Review: ARK: Survival Evolved.
(AfroGamers.com) Every now and then I like to enjoy a game that makes me sit and play for hours upon hours. Not because the game is just that engrossing but because the day and night cycle runs so slowly and in-game it’s too damn scary to travel at night.
Yes, I’m talking about survival games and one of those I really enjoy is ARK: Survival Evolved. Coming to us from Studio Wildcard, ARK has been around for a little over a year now and gives players a ton of fun, danger, and headaches!
The world of ARK is that of a large island–roughly 14 sq miles–that features several climates. There’s arid land, lush forests, sweltering swampland, and bitterly cold tundras. While there are set maps before you start the play, the game can generate your world and you’re often dropped near a coast before you adventure. If you’re lucky, you’ll be dropped there during the day.
This is where you’ll be at your safest at a low level. All threats are either easy to flee from or avoid or can me fought off with basic wood-and-stone weapons. Oh, and these threats I spoke of? They’re mostly prehistoric. Yes, you’re dealing with dinosaurs, pythons, predator birds, mammoths, saber toothed tigers, and even some extinct animals.
Not only that, but all the animals don’t simply attack you but they hunt and flee from each other. Your character is just a new entry in that predator-prey life.
Survival of the Fittest
If you weren’t scared off by the environment, good! You might be up for scavenging fields, chopping down trees, and mining ore. You’ll need to do all of this to craft your weapons and tool and build your shelter. The game levels you up as you progress and you can apply your points to several stats to boost combat strength, speed, defense, carrying weight, and basically your metabolism.
The environment isn’t your only enemy, hunger, thirst, temperature, and the time of day are also threats. Yes, if playing on a player vs. player server also other players can be enemies as well. What all of this means is that you’ll have to steel yourself to survive and learn skills. Apply points to different crafting tiers to make better weapons and tools.
That thatch wall and roof house works for now and will be good for if you ever return to the area you spawned but it will be toast if you deal with powerful dinosaurs who came to wreck stuff. You’ll want wood and eventually stone and steel to protect you, your allies, and all you’ve obtained.
It’s Too Dangerous To Go Alone
To gain all of this takes time which is where teaming up in either PvP or PvE (player vs. environment)–or even co-op–pays off. Deciding to go it as a lone wolf or playing solo campaign will give you slow but somewhat controllable experience but teamwork never hurts. Well…it can hurt if someone isn’t doing their job, but that’s another story.
There’s also the community aspect of ARK. Players can run their own worlds via servers and allow others to venture throughout it. Some of these are pure run-around, build stuff and play–AKA boring after a few weeks–and others are roleplay-specific. Depending on how you want to play and what kind of experience you’re looking for either one might be enjoyable. You might actually like competing with and against other players or simply playing with them against the ecosystem and the environment. ARK gives you that choice.
If you’re a regular ARK player, you don’t have to worry about your property being deleted but after some time away you’ll notice that the house you build is gone or you whatever. It happens. The game allows for more customization on PC and is more flexible for roleplay needs but you can do a decent roleplayer session on PS4 or Xbox One as well.
It will reach the Nintendo Switch later this year but if you need an immediate test run of the game, I’d say pick it up on mobile and see what it’s about. ARK will take you from “I’m just exploring this for fun” to “I want to get more firewood but I hear something outside and this hut’s roof is only half done” over time.
The only problem with the game is that it doesn’t ease you into the difficulty gradually. You have to be quick or be dead. In ARK, you never know when a dangerous predator will arrive near your newbie hut while you’re off venturing and now you have to move elsewhere. The game isn’t brutally harsh but you will improve out of necessity and because you want to explore more of the island.
RATING: 7.5 out of 10 (Highly Recommended)
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.