Ark: Survival Evolved
- Developers: Studio Wildcard, Instinct Games, Virtual Basement, Efecto Studios
- Publisher: Studio Wildcard
- Genre: RPG
- Players: 1-75
- Platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One
- Release Date: June 2015 (Early Access)
- Microtransactions: None
Thrown on to Jurassic Park island! That’s how it feels anyway. Let’s jump in on the beautiful game that is Ark: Survival Evolved. Let’s start with what this game is lacking…any story whatsoever! There is nothing when you begin, no cut scene, no tutorial no nothing. Or there wasn’t when I’ve been playing it. I know it’s still in testing blah blah it’s been like that for years. A little something would have been nice.
Now I have let off some steam with that let’s get in to the gameplay, you wake up with nothing and a little bit of cloth to cover your bits, not knowing what to do or where to go, your first spawn could even be next to an aggressive dinosaur, where you die horribly in seconds and have to spawn in again. Once that is over with and you are in a safe spot, you can check out the beautiful scenery and how to play the game.
Punch trees and pick up rocks to get some materials, make yourself a pick and hatchet to help harvest them, level up in the lower levels nice and quick aaaaaaaaaaaand you are starving or dehydrated…run in to the water to drink, punch dodos to death and cook their meat on a campfire, you do what you have to to survive.
It’s a steep learning curve but you get used to it, a few levels in and you realise you can assign engrams to make some cool stuff! Melee weapons, ranged weapons, clothes, structures it’s all there, this is where you look at what you can unlock at level 80 and realise you have to get it! Goodbye life and hello ark!
It’s got some glitches and it’s not perfect but this is one addictive game, started on the PC over a year ago and now it’s on console, it’s hard to get away. You build a 2x2x2 house out of thatch with a campfire and a storage box, realise you can upgrade the house to wood, then stone, then metal…you can make the house bigger, add floors, ladders, hatches, dinosaur gates for your tamed dinos, it goes on. It’s a builders dream, you just need to make sure you are in the right area and T Rex doesn’t walk past every 5 minutes.
Once you get to grips with the engrams and building its time to look at the fun stuff…the dinosaurs! Yeah that’s right you can tame the things, although it’s not easy and it’s not quick. You need to get your hands on some narcotics, which come from the plants dotted around everywhere, make yourself some narcotic arrows or stick to just beating a dinosaur unconscious with a club. Now comes the mind numbing task of taming the dinosaur, where you need the narcotics to keep it unconscious, and some food so it likes you. Then there’s the task of making sure no other player kills it or a wild dino kills it.
3 hours later, 400 bits of food and 300 narcotic berries and you have a dinosaur! Might be a slight exaggeration but that’s what happens later on when you tame higher level better dinos. The lower end ones usually take 5 minutes to an hour max.
Fast forward a week, you have a massive house with many floors, 25 dinosaurs all called something like Dave or Daisy, having a total of 12 hours sleep in 7 days, Ark life has kicked in. Once you get to around level 30 the dinosaurs open up a bit more, you can craft saddles for a lot of them and realise you can now get a saddle for a pteradon, it’s time to fly!
This in itself is great but it causes more problems, you find a better spot for your base, on the other side of the map! I think we relocated 4 times…it’s never fun.
Playing on the online servers you can make a tribe for you and your buddies to get together and make mansions, group up to take down bigger and better dinos, or just watch each other die horribly and launch an arrow to their knee. Again this has a downside…others can do the same and others can blow holes in your base and steal everything you have worked hard for, killing Dave in the process (RIP little buddy). This game on PVP can be harsh, very harsh. But you pick yourselves up, fortify the base, add defences and try again, taming bigger and better dinos and leave them on aggressive so if it happens again the dinos get to play.
You start to become a master at this game and wonder what else the ark game offers, baby dinosaurs! Yes, that’s right you can play some Barry White and have them mate. Combining the stats of the mum and dad dino to create one with better stats, also just look at them!
Raising a baby dino is like taming an adult one, but 10 times harder and 10 times longer, I think I had to keep one fed for 2 days…2 days! It was worth it in the end and my Argentavis bird called Argelina Jolie is a beast. Get creative with them names! Dodo Baggins (Dodo), Ptaylor Swift (Pteradon), the list goes on…or just Dave (RIP little buddy)
I would definitely say grab a pick and have a bash at this game, it’s not for everyone, but I am most definitely addicted.
- In depth building
- Taming dinos
- No real story
- No tutorials