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Mockingarchaeopteryx - Ark: Survival Evolved's New Mode

When we sent Brendan into the dinosaur-infested open-world survival game Ark: Survival Evolved [official site], I imagined that he would get super-killed a dozen times over by players riding 12-metre murderlizards. Instead, he luckily found people helping each other, a whole server of good samaritans (riding 12-metre murderlizards). Well, it’s not all like that.

A new Hunger Games-style (or Battle Royale, if you prefer) mode is coming soon, with last-man-standing permadeath arena action and limited supplies. Developers Studio Wildcard say it’s “specifically balanced for tournament competition”, and plan to debut it through a livestreamed tournament with a $20,000 grand prize.

Here’s the official word:

“In this new mode specifically balanced for tournament competition, contestants begin in a neutral staging area where they can communicate pre-game, strategize, or talk trash. After a count-down, they dramatically descend from the sky onto the ARK in a circular formation via beams of light. There is a cache of valuable items in the center – do survivors dash for the goods and fight it out, do they run into the forest and hide, or do they freeze up from the sheer terror of death? A continually shrinking ‘ring of death’ forces contestants ever closer together over time. The game is on!”

Yup, that’ll be Hunger Royale action all right. The mode’s a pretty great fit for formal competition in survival games. It’s hugely popular in Minecraft, and H1Z1 has an equivalent too.

That debut tournament will kick off this Saturday at 12pm PST (8pm UK time). 35 teams will duke it out for cash money and other prizes over five hours.

Ark is still in Steam Early Access, with a full launch planned for June 2016. It sounds like it’s in far better shape than many Early Access open-world survive ’em ups, but clearly still has a way to go.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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