Friday, 01 June 2018 15:14

REVIEW: ARK Park (PSVR)

Written by Brett Hale

ARK Park is the spin off from ARK: Survival Evolved, it’ll also make you feel like you’re in the Jurassic Park films in some aspects of the game. This is a VR title only playable on PSVR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

I’m new to the whole PSVR world, yeah I know I’m late, but I’ve already played my fair share of games on PSVR, and well, ARK Park is low on my list of games I’ve enjoyed on PSVR so far.

There is no story to follow. ARK Park is solely an exploration game along with breeding dinosaurs and learning about them. This would really be cool for young kids to play but however Sony doesn’t recommend the use of PSVR for anyone under the age of 12 years old, and I certainly didn’t want to have my kids who are even younger using PSVR. So it's really a missed opportunity from the get-go.

ark park

You’ll come across many different dinosaurs throughout the game. Some you’ll probably know by either their name or their stature. You’ll be able to interact with the foliage and other small creatures early on. I was able to pick up rocks and childishly throw them are a large dinosaur in the water thankfully it couldn’t attack me.

ARK Park offers a single player and multiplayer mode. Personally, I really didn’t think much of the game in the single player format and multiplayer didn’t improve the game much either.

Virtual reality is quite a different experience compared to just viewing it on your television screen. To support the high frame rate that is required, the clarity takes a hit. It's not bad, it's just how the PSVR works. It's best to use it to fully understand, and along with VR comes motion sickness for some, and it affects some gamers more than others. There were times I did suffer from it too.

arkpark1

There are two controller options, either using the DualShock 4 controller or the two move controllers. I dabbled with both, but on top of those options you’ll have another two movement options to choose also, either teleportation or smooth movement, teleportation is obvious but the smooth movement is quick quarter movements, if you ever played DOOM VFR you’ll understand more. I preferred the teleportation option. I suffered less motion sickness while using that mode. The game does state teleportation is for new players of VR, and the smooth movement for experienced VR gamers.

ARK Park lets you create your character although you’ll hardly see yourself unless you’re in a third person view such as when riding a dinosaur. You can be either male or female, an adult or teenager. Choosing clothing and hair styles and selecting a name is also a part of the process.

Once you have created your character, then you’ll need to catch a train to the park which was my first case of motion sickness. It’s over rather quick, but if you already want to throw up at that stage, then you have my sympathies.

There isn’t a whole lot to do really. It's much about looking around picking things up & gathering information on dinosaurs. it’s kind of an educational trip you’d do at a school, but in a VR world.

ARK Park through the PSVR headset looks like your typical VR game. They have a certain look to them & some people say it's blurry and has far less clarity then looking on a television screen, and it's true to an extent however, PSVR is the most affordable VR headset currently available, so you can’t really expect it to compete with higher end models. it's specs aren’t the best but you’ll either like PSVR or not.

arkpark2

ARK Park is okay visually but with things like signage, you must be close to make out what the sign says. For those watching you play on the television itself will see a much clearer image however, screen size is reduced with black bars (it's how all games are when a VR game is watched on a television). Some VR games look better than others as some have PS4Pro patches offering enhancements like higher resolutions, though the highest resolution on PSVR is 1080p. ARK Park is a PS4Pro supported game.

ARK Park is a cool idea but failed to impress me. Sure, creating the life of dinosaurs is pretty amazing and to run a dinosaur park reminds me of the first time I saw Jurassic Park, but it just doesn’t have the spark to keep you coming back to play. So, is ARK Park a good PSVR experience? Not overly. It's just not challenging to play. It’s as if the creators were preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think whether they should.


Additional Info

  • Review Score: 2.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Mar 22, 2018
  • Platform: PC, PS4
  • Age Rating: Teen
  • Developer: Snail Games
  • Publisher: Studio Wildcard
  • Genre: Adventure, Simulation