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!”
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.