Wednesday, 04 October 2017 09:09

REVIEW: Ark: Survival Evolved (Xbox One)

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When I first started playing Ark: Survival Evolved, I died. So I tried again... I died. I tried again and again and I died & died. You can imagine that frustration set in early. You see, as a new player, Ark doesn’t really care about you. Kinda like life really...

Welcome to Ark: Survival Evolved... This game is a PvP combat game, a survival game, a sandbox game, a sim, a single-player adventure and possibly a whole lot more all wrapped in to one big package. Now the question that remains is “does all this make for a great game?” Well here is my take on it.

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Straight up, the fact that Ark went from a long-as-hell early access game to a full retail release shows that it has a great fanbase and probably deserves a medal of some sort as this is a rarity in this day and age of modern gaming. Once you start, don’t expect the game to hold your hand and guide you through it... oh nay nay, you will simply be thrust into this prehistoric world like a little newborn baby without parents to guide it. You will die and you will die lots. The beauty is that the Ark community is always there to lend a helping hand to get you going. Also, I recommend making good use of Wiki pages too.

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Once you get past your first few blood-soaked hours, you will begin to see all that is good about Ark. It probably shouldn’t take that long to get into (and for some it won’t), but Ark does have a great depth to it that most games these days lack, for instance... taming a dinosaur is a gratifying experience. Yes, it is great to jump on its back and ride with the wind, but it is not as easy as just walking up to it and pressing a button to jump on... You must put in an effort. At the end of it you get your reward... A goddamn dinosaur of your own!!

Base building is also deceptively in-depth and complex. But not overly so to a point where you scowl at the thought of it.

There is also crafting and combat to learn all while you survive in this wide-open ecosystem of animals that just want to eat you.

I also recommend staying away from the centre of each area as that is generally where those really nasty dinosaurs hang out. Around the edges is where you will find the “not-as-nasty-but-still-want-to-eat-you” dinosaurs and even the friendlier herbivores. And it’s not like dino’s are few and far between either... they are everywhere you turn. To me it seems a little much at times especially when you’re a new player, but it is what it is and if you survive it, you will be forever a stronger person.

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As a newbie, it may be a good idea to stay away from the PvP servers to begin with. They are quite hard to progress in at the beginning. The good thing is that Ark does offer different means of progression. You can join or form a clan, check out the beacons peppered around the island and summon bosses for battle or maybe even breeding your very own army of dangerous dinos to take over the world.

Ark is an ambitious game, and in a market saturated with so many games that are basically the same as the next, Ark has stepped outside the box. Ark is far from a polished game but I believe it will get there with time. It is always interesting and exciting when a developer tries something new. The lack of a helping hand for the newbie and clunkiness of the controls is hampering its progress right now, but I say give it time.

For newbies, stay with it. Be patient for the first few hours of play. Explore the game, stay away from PvP until you get the hang of it and Ark will reward you with a fun, in-depth and inspiring game.


Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Aug 29, 2017
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Age Rating: ESRB Teen
  • Content: Violence, Blood, Crude Humor, Use of Alcohol
  • Developer: Studio Wildcard
  • Publisher: Studio Wildcard
  • Genre: Action / Adventure, Role-Playing