Ark: Survival Evolved Adds Snow, Swamps, Direwolves

There’s something so straightforward about the populist appeal of Ark: Survival Evolved [official site] that I find it charming. “Hey, what if we made a dinosaur game that wasn’t broken?” Alright. “Hey, what if you could ride the dinosaurs?” Sure, whatever. “What if there was a dinosaur that could roll around like Sonic?” Uh-huh, cool.

The latest update seems designed in a similar fashion, answering “OK yes” to questions like “What if there was a snow setting?” and “What if you could ride direwolves like those in that fantasy series everyone likes so much?” You’ll find a video of that and more below.

The update is the first to add new biomes to Ark, and along with the snow there’s also a swamp world. Both offer slightly different considerations for players looking to inhabit the zones, such as the need to don thicker clothes while exploring in the snow. They also both come with new local animal types, so while the snowbound ride their direwolves and the new stag-like Megaloceros, swamp rats can tame and ride the “Beezlebufo” gigantic frog. The frog looks particularly fun, because it can hop and catch things by extending its enormous tongue. I’d play a game about that.

Although I’m guessing the frog wouldn’t pass muster with our expert when it comes to the scientific accuracy of Ark’s creatures.

Alongside the update, Ark can now be bought through the Humble Store as well as Steam. Humble will simply give you a Steam key, but a sale celebrating its arrival does mean the game’s £7 cheaper there for another day.

26 Comments

  1. Heavenfall says:

    What is it with mounts and online rpg games? They rarely offer any practical gameplay mechanic other than “move faster”. But looking at a video like this I immediately felt the pull of buying the game just so I can ride around on a damn frog. If some developer put some actual thought into the gameplay of mounts, such as having to establish a bond with it, I swear it would be the most played game of all time.

    • SamLR says:

      I’ve not played Ark but as I understand it you do have to tame the creatures you want to ride on, although I’m not sure how it works as a mechanic.

      • Cinek says:

        Rather boring. You basically put a stack of berries or meat in its inventory, few narcotics, and wait… brown bar is progressing up, purple bar is progressing down, when clicking a “remote use” on a narcotics you make purple bar go up, if it goes down to zero – animal wakes up and runs away / attacks you (depending on a kind). When brown bar goes up to the maximum – creature is tamed.

      • Psycold says:

        I have 300+ hours with the game and while the taming process is pretty boring, afterwards you can use the different types of creatures to help you harvest different types of resources so your building and crafting goes much faster. For example you can tame a shark which moves much faster than you underwater. You can use the shark to get you to the bottom of the ocean so you can jump off and collect pearls. Pearls are a major part of crafting higher end stuff for your base like assault rifles, rocket launchers and automated turrets. The developers are still figuring things out, there are a lot of insects that annoy most players but now they added frogs which you can tame and they will eat up the bugs for you.

        • Cinek says:

          Out of all the flaws this game has – one of the biggest strengths Ark got is the speed of development. Unlike most of the games – here it really feels like you get a substantial expansion of the game world with almost every patch. So even if you don’t like some parts of the game now – it might just as well be improved in 2 or 3 weeks. And it still is a genuinely great game, even if taming is crap.

      • shayne.oneill says:

        The frog IS super fun. Its not particularly tough. Most of the harder dinos could make quick work of it. BUT, its amazingly adept at getting out of bad situations by just BOINGING away. Its fast, it jumps, it makes cement paste (The *Worst* grind material in the game) and you can knock things out for taming, although personally I suspect the scorpion and tranq darts are still king here.

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      Jerodar says:

      You basically knock them out either with alot of hits on their head or with narcotics, then force feed them until they suddenly like you :P
      Though the various dino’s you can ride do have different purposes, which is a nice change from the MMO example you gave. Some are great “tools” for gathering specific materials, others can fly or swim, or the new frog can even convert resources to a more rare version.
      If you look through the dossiers of future dino’s they have a lot of wacky ideas for them as well. link to ark.gamepedia.com

    • MrFinnishDude says:

      Horses and mounts in almost all video games are automatons. It’s fun to ride a horse, but is it fun to do all the arduous chores required in actual horse keeping?

