Walking With Dinosaurs: Is Ark: Survival Evolved Good?

On my third night in Ark: Survival Evolved [official site], when the sun had finally set and I was left alone in the seething blackness of the jungle, I saw a glimpse of my possible future. I was chopping trees in the dark, too scared to even light a fire for fear of what the warmth might draw toward me, but as another tree toppled with a groan I spied lights in the valley below. I crept closer. Silhouetted in flickering torchlight towered a tyrannosaurus rex, around which a group of hunters darted back and forth, attacking with spears and arrows. Eventually, they hunters prevailed, and, as they set upon the fallen dinosaur with tools to harvest its meat and hides, I faded back into the jungle and began chopping with renewed purpose.

Ark: Survival Evolved is an early access survival game full of these moments – the kind that fill you with trepidation and excitement in equal measure. But for every moment that adds to the enchantment of surviving on an island teeming with prehistoric life, there are just as many capable of frustrating you. Building on a firm foundation well tread by online survival games, Ark certainly has potential, much of it unrealized, but I can’t help but wonder if the claim of Survival Evolved is just too hyperbolic of a statement to make.

When I spawned on a beach, squinting up at the tropical sun, I felt almost disappointed with how by-the-books Ark initially seemed. If you’ve played Rust or DayZ, you’ll be intimately familiar with the song and dance that Ark would have you perform. Naked, without so much as two sticks to rub together, I was thrust onto a hostile island. Unlike many of the barren wastelands that form the survival genre though, Ark’s setting was infused with a sense of alien mystery that quickly washed away how unimpressed I felt.

Even though I felt strongly familiar with what was expected of me, like maintaining my levels of hunger, dehydration, and temperature, Ark quickly surprised me. As I completed my crucial “press every key to see what it does” routine, I couldn’t decide if I was more alarmed or amused when a line of text informed me that I had defecated. When I turned around to see the little dollop laying on the beach, I was even more surprised that I could pick it up. But by the time I swallowed it whole and was promptly overcome by a sudden, crippling illness, I only felt bemused; of course I can eat my own poo.

While there are many aspects to Ark that are worthy, like the freedom to consume your own waste, few of them elicit the wonder inspired by the dinosaurs roaming the vast expanse of the island. These beasts are everywhere, and my first hours in the game were spent largely learning where I fit in this strange environment. While other players always posed an ever-present threat, it was within the jaws of a dinosaur that I often met my demise.

Over 30 species exist on the island, and the number seems to grow with each passing week. Ranging from hapless dodos (a willing supplier of meat at an early stage) to the threatening predators that hunt and savagely kill anyone without a keen sense of their surroundings. I truly felt like a small cog in a much larger machine.

Originally, the dinosaurs instilled a sense of awe as I watched them lumber around, but it wasn’t long until the spell was broken by the half-baked behaviors that guided them. I know dinosaurs were dumb, but this is something else. In just a short time, any threat they posed was quickly disarmed by the one dimensional artificial intelligence. I came to view them not as deadly creatures to be treated with care but rather as resources in the environment to be controlled and exploited; an image reinforced by the bizarre and clumsy way in which they moved and engaged with one another.

Of all the interactions you can have with dinosaurs, taming is easily the most important. With careful use of sedatives (or the less surgical application of blunt force trauma) every creature can be rendered unconscious and eventually tamed. Doing so requires an overly steep investment of time and some understanding of what the creature prefers to eat. By keeping the beast sedated and fed, a meter gradually fills until the monster awakens ready to dutifully serve. Some monsters can be tamed within 15 minutes, but others require upwards of a handful of hours. Most of the large creatures can also be fitted with a saddle and used as transportation, a prospect that had me drooling with anticipation as I mothered my first unconscious turtle who, after successful taming, I promptly named Ori and to whom I became too emotionally attached.

Like many survival games, Ark prides itself on teaching through repetition and trial and error. In the savage wilds of the island, my demise often greeted me suddenly. But each time I respawned naked on a beach, the process to recovering from my death became more and more precise.

