In December 2015, Ark Survival Evolved came to Xbox One. The game is essentially an open world environment where players must survive on an island from dinosaurs and other hazards.
When you load up the game, you appear in one of the designated spawn zones that range in difficulty. It should be noted that upon spawning you have no items or weapons, and must gather resources to ensure your survival. The best way to maximize your chances of survival is to join or form a tribe. A tribe is a group of people all allied together who work to create structures and tame dinosaurs. By taming dinosaurs you can gain access to areas of the map that would originally be difficult or next to impossible. This could either be because of the landscape or even dangerous creatures that roam the island. By gathering resources, you can construct tools to harvest more resources, and tames allow you to transport more resources and assist with taming other dinosaurs. Most dinosaurs must be rendered unconscious in order for them to be tamed. You can use narcoberries or narcotics to ensure that these creatures remain unconscious. To tame a creature, it must either be given meat, berries, or a form of kibble. Note that for creatures that require meat, prime meat shall provide more levels and stats to the tame than regular and kibble would provide a significant boost to levels of tames.
Once you gather enough resources as mentioned you can construct tools and structures. You can craft a boat, and sail the seas to look for tames or travel around the coast. By building a base, you can store your resources and tools and defend yourselves much more effectively against hostile players and dinosaurs. The base also is an ideal location to place a bed which shall allow you to respawn where it is located in the event of your death.Building on the Ark is quite interesting and you can take it in many directions. Originally I built box shaped structures, but one I discovered corners I was able to provide angular designs to my buildings. Recently the Ark featured and update with a location on the islands known as the Redwood. The Redwood has large trees which you can place large platforms to build on. With this build item, you are able to build in the trees which is quite exciting.
Game play wise the Ark is okay. You can wield guns, and bows to shoot targets. But bear in mind that using guns and other more advanced weapons you would require more resources to ensure that you could repair the items and provide a steady amount of ammunition. This can become quite expensive so it is better if players are in a tribe so that they can create weapons and other tools.
Originally the Ark featured one map, known as the Island. This map like its successor features tropical locations, swamps and even arctic locations. The latter two are the more deadly locations on the map, especially with the feared Titanboa (snakes) that can render you unconscious and then devour you. Leeches are also present in the swamp, and can give players disease which cannot be removed even after death. They can eventually spread to other players if close contact is maintained. Animals can also be affected so take heed. The island also features caves, where even more dangerous creatures exist and large amounts of resources. These caves hold artifacts that can summon bosses at each of the respective obelisks on the map. The Center is a community created map, and was then ported over to consoles by the developers when the designer won the competition to create a map as set by the developers. The Center is much larger than the Island map, and features the same range of environments. What has been added is a floating island at the center of the map, where it gets its name. This map also features an underworld, and by this I mean a tropical environment underground. The Center also holds higher level dinosaurs compared to the Island and is quite a beautiful map. Another map available, and created by the developers is the DLC Scorched Earth. This content must be purchased in order to download it and features a desert map. Conditions here are extreme. Players must deal with the harsh elements and creatures. For example, some rocks are elemental of Rocks that hide and can deal significant damage. Sand worms hide under the dunes waiting for prey to appear to attack them. The map also has the dreaded Wyverns, which are essentially dragons that either breathe fire, poison or lightning.
The game also features two modes, normal and Primitive Plus. In normal mode, you are able to build through all stages. So from Thatch – Wood – Stone – Metal being the final phase. On Primitive Plus, the building is fixed at stone, but lumber, and cement panels have been added to the game. Also in Primitive Plus you are unable to create generators and advanced weaponry so adds to the game play.
Sadly the game has its drawback. Especially with Primitive Plus, content either does not work or is missing. For example fishing rods are not present so the admin of the private server I am, must spawn in the fishing rod as it cannot be crafted normally in game. The same is for preservation structures for the large amounts of eggs and meat that you acquire as you play cannot preserved in one of the structures, therefore another item must be spawned in to ensure that these items are preserved.
The game is still currently in a pre-release state so content is constantly added to enhance the game play as the title reaches full launch sometime in 2016. These issues with game play are being addressed through updates gradually. Overall, I would rate Ark Survival Evolved 6/10 and this is for the multiple issues with game play that lets the game down. I shall be providing content on Ark as I cover the server I play on. This server is focused on a town mentality where players work together for the betterment of the town they are a part of.
This is Reclaimer signing off.
Image courtesy of Steam website.