and over the next 2 years, early access versions came to the PS4 and Xbox One. Along the way, it unconventionally received a paid DLC and kept on trucking along in its early access development. At long last, the curtain is being lifted in full and the game will launch in its complete state in August.
Developed by: Studio Wildcard
Published by: Studio Wildcard
Release date: August 8th, 2017
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
ARK: Survival Evolved Features
- CAPTURE AND TAME DINOSAURS: Discover over 100 different dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures on the island.
- SURVIVE ABOVE ALL: Hunger, thirst, basic safety and protecting yourself from the weather are all part of the game.
- HARVEST, HUNT AND BUILD: Cut down trees and turn them into an expandable base. Hunt for meat, scavenge for plants (or start your own garden!)
- GATHER RESOURCES, CUSTOMIZE EVERYTHING: An extensive crafting system invites you to mix and match materials scavenged from the island.
- EXPLORE THE ISLAND: Solve the mystery of The ARK as you explore this massive island, discovering clues throughout. Make your way to the final boss and figure out why you’ve been dropped into this Jurassic-era experience.
Story & Setting
In Ark: Survival Evolved you will be exploring a massive island populated by over 100 kinds of prehistoric wildlife. You will solve the mystery of the island and why you are in this land, eventually making your way to a final challenge.
As you explore the island you will discover explorer’s notebooks that are filled with clues left behind by other survivors of the Ark. The more you uncover, the more you will piece together the truth behind the Ark and why you’re there.
Ark: Survival Evolved is an action open world survival game and played in either first-person or third-person. To survive you will have to establish a base, make fire and weapons, eat, and tame dinosaurs and subsequently care for them. Yes, that’s right. Tame dinosaurs.
The massive open world will have over 100 different dinosaurs as well as various other prehistoric creatures. You will tame dinosaurs by luring them with food and knocking them unconscious. Once you tame these beasts, you can mount them and then make use of their abilities, like flying or heading underwater as well. In some cases, such as the large dinosaurs you will be able to use your own weapons while riding them. Your tamed “pets” can also carry items and you can give them commands such as defending your base or attacking an enemy’s. How does this not sound awesome?
Ark: Survival Evolved also features other prehistoric animals like the dodo, saber-tooth cat, mammoth and more. Each creature you encounter is part of a ecosystem with predator hierachies, which is a system we now see being implemented in the upcoming Monster Hunter World from Capcom.
In one of the game’s more unique twists, players can find some rare sacrificial items and bring them to summon locations in order to do battle with god-like creatures. These battles represent the end-game goal for players, similar to an MMO raid. In the same vein, taking them down will reward players with some highly valuable loot.
Surviving the Ark
As expected in the Survival genre, hunger, thirst and shelter from the environment are big parts of Ark: Survival Evolved. You will become exhausted, hungry and thirsty as you exert yourself and will have to eat and drink to survive. Different foods have different nutritional properties and you will have to secure fresh water. You can hunt for food or grow it, and it’s even possible to make it through as a vegan or vegetarian. How far gaming has come! Inventory weight is also a consideration and the day/night cycle adds a temperature mechanic which accelerates your hunger and thirst. You will have to craft clothing and armor to protect against these environmental dangers using the game’s indoor/outdoor insulation system.
You will need a shelter as well to protect against the weather and guard your stuff. To construct a shelter you will cut down trees and turn them into a home which you can eventually expand. To do this you’ll have to make realistic structural components as you level and gather necessary resources. You’ll have to build carefully as enemy attacks can compromise them. You can paint everything you build and place to your tastes including your weapons, armor and clothing. The construction options are impressive and you can go quite sophisticated.
The game’s crafting system lets you take materials you scavenge and craft new items, consumables, weapons and accessories, provided you have the blueprints. Blueprints have variable statistics and qualities and require resources. Depending on the quality you may have to brave some remote and harsh areas to find these resources. Eventually you can learn engrams which let you craft items without needing blueprints. And you’re not always going to be kicking it rustic as there will be opportunity to go very high tech with your gear. Everything you make in Ark: Survival Evolved has durability and will wear out with use, which could become tedious over time.
Playing Nice (Or Not) With Others
Furthermore, when you exit the game, your character remains sleeping in the persistent world on a server of 100+ players. Everything you own physically exists in the game, whether in boxes or equipped on your character and your enemies can loot them. While you’re not playing you will have to ensure safety through building, pets and teamwork. If death comes to you, it is permanent! However, there are fates worse than death. Other players can knock out, capture and force-feed other players for horrible means like using their blood, fecal matter for fertilizer or as food for your pets. Now we’ve taken a turn into the disturbing.
Although there are some friendlier interactions. You can create a tribe in the game and add your buddies to it and anyone in your tribe can command your pets. This tribe will also be able to respawn at any of your home points. Moreover, you can promote members to admins to help manage this harsh Jurassic world like handing out key items and passcodes to your village.
Ark: Survival Evolved looks to provide the ultimate sandbox experience for players. It’s been through 2 years of early access development that has featured some ups and downs. If Studio Wildcard can iron out some of the performance issues that have popped up during early access, and provide solid post launch support and endgame content, the game could go down as one of the best ways to spend virtual time. Its prehistoric and larger than life beasts make it an impressive take on the Survival game and its lengthy early access has given it a large foundation to build upon going forward.
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