Where Ark begins to veer into uncharted territory is with the implementation of stat-based character progression. Earning experience by crafting, killing, and even walking eventually netted me a level, which allowed me to increase a stat like health or stamina, and afforded me a few points to spend unlocking crafting recipes. Called engrams, these recipes can be used alongside the required resources to create everything from armor, weapons, and structures that I could place in the environment. But while this interesting blend of RPG inspiration created a sense of progression even in the face of death, it did little to dampen the severe sting.

The prospect of tangible loss is a valuable component to creating meaningful encounters with other players. While some servers cater to the non-aggressive crowd, player versus player combat was the catalyst for so many of the rich moments I’d experienced. Not every encounter had to end in blood, but one of the biggest issues I discovered was how severely the scales were tipped in favor of the aggressor.

Crafting and building is a core component of Ark, but feasibly creating the highest tier of recipes requires a monumental group effort. Even furnishing my humble wood cabin took me the better part of an hour when I accounted for the trips to the beach to replenish my stocks of water and meat. But creating a proper fortress requires a staggering number of resources that can only feasibly be gathered by a group.

Ark features a built-in tribe system, which grants access to a rudimentary suite of tools for managing allies and sharing various benefits like spawn points and control of tamed dinosaurs. Playing as a team is a crucial aspect of Ark – not just to survive but to experience the deeper aspects of base building and crafting. But the way I felt strong-armed into cooperating with others – by disproportionately increasing the requirements for gathering higher quality materials – felt constrictive and demoralizing rather than inviting. It also paved the way for one of my greatest issues: the effort to build something up far surpasses what is required for someone else to tear it down.

When I woke up one morning, eager to log in and feed Ori, I was confused to find that I wasn’t within the cozy confines of my secret base but rather naked on a beach. After hurriedly checking the forums to see if there had been a server wipe, I discovered the true cause for my death. When you log off in Ark, your character doesn’t magically vanish without a trace. Like Rust, your unconscious body is left behind, totally vulnerable to anyone with an appetite for the catatonic.

In theory I like this concept because it loans a sense of permanence and responsibility to the world I inhabit. I’m no longer free to quit the game whenever it might please me, so I have to alter my behaviour. The problem stems from the fact that, for a fraction of the effort, anyone can break into my fort and, without much consequence or effort, destroy everything I worked so hard to achieve. When the hour I spent building my first hut was robbed from me, I shrugged it off; no use crying over spilled milk, I thought. But when that glass of milk took five hours to obtain and also had an adorable turtle named Ori guarding it who also took an hour to tame and whose blood was also spilled, it deflated any motivation I had to continue playing. I can only imagine what it would be like having that feeling shared between the members of a tribe after hundreds of man hours were washed away by the whim of a few malicious players. The simple truth is this: player versus player combat is a rewarding experience, but waking up to find everything you owned destroyed without a proper chance to defend it is crippling.

That isn’t the only elephant on the island, either. While no one is expecting an Early Access title to fire on all cylinders right out of the gate, Ark barely manages to hobble along. Playing at the visual quality represented in its screenshots requires a beastly computer – and not because of how incredible the game looks. Don’t get me wrong, on the highest settings Ark is good looking, but anything less than an top-tier machine will likely need to make serious sacrifices to achieve anything near acceptable performance. Furthermore, the game scales down horribly, forcing the compromise between fidelity and performance to be made all the more painful.

Although these issues likely stand to be corrected, Ark can be so debilitating in its current state of optimization that you should be mindful of it before diving in. Of course, the game is also host to all manner of smaller issues, many of them annoying, but I have to say I’m impressed for how playable it actually is. Though only in alpha, there is so much to see and do on the island that I already feel like my investment has been returned.

Ark: Survival Evolved possesses many of the building blocks for a robust and rewarding survival game. That initial sense of wonder, fleeting as it was, gave me the notion that, as all of its various parts begin to fall into place, Ark may be the kind of game that inspires dedication. But without some major adjustments and careful consideration for how it juggles those pieces, I cannot help but worry it will be just one more game all too willing to carelessly spoil those precious hours.