    • 0positivo says:

      I’d normally agree with you, but the beasties in ARK are IMMENSELY useful from the moment you’re level 1 to all the way through the game. They all have their own speciality, with some having some special ability, others being just overall so much better than a simple human could ever be, to the point where even thinking of not having them around becomes ridicolous. As a result, a bond with your creatures forms naturally ( and oh boy I can guarantee you I was so attached to my poor little Vishnu ç_ç )

    • HellJumper says:

      All mounts have different uses for example the mammoth harvestes more wood than anything else in the game whil the sabertooth is the king of acquiring hide and chitin

    • badmothergamer says:

      To further expand on the comments of others, the mounts in Ark aren’t just for looks or getting around quicker, they are all specifically designed to be useful in their own way. While some are simply good as battle mounts or for quick transport, others are used for gathering specific resources, knocking out dinos for taming, pack animals, and with a recent update some of the larger creatures can even be used as mobile bases thanks to saddles you can build structures on.

    • Videogame News says:

      It actually is the most buyed game of the recent times. And there stil is a lot they can actually add! I made a confrontation between RUST and this game: link to youtube.com and it turns out that RUST is better for the moment and that is ok. But the potential of ARK is huge compared to RUST, I am sure that in 3 months time ARK will be better than every other survival out there.

      • Cinek says:

        It actually is the most buyed game of the recent times” – sounds like you are pulling things out of your ass. It is a highly successful game, for a good reason, but let’s not go too far with that.

        • socrate says:

          Yeah one of the numerous problem in these game is the hype and fanboyism going around and false representation of it,the biggest problem i think in these game and their downfall is griefing..ive seen some people that though they were rping when in fact they were griefing…griefing is just fun for the people doing it and it actually hurt all game badly and make people quit and then you have game that are desert and have only a few server with very few people in them and tons of empty server…it happened to all of them…the problem is these game rely heavily on their player base and how they act toward each other but they are afraid to impose rule…this happened to alots of really old mmo and it seems alots of dev don’t realise this or really don’t care about it,finding a decent server without a guild with a grip on the entire place is hard…not to mention the horrible hardcore gamer that now play this 24/7 and raid you when you are offline and can’t do anything or the horrible CoD player who KoS all the time unless you’re better geared then them and if you ever win a fight against raider that are usually 3+ vs you they just come back and eventually they of course will kill you and destroy your base because apparently playing these game mean you should give up on life….why not just play hardcore mmo then i wonder?

          Outside of this you also have a new horrible disease that is recent and is Youtuber and Twitcher who try to be funny but are not unless you have the mentality of a retarded 12 year old by turning this beautiful immersion into a really bad attention whore moment just for the sake of making money out of twitcher and youtube follower…or worst a damn retard who want to do the same thing and think he is incredibly intelligent by running around naked and screaming in is damn mic and trying to attack you with is fist while a dozen idiot of the same kind join in…way to immerse myself in this so call dinosaur island of mystery….im pretty sure lost wouldn’t have lasted that long if it was about that kind of stupidity

          there is also hacker and such but i haven’t really had problem on ark so far with that…but every game like that had that problem so…just a matter of time i guess.

          The second biggest problem is optimisation even on my high end pc for work i ended up having big hardware lag spike if i go too fast with a flying mount top speed and from time to time you either get really bad fps or lag spike…and it also have the big problem that old multiplayer fps had and that is actually slowly returning and that is that lowering your setting and turning off some effect make the game look beyond horrible but more importantly it also make stuff like lens flare and foilage unexistent or less dense which in turn give you an insane advantage over alots of people,i hadn’t seen a game that did that in a long time and this is one of the thing that was a huge problem with high graphic multiplayer game…when you turn your setting just to get an advantage and then when everyone learn this everyone does it and suddenly your really high end graphic ends up being a total a waste of effort.

          Talking about graphic why is bloom and that damn motion blur still a thing?….oh right console porting..ffs

          But like most said here Single player is a bit more fun to me quite frankly but the problem i had with that is that i found out that once you turn all this stupid grinding to actually not 12 hour to tame something or to make something that doesnt require a gazillion mat…you end up with a really empty game that doesn’t really have much to do and that like other game like this mostly revolve around the pvp aka griefing…without the grind fest not much of that game take very long or is very rewarding in what you actually can do…base never get attacked by any npc or threat…Boss fight are just bullet sponge like all FPS that try to do mmo Boss fight…and engrame(recipe) actually need you to change the game.ini or use in game command to cheat it in because single player was just something they added to say their was actual single player in the game when in fact that is something that should have been in single player without the need to change any .ini or cheat it in the game.

