Ark: Survival Evolved is a game I have heard a lot about and is another reason why I finally decided to get a gaming PC. I have been taking a look at Ark on the Xbox One on the early access programe. Much like other titles, such as H1Z1 and DayZ, it’s a game that has had a lot of gamers intrigued and is getting a lot of attention. Its now coming to Xbox and I wanted to see what all the excitements about.
The game starts with you creating your character. You’re then put into the world to explore. You wake up on a beach, with nothing and its your mission to survive what lies ahead. I have to say I love the way in which the game started. I stared by simply running around and exploring. Straight away I saw huge dinosaurs, sea creatures and lush scenery. In the distance I saw what looked like some sort of futuristic sci-fi structure.
I quickly becomes apparent that the game is all about survival, crafting and system management. There’s a huge range of aspects to keep track of such as hydration, hunger, warmth and shelter. One of the main things you must do is collect anything and everything you come across in the world. You can collect materials, craft items, and tame dinosaurs. The game has many mechanics we have seen before in other games, but what makes this different is the setting and the world in which you exist.
The game looks great, but has some technical problems. This is to be expected though as this game is in early access and just a look at what the game has to offer. The game did have a couple of crashes and frame rate is pretty poor at the moment. I also found it tricky to find a server sometimes- it often said that servers were full. When you start out on the island it can seem pretty overwhelming. I found the key was to collect as much materials as possible. The HUD shows all the various factors you need to consider and it takes some time getting used to it. Extreme cold can damage health, while heat has a strong effect on your hydration levels. You have to consider every move that that make in order to survive.
Crafting is a huge part of the game, and is something that we are seeing more and more in games. You collect wood from trees, stones from the beach and other items to help you create things like weapons, shelter and clothing. On your arm you have a diamond implant that shows your inventory. This includes recipes, instructions for tools, weapons, and parts to create structures. You can get meat from dinosaurs, and creatures you kill and berries from trees. You can even poop, that’s right the game even factors in your need to go to the toilet. You can even use feces that your character and animals expel as fertilizer to grow new plants for fiber and berries when you decide to create your own farm.
As you slowly begin to learn how to survive on the island you get experience points, which opens up more crafting options. You have a variety of attributes that you can upgrade, which include things like stamina and health. You really have to be patient and experiment with different options. The main thing that makes this different from other survival games is the fact that there’s massive dinosaurs roaming around. The larger dinosaurs don’t seem too interested in you, it’s the small ones that can cause some trouble. Be warned that anything and everything in this world wants to kill you! As you explore the world you can even come into contact with other players. They may want to join forces, or kill you and take your loot! So its important to stay aware and cautious of everyone and everything that you meet. The game reminded me a lot of The Hunger Games. You are very much on your own, trying to survive in difficult conditions.
As you progress, you can even tame dinosaurs. This is pretty easy to do, and even allows you to ride dinosaurs! All the animals on the island have varying levels, and your tamed dinosaurs will level up, granting you the opportunity to increase their health and carrying capacity over time. There’s a lot to explore in this world, but tread carefully. There’s caves, jungles, rivers and many environments full of things to discover. There’s three enormous structures, colored red, blue, and green, float lazily in the sky. I haven’t played long enough yet to learn what role these play in the world. It certainly suggests there’s more to the world than simply surviving.
Overall my experience so far with Ark: Survival Evolved has been one that’s extremely absorbing and time consuming. I find myself constantly wanting to upgrade my character, and craft better weapons and structures. I especially enjoyed exploring the island and meeting other players. What makes this game stand out though is the scale of the world and the creatures that exist in it. It certainly has some big technical issues at the moment but that’s to be expected considering that its in early access. This is a game that’s certainly worth checking out if you like games like Minecraft or H1Z1.
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