57 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    I think I’d love a single-player version of this.

    • David Bliff says:

      link to beforegame.net

      There’s hardly any media for Before but it may be worth keeping an eye on.

      • Premium User Badge

        Andy_Panthro says:

        That does look interesting, I will keep an eye out!

      • Universal Quitter says:

        You deserve some kind of award of excellence for Internet comments.

      • SuicideKing says:

        THAT is a game I could play. All it needs is the ability to have private servers for my friends and me. Looks wonderful!

    • Steven Messner says:

      Worth mentioning the game does feature a local/offline mode that you can play with. Player versus Environment servers also exist which removes a lot of the threat. The big problem is that both modes can quickly become stale after you’ve build a big base and explored much of the island. Still, getting to that point might take a dozen or so hours, so depending on what you’re looking for, that could provide enough entertainment alone.

    • badmothergamer says:

      I’ve spent about 30 hours playing locally all by my lonesome self. I’ve loved every minute of it. The performance issues have been great improved since release but its still helpful to look up some guides to really tweak your settings to get the best fps.

      I knew better than to join a public server and try to build a base. Enough time in DayZ Epoch let me know anything I created would be destroyed the second I disconnected.

      I do agree the higher tier recipes require far too many materials for a single player to collect, but as mentioned in the article recent updates have opened up a ton of options when hosting private servers, including how much material you collect from resources, so just tweak your personal server and you should be fine.

      I’ve been burned on some early access titles just like everyone else but this game has been more than worth the $25 it cost at release. With daily updates for bugs and substantial updates each week adding more dinos, I foresee myself playing many more hours, particularly as the mod scene grows and new maps are released.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        I think I’ve lost more to unpaid “maintenance” costs in Epoch than other players. Your way sounds much more exciting than watching pieces of my base disappear simply because I didn’t play for a few days.

    • fish99 says:

      According to Steam I’ve played 85 hrs of ARK now, and 80 of those were single player. It is quite grindy solo though in terms of gathering resources. You’ll probably read that you can’t get all the technologies in the game playing solo, i.e. there isn’t enough upgrade points to unlock everything, which is true, but that really isn’t an issue. I have loads of unspent points and everything I want unlocked up to my level. You can save yourself a lot of points by getting blueprints from loot drops too.

      The game is awesome IMO. The dinosaurs are genuinely scary and can totally destroy you. It does need more optimizing though.

      • Premium User Badge

        Andy_Panthro says:

        Thanks for the info guys, I think I’ll probably wait until it’s had a bit longer in development and see what it’s like. Sounds like playing it solo will be good enough for me.

  2. TheRaptorFence says:

    Shameless summary of an essay I wrote elsewhere:

    I’ll say this about most survival games: they fail to have a compelling gameplay arc.
    Let me explain. Survival games should have three “Acts” to go through in its gameplay. The first is the loot and gather aspect. The difficulty involved comes from staving off ambient conditions such as food/drink/sleep/temp as well as ambient AI such as zombies/animals/robots/etc.

    The second aspect is the building part. At this point ambient conditions have been taken care of temporarily and loot/supplies have been gathered enough to produce a more permanent settlement or structure. It’s simply the claiming of permanent ownership of something, and the will to fight for that ownership.

    The third is self-actualization. After permanence has been set and ambient conditions are rarely a threat the question becomes “What now?” Basically, a purpose apart from survival is now necessary to, well, survive! It’s part of the human condition.