          In the end i found that ark is a game i really want but the truth is i want a single player game like that which is not what todays gaming is…they focus on the hype and look that you get on let’s play,youtuber and twitcher and a game that is a multiplayer game that you can play in single player….but what i want is a single player game that as the option of multiplayer in it.

          All in all i wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a bunch of people you can regularly play with i see no point in jumping in another of these,the community is just not there for it….even with the low cost of that game and the insane hype that site,youtuber,twitcher and fanboy do around it.

          • Arthur Sataine says:

            How about you try playing the game, eh? I’ve solo played this game across many servers, official and unofficial, and griefing is not an issue. The PvE aspect of ARK, even in PvP servers, promotes a mutual understanding and a more defensive, rather than offensive, method of playing. In fact out of my 200+ hours on the game so far, I have only ever been KOS’d twice. Twice. My bases are never tampered with either. I worry more about what heavy dino that is coming over the hill than whether or not players are going to mess with me. And I play strictly on PvP servers. How about instead of throwing ARK into a mass generalization of the genre, you actually get some hands-on with it? Everyone understands that you need to guard against the elements and lifeforms of the island first and foremost. Secondary is the playerbase.

            There are always a few people with ill intentions. However, ARK has attracted and promoted the positive side of sandbox survival like no other game before it.

  2. Blackcompany says:

    So, is this the survival game that finally transcends the mediocrity of the genre? I hope so, as I would love to give it a try.

    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      I wonder if its success (so far) is because it isn’t focussing on survival as its primary mechanic. As has been said in various RPS articles, games that are fundamentally about preventing a bar going down just aren’t that interesting however they wrap it up. But Ark seems to make dinosaurs the focus, with food etc. more of a side thing.

      Also dinosaurs > zombies. The location of pirates and ninjas on this scale is still uncertain.

      Because I’m too lazy to do a second reply: looking at Jerodar’s link I see you can ride on a giant scorpion’s back. That just seems like a bad idea any way I look at it.

    • Cinek says:

      It’s a survival game in first hour or so. Once you figure the basics out – its got very little to deal with survival games. For me it’s like a sandbox. I have a ton of fun with building bases there or just simply exploring the island.

      • shayne.oneill says:

        Actually I gotta admit, the snow areas do kind of take it back to survival to some extent. I’m camped out on a cliff, living on a hut built on the back of a bronto. I need to keep fires on pretty constantly, I’ve got a pack of wolves lurking around that I know could strip me to the bone instantly (Seriously the wolf packs can be pretty insta-kill lethal, even to my lv78 char) and my otherwise trusty sidekick, a giant murder-turkey named Goose has been a bit silly in the head lately.

        This is fun!

  3. 2late2die says:

    I so want to get back to this game – it was a lot of great fun, but it also requires a regular, and somewhat significant, time investment, which I just can’t afford right now. Updates like that though, definitely make it harder to resist.

    • Cinek says:

      Play single player. It eliminates any need for being regular or, if you don’t like it, investing hundreds of hours to unlock stupid Miner’s Helmet. Use sliders to adjust the game to your liking.

  4. badmothergamer says:

    The new update is fantastic. It cost me a plesi which got stuck in the ground due to some terraforming changes around my base but both the swamp and snow biomes look absolutely amazing. I spent an hour just flying around looking at the visual changes.

    For those concerned at the time suck, I recommend single player and tweaking your settings as others have suggested. I turn resource gathering to max and taming time to min. Look up which kibble the dino you want to tame likes to further cut down tame times.

    I cannot recommend this game enough especially if you can get it at the sale price of $20. It has it’s flaws but the constant updates and added content keep me coming back.

    • Cinek says:

      “taming time to min.” – I highly recommend doing that, as some high level creatures on a default settings can take over 12 hours to tame.

  5. DesiredxFate says:

    Hey whats sup guys, I personally think patch 216 was the best patch we have seen from Ark: Suvival Evolved so far ?!
    Im sure there will be plently more amazing updates to come.
    Keep up the great work and thanks for this update.
    Please go check my version of “ARK: Survival Evolved – Patch 216 – Snow and Swamp Biome!”

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Please don’t do this. The last thing we want is the RPS comment section to turn into a billboard for every gamer with a youtube account.

      • DesiredxFate says:

        Dude I only wanted to show ark my version of there video with some cool music and you go and dislike the video all over the place, thanks <:/. Ark if you read this please remove my post and the other guy who replied to me and go and remove them dislikes