Ark: Survival Evolved Review


Nathan Johnson

Ark: Survival Evolved is an enjoyable survival game.

Nathan Johnson, Reporter

Ark: Survival Evolved is a pre-released survival game that pitches you into a challenging prehistoric landscape surrounded by hundreds of dinosaurs and complete mystery. Ark is a creative take on a survival game creating a ‘Hunger Games’ type feel when playing. Drawing from other survival games, such as Minecraft, Ark enables you to craft and build elements, with its own specific mechanics, giving the game its own special feel.

Starting the game, you are given the option to either play alone, on a private player hosted server, or on a dedicated worldwide Ark server. Whichever you choose, you are required to create a character to start playing; Character creation is one of the best elements of Ark. Every single body part on the character can be extended, shortened, widened, or thinned out. With the ability to create your own character, as I travelled across Ark servers I met strange weapon wielding mutants that looked far from human.

Once the character is finished, you now have the option of choosing where you would like to start your adventure. With these locations varying in difficulty, I would recommend choosing an easy location to start out in, in order to gather and build up skill.

As soon as you spawn, the first thing you will notice are a couple of massive alien pillars throughout the map. These will help you later on in the game transfer items between worlds. Also scattered through the map are supply drops, the items you receive are dependent on your level.

Ark is a very difficult game to start in. To get weapons, tools, and structure, not only do you need to collect the required materials from the environment but you need to level up. Levelling up gives you a certain amount of “engram points” which you can then spend on “engrams” which give you the ability to craft the item the “engram”contains. This system can be really annoying, because often times you find yourself running out of points and not being able to get necessary items to increase your chance of survival.

Playing the game and getting to a high level can take a long time, and is often extremely challenging. At some points I thought I was doing pretty well, the little settlements I had created were running smoothly, but it is startling how fast this changes.

Once, when I had a raft with a tamed alligator, 2 dodos, 2 birds, a full set of chitin armor, and a set of metal tools. I then drove my raft into a swamp and was instantly attacked by about 20 piranhas, a snake, and 2 raptors. I then lost everything I had and had to restart from scratch. That was a huge loss for me and it was very difficult to get going again.

If any carnivorous creature sees you or you accidentally hit an herbivore you either have the option to run or fight. Most of the times these fights are unwinnable and often the only way to successfully get away from a carnivore is to try to get it to fight another creature.This happened to me multiple times and forced me to not only restart but also to be more careful in my journeys through Ark.

Another piece of Ark that is beautiful is the ability to tame and ride dinosaurs. Almost every single dinosaur in the game is tamable but the taming system is often a very long and boring journey. Some creatures are required to be knocked out to be tamed, this can be done by multiple methods: punching, hitting with a club, etc. The creature then needs to be fed their preferred food (make sure to keep ghdm asleep by feeding them narcotics!).

Other creatures require the player to constantly feed them as they walk around. This can be a challenge: following the creature and maintaining a steady flow of food. Whichever taming method is used, it can take hours to tame creatures.

The gameplay at time can be jumpy, meaning that FPS(frames per second) can be 60 one minute and 10 the next minute. It takes some time messing around with the settings to create sustainably smooth gameplay that is enjoyable to both play and watch.

In the end Ark: Survival Evolved is a very challenging, time-consuming, survival game. Something I dislike with Ark (and with many other survival games such as Minecraft) is it can take hours to collect sufficient resources in order to progress in the game. In addition it can be very hard to restart after a large death in which you can’t attain your items because a t-rex is standing over it.

On the other side, Ark is a very rewarding game, Spending time taming dinosaurs and killing huge beasts or some of the bosses in the game. Just keeping busy in the game and pushing through hard losses adds to the fun.

I would rate Ark: Survival Evolved a solid 8/10, because it is still a work in progress, meaning the game is constantly changing, and there are still endless possibilities. The developers see fan’s comments and they listen, in addition updates are constantly come out adding new dinosaurs, items, and unique gameplay features.

Ark: Survival Evolved is a fantastic game that is unique and will suit anyone who is a fan of hardcore survival games.