    Now, here’s the rub: I’d argue almost all survival sims have the first two parts down, but almost all of them also trip up on the third part. Mechanics are rarely in place for self-actualization: you could build more, or gather more, or destroy someone else’s stuff, but really all you’ve said is “My purpose is to be more powerful than X.” When people complain about the constant KoS and griefing has become, this is part of that complaint: that the only purpose developers seem to have put into play has been for the express purpose of ruining other people’s stuff or protecting your own stuff. IMO, anthropological research has always indicated that only a small portion of society falls into this mode in survival situations: most try to get civilization up and running again. Since most survival sims don’t even address the creation of a civilized society with in-game mechanics, you could even argue that a survival sim isn’t simulating the most crucial aspect of survival sims.The complaint that most multiplayer survival sims are just FFAs or circle-jerk griefing is tied to the fact that the endgame of most multiplayer survival sims is simply repeating Act 1 and Act 2. At that point, you’re not playing a survival sim: you’re playing a rouge-like shooter with some survival mechanics thrown in.

    • Premium User Badge

      FrostByghte says:

      Excellent analysis. There is basically no end game content.

      • yopricey says:

        Small amounts of end-game content at the moment. They are currently working on several bosses and “rare/super” dinosaurs that give greater rewards. Along with broodmother there will be a dragon and several other bosses to fight. Their also isnt necessarily always KOS. My friends and I have made allies with several tribes and defended against certain KOS tribes. This just adds fun when “good” and “evil” collide.

    • Premium User Badge

      Andy_Panthro says:

      A great point! I’ve always felt a little like that with Minecraft, I’ve always wanted a bit more from it after I get to the inevitable stage of building a lovely fortress and mine. If they could flesh out the villages/villager stuff, that would be a good start (make them places you can fortify, expand and protect, then linking them to other villages).

      • svendelmaus says:

        It sounds like what you want is the Millénaire mod. :)

        • Premium User Badge

          Andy_Panthro says:

          You’re probably right, I remember hearing about that ages ago, but never actually checked it out! I have been waiting for the proper modding API before I start using lots of mods, but that seems to have been pushed out of sight.

      • TheRaptorFence says:

        At least Minecraft has an endgame to shoot for: the death of the Ender Dragon. It’s something to work for at least. I couldn’t say that about most any survival game. DayZ mod felt fantastic because it truly captured a feeling of futility. But now, with the oversaturation of survival games, it’s lost its luster and become more of an annoyance, especially since it now screams of shoddy game developing. Anyone can make a sandbox with survival and build mechanics. To give it purpose, however, requires a lot more than that.

        • Premium User Badge

          Andy_Panthro says:

          Yes, the Ender Dragon is an ending, but I’ve never been big on boss fights outside of arcade-style games. Better than nothing perhaps, but surely there is potential for so much more?

    • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

      You’ve perfectly captured why I don’t find these types of games compelling. I’ve found that most people I’ve talked to about it are perfectly happy repeating the first two steps over and over. I want to like this type of game, and I even played a good bit of Rust, but at some point I just wonder why – and I stop playing.

    • Akbar says:

      One thing that makes me hesitant about this model is how it forces a game to have an end. Not an ending, per se, but some point of no return where you are no longer faced with any direct risk. I think a lovely thing about Dwarf Fortress is that you can build a giant, self-sustaining fort that seems invincible, only to have it inevitably fall apart because of a snowball effect from some small thing and, incredibly, this does not necessarily end the game. By operating outside the linear progression of the 3-act model, you can go from what seems to be an endgame fort to a ruined one with a dying population. I’m not saying games shouldn’t have self-actualization, rather that this by no means has to be the irreversible end of a game. I think part of what what makes Dwarf Fortress such a fluid and interesting game is that you can never know what will happen, and consequentially never feel safe.

      • TheRaptorFence says:

        This is a good point. I think when I say “self-actualization” I mean that for the most part a person’s goals do have to have a certain amount of finality to them. Not all the time though. For example, I’m reminded of the time I built a tavern at the edge of the map in Rust and served players food and drink whenever explorers inevitably reached the end of the world (and yes, I named it The World’s End). The sense of perpetual danger was always there: of griefers completely demolishing my place for no other reason than for kicks. I blame THAT danger on bad gameplay mechanics that encourage griefing. But it provided a sense of purpose beyond just “survive, build, raid,” and one that I ended up doing for the majority of my time on Rust.

