Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ark: Survival Evolved Is A Good Starter Survival Game.

( In 2017, Studio Wildcard released Ark: Survival Evolved, an open-world survival game. When it first came out, it was one of several sensations in live streaming and with good reason.

Before diving into this title, it’s important to note that there have definitely been survivor games before Ark and ones afterwards that did what Ark did better.

However, this title along with Minecraft, Terraria, and DayZ pretty much established the base mechanics of modern survival games. Of course, just because someone or something is a pioneer in a field doesn’t mean relevance is forever.

Let’s get into Ark and see what it is and why it players eventually moved on from it.

What Is Ark Exactly?

In Ark, players wash up on the beach of an island swarming with prehistoric animals—and online, human players. The goal is to survival by gathering, crafting, hunting, and exploring.

There is a day/night cycle, temperatures, and weather effects. All of these can impact the player’s health and chances of survival. Obviously, without lighting the night is extremely dangerous as there are predators around. If you get wet while swimming, you’ll need to get dry.

You’ll have to make sure you don’t pass out from heatstroke, eating is important, and you’ll want to cook your food. That means you’ll have to hunt or tame animals and pick up farming.

Also, crafting is essential. In the game, you’ll level up with experience and can improve your knowledge in different handicrafts and just your overall condition. This is the kind of game where you’re going to invest a time a lot of time into.

Will you fail and get killed? Multiple times. There are so many ways to just end up dead in this game: some animal could take you out or you could end up poisoned. You’ll have to learn and improve which means your chances of survival increases.

Outside of that, Ark is highly customizable. This has resulted in servers for players to enjoy the game as it was meant to be played, enjoy it with mods that enhance or makes the game easier, or use the game as a backdrop for roleplay.

Ark: Survival Evolved 2021

The Best Parts

Plot-wise, Ark is pretty weak. You’ll come across notes and the like explaining the weird structures on the island but the plot itself isn’t exactly there. It’s more that you’ll come across lore while exploring.

And that’s fine, that’s basically what I do in Fallout and Elder Scrolls before dragging myself to do the main mission. There is something else about Ark that I like and it’s the premise.

An island of mysterious origin with dinosaurs and other creatures roaming around just seems like what you’d expect from Jurassic Park. Like, it’s not a project that should be explored but if it was and it failed, Ark is how it would end up.

The Downturn for Ark

Professional and fan ratings varied for the game. One thing that turned people off on Ark was the difficulty. This goes hand-in-hand with the grindy nature of this title. Personally, I enjoyed playing it on PlayStation 4 and the console versions aren’t even prime Ark.

Ultimately, I believe Ark just naturally declined in interest—at least as you can measure via streaming. When streamers start to move away from a title, it’s often because of the hit to viewers.

A chunk of viewers will stick around regardless of the game but there’s still a significant portion who love to see them playing a particular game. If others are playing the game they prefer, it’s not unusual for them to stream hop.

That doesn’t mean that a game just stops selling entirely. Eventually, it will but those still playing Ark four years later are the diehards. The same ones who will be there for the announced Ark II.

As for this fan of survival and open-world games, I’m still enjoying it. I love a game with a lot of replay value. This one has the added benefit of being a game you’ll just sink time into anyway.

Grounds For a Revival

Even when games experience a decline in players over time or attention via streaming, there is hope of something of a revival. Just look at the revival Among Us got late last year.

How about GTA Online? GTA V dropped in 2013 and Online had a large base but interest was fading. Those who were there already would continue to buy the Shark cards and pump money into Rockstar Games but eventually, if became boring to watch others play the game.

Roleplay revived interest in GTA Online and actually saw players who either had the game on console already or had never played GTA V purchase the game. Why? To play with others in a roleplay setting with defined rules free of the griefing that plagues default Online.

Ark saw a mild bump via players wanting to roleplay but even that declined when better roleplay worlds—other games—either dropped or go their own bumps and revivals.

Major streamer interest is the really the only thing that will put eyes back on Ark. Streamers get hundreds, thousands—tens of thousands—of eyes on them while playing games.

Sometimes, it only takes one popular streamer to play a game with their fellow streamers to get the ball rolling again. Ark can and will benefit from such a rub but if it’ll get it remains to be seen.

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.

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