        But yes, a period at the end of Act 3 would certainly sum up a survival game nicely. I imagine, perhaps a game in which the mechanics of Act 1 and Act 2 are replaced with much more nuanced ones in Act 3 that build upon them. Say, a mechanic like what I did above that allows players to play a profession once Act 2 has finished, to give a new sense of purpose and identity, that then could be absorbed into a faction. Now the danger is still there, only in a much more complicated relationship with other factions. I think with more complicated relationships and rules introduced in an Act 3-and new dangers as well-you could create a much larger sense of purpose without demolishing the sandbox experience.

    • szhival says:

      But ARK has a stub of end-game content right now, and promises on expanding it. Check the Broodmother – that’s basically almost a raid encounter.

    • Universal Quitter says:

      This feels a bit to me like forcing a round peg into a square hole. I don’t care for MOBAs, but I’d by pretty insane to use that to justify critique of the entire genre, simply because I personally don’t find it exciting.

      That’s not really how flaws work. It’s taste.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        BRING BACK EDIT –

        And that leaves out the part where none of these survival games is even a finished product.

    • fish99 says:

      I feel like you were writing about Rust or Day Z. One thing that makes ARK different is it has a single player mode, so there’s no griefing/PVP at all in that, and it also has bosses, so there are goals in ‘tier 3’ apart from just ruin other people’s stuff (which of course is largely avoided by playing on a private server or a PVE server).

  3. trooperwally says:

    Having played a bit of this in the last couple of weeks (steam says 28 hours) I thought I’d offer my opinion. It’s good. Bearing in mind that it’s early access it’s showing promise and is fun to play in its current state. Still plenty of glitches but for the most part these don’t really impact the game in my experience (e.g. pretty patchy netcode it seems as moving at speed causes warping). Building a base with mates is fun, riding dinos is lots of fun and exploring the island is interesting (particularly as navigation is a genuine challenge to begin with). Plus it looks quite pretty.

    I can see lots of potential for a genuinely awesome game though I don’t think it’s there yet. Key limitation is PvP. Besides all the potential for human nature gankiness etc. the major issue is that when you log off your body stays in the world (as does your base and all your dinos). So it would be pretty easy for someone to find a person who’s offline and trash their base giving the victim literally no chance to defend themselves. I don’t know what the devs have in mind to fix this (if anything, they might just expect everyone to have an unstoppable army of dino defenders).

    • Steven Messner says:

      Yeah, I think in this instance it would be really smart for them to look at other games that have attempted sensible solutions.

      EVE Online has a system that could work decently well. Basically, when you attack someone else’s structure, you can deplete it to the point where it becomes reinforced and invulnerable for a period of time (usually about 48 hours). Then, when that period of time expires, the structure can be totally destroyed.

      It’s actually a nice system because it gives both parties an opportunity to respond to aggression, and encourages fights. If I’m a tiny player with a little hut, I might just take that 48 hours to try and move my stuff elsewhere. If I’m a part of a large tribe, we know when we need to log in to defend our base. Either way, both players are on an even playing field.

      Recently EVE included a feature that allows you to set your “prime time”, so when a structure is no longer reinforced, it always exits that mode during a time that you can designate so that you aren’t having to wake up at 3am to defend your stuff. It’s complicated, sure, but at least it is a somewhat elegant way of solving the problem.

      • Artist says:

        The option to totally destroy a base in peristent games only works for Eve. And thats mostly because its one world with over 30k players online, so there is a playerbase for a corp/alliance to cover all timezones.
        That will never work on any smaller servers.

        • Steven Messner says:

          Ah, you’re totally right! I didn’t really consider how it would work in a 70-man server.

          Though I’m sure there is a middle ground between the two that could be implemented. That, or Ark is in dire need of some very dangerous base defenses.

  4. Artist says:

    While Ark is indeed already a nice game the devs failed to expand on the mistakes of other “survival” – or better “Griefer Online Games”. Theres not much “real pvp” – most bases will be ripped apart while the owners are offline.
    On top of that the devs made the game even more attractive to griefplayers by adding an artifical timesink with the levelling system. Pseudo accomplishment system and another mechanic that makes grief players/bullies even more – overly – powerful.
    Played on official pvp-servers the experience is horrible. Griefplayers everywhere and the lack of multi-core support renders most dino AI into sobbering idiots. Fighting dinos on those servers is a lot like clay pidgeon shooting.
    If you find a good non-official server (one of those that understand that a good performance is more entertaining than bragging about the most slots) the game is a blast!
    Fixing/Patching is very fast and so far the devs notice when they try to add utterly stupid mechanics (restrict dino inventory with slot-limits) and react accordingly – so far.

    If they get the turn and stop to cater for grief players with the current game mechnics Ark can have a bright future!

    • Artist says:

      Edit: If the server frames arent dragged down by too many players the dino AI is awesomely brutal. Carnivores suddenly become very lethal threats!

  5. DarkMalice says:

    Patched every day, loads of content, tons of fun. Buy it and hop on a decent unofficial server with some pals, it’s fucking great fun.

    • DarkMalice says:

      Also,just to add, there’s fellow RPS folks playing if you’re looking for a server;

      link to rockpapershotgun.com

    • Xzi says:

      Sounds good, but I don’t see any reason to not wait until it’s at least in a beta state and patching becomes less frequent. The price is also likely to drop quite a bit within six months or a year.

      • badmothergamer says:

        I wouldn’t be so sure. Prices are generally cheaper in early access. You could potentially get it on sale (it was initially released at 17% off and stayed there through the summer sale) but I can pretty much guarantee the full game is going to cost more than the current price of $30.

        • badmothergamer says:

          Damn you missing edit button!

          I also wanted to add the daily patching isn’t breaking anything, so it isn’t like servers are being forced to wipe every few days. They did have one major wipe of all objects on the official PVP servers after discovering a duping glitch people were taking advantage of, but that’s it.

    • Matt says:

      This. The sheer amount of content that is being generated for this game right now is staggering. The community interaction from Jatonreddit over at and issues often feeding directly back in to the patches, blows every other early access title out of the water.

    • Matt says:

      This. The sheer amount of content that is being generated for this game right now is staggering. The community interaction from Jatonreddit over at /r/playark and issues often feeding directly back in to the patches, blows every other early access title out of the water.

      *posted again with correct formatting* :/

  6. bobbyk says:

    Too much damn berry picking aka resource gathering why can’t these games go back to making resource gathering intelligent like Star Wars Galaxies?

    • badmothergamer says:

      Tame a gathering dino, like the stego. You’ll have berries stacked in the hundreds with just a few mouse clicks. If you need wood tame a mammoth. They can knock down forests in seconds.

      • bobbyk says:

        Well that makes it ‘less’ picking but the entire sandbox genre is still missing a more intelligent resource system, sans Eve which is riddled with sociopaths (The Repopulation is just rehashing the SWG formula without making any real innovative advances despite and decade). We’re still missing a forward thinking crafters game although Ark is the right move forward in Open World stuff

  7. aircool says:

    Sounds like too much hard work.

  8. Elliot Lannigan says:

    I don’t understand the basic lack of empathy that makes people okay with destroying another person’s base while they’re logged out. Are these isolated teenagers with unattentive parents who spend so much time gaming that they see the act of ‘not gaming” as something to be punished in-game? Do some people get so used to the idea that “gaming isn’t real” that they forget there’s another human on the other end of the character whose careful creation they’re demolishing? Or do humans just enjoy getting away with causing suffering to other humans? I could never do something like that, and it kind of bothers me about what kind of world I live in that so many other people seem okay with it, and worse, actually take pleasure from it. Though I suppose the above excellent analysis does help explain some of the reasons this happens: there just isn’t that much else to do in the game but grief.

    • mgardner says:

      Boredom + lack of consequence for actions practically guarantees this kind of behavior eventually. It would be interesting to know how many people walked right on by another player’s camp WITHOUT touching anything, until the last person destroyed everything in sight. Gaming with strangers shouldn’t have to be so horrid.

    • Akbar says:

      As a kid I built many sand castles fairly far from tide. Every single one of them was inevitably kicked down by someone by the time I returned the next day (and the demolitions I did witness were all clearly intentional), so I think it’s unfair to blame this on “isolated teenagers with unattentive parents who spend so much time gaming that they see the act of ‘not gaming” as something to be punished in-game”.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        The difference being, of course, that most children don’t return to sandcastles days later.

        Are you sure the tide didn’t just come in?

    • Blackrook says:

      I tend to play survival games on private servers with friends because of the griefing.
      Not played any pvp of this type since fighting REDs in ultima online and I doubt I will unless
      a game has a built in system of ‘justice’ .
      eg attacking or killing a vanilla player lowers your reputation/attacking a ‘red’ player with a bad rep doesn’t.
      When you die there are consequences either loss of levels and engrams proportional to your bad rep,
      and the person kill kills the red gains similar so it works like a bounty system.
      You could also have bad rep reds showing up on in game maps when you’re close to them.
      The worse their rep the bigger radius of reveal they have.

      I’d go further and say that games like GTA which allow you to murder npc civilians also should have
      a system like this- at least if your going to do crime there should be a serious downside to being caught.
      I’ll love to see a developer brave enough to lock characters in prison for 24hours real time and limit how many
      active characters you can have playing on one account at the same time.
      BTW I’ve not played GTA So I have no idea what the game is like apart from what I’ve read.

  9. CptPlanet says:

    Well, obviously since it’s constantly on the top 5 games on Steam (haven’t played it yet though).

  10. ButterflyRogers says:

    Its the same old song and dance

  11. reaces says:

    I am having an amazing time so far playing ARK.
    I bought it for me and my girlfriend, we sit side by side at our computers trying to build a little home on the island.
    It’s a lot of fun to play on a local server with friends / family. Especially if the idea of waking up to a destroyed house puts you off.

  12. ButteringSundays says:

    Look everyone we’ve got awesome dino’s in a game again!

    “KILL THEM!!!!! HUNT THEM!!!!! ENSLAVE THEM!!!!”

    Sometimes I’m embarrassed to call myself a gamer tbh.

    • Kala says:

      …Sometimes? Well, you must be a glass half full type of person.

    • FroshKiller says:

      Sorry that the medium hasn’t been inclusive of people who want to make love to dinosaurs.

  13. fish99 says:

    I love how loads of people want to jump on the anti-survival game bandwagon without even playing the game.

    • Fiatil says:

      Exactly. It’s a great PvE game, and that’s what makes it different from Rust and DayZ. Most of the complaints here can be avoided by playing on a PvE server, particularly if you have a friend or two to join. You can also play single player and crank up the XP gain, resource quantities, taming speed, and just about everything else to have a great single player survival game.

      Yes, eventually you’ll be riding a brontosaurus at max level with a herd of guardian T Rexes following you and you’ll run out of an end game. But you’re going to get 100+ hours out of it before you scratch that level of success, and I think that’s just fine. It has megalodons and stegosauruses instead of elk and bears, but this is the first person Unreal World I’ve wanted for so long.

  14. Flank Sinatra says:

    I’d really love to play this game. Bought it on the first day of Steam Sale because it had a VR mode, which I wanted to try with my DK2. My GTX 770 could barely run the game in 2D. Setting it to medium settings turned it into a blurry down-scaled mess. Totally unplayable. I ended up using Steam Refund for the first time and getting Pillars of Eternity for the same price. I guess I’ll check it out again once I’ve heard it’s been optimized for the average gaming PC, or I get drunk enough to impulse buy a GTX 980 Ti. I guess it’s time to upgrade.

    • Fiatil says:

      Yeah, this is both the first game I would want to play in VR and the last I would recommend to try it with. Optimization is the game’s greatest weakness. I’m at a good performance to pretty ratio after the last few patches, but I can’t imagine the specs you would need to have a stable VR experience.