Ark: Survival Evolved’s launch trailer meets otter friend

Sandbox craft-o-survival mega-hit Ark: Survival Evolved [official site] stomps to a full launch next week, after two years in early access. After that long, ah, sure, schedules will get a little jumbled. So here’s the launch trailer a few days early, which I’m told reveals some of the mystery of why loads of folks are thrown onto an island filled with dinosaurs, mythical animals, spaceman technology, and dinosaurs augmented with spaceman technology. The answer, apparently, is not “Because it’s p. dang cool to have a load of dinosaurs stomping around.”

No, it’s because… the borgified Rachni out Mass Effect are making edutainment software and we’re helping them test some bits with simulations? That’s probably not the official interpretation. Developers Studio Wildcard said in today’s announcement that the story will unfold across post-launch updates:

“ARK will continue to grow with new content at launch and beyond as we continue to have a behemoth amount of additional gameplay, creatures, and story elements in the works. The adventure has truly only just begun!

“With every Explorer Note you’ve discovered on the Island a piece of the story has come along with it. Every artifact, every apex drops, every boss battle, it has all been leading up to this moment. Now it’s time to understand the bigger picture and begin to discover why every Survivor wakes up on the beach with a diamond shaped implant in their arm.

“Are you ready for what’s in store? Will you be strong enough to take on the challenges ahead? Do you, your tribe, and your army have what it takes to reach Ascension? Only time will tell…”

Are you sure it’s not because it’s p. dang cool to have a load of dinosaurs stomping around?

That trailer also introduces two new animal friends, the otter and phoenix. Having once spent several hours at an otter sanctuary watching the sweethearts juggle pebbles, yes, absolutely I would like to befriend one and have it find pearls.

Ark: Survival Evolved launches on August 29th. Its full price is — and has been for a while — £49.99/59,99€/$59.99.


  1. The First Door says:

    Otters are the absolute best! I’ve spent many a happy hour watching river otters play in various aquariums and sanctuaries, and was utterly in awe of the sea otters in Vancouver aquarium. THEY’RE. SO. FLUFFY.

  2. davebo says:

    I bought two copies of this like a year ago but the game was unplayable on our LAN hardware. I hope they’ve finally optimized it so I can give it a try. Not interested in official servers where people trash everything you worked to build but seems like a fun co-op game.

    • Viral Frog says:

      It’s still virtually unplayable on a variety of setups. This is going to be one of those cases of “it’s not really finished but we want to release it so people stop complaining about us releasing additional paid content for an Early Access game”.

    • Flopper says:

      The more people build the less stable the server will be. Seems like a captain obvious statement but wait until you see the stutterfest in action once you try to attack a fully built massive base.

      Good game in concept. Terrible in execution.

  3. DodgyG33za says:

    Have they fixed the bug that saw dinos that took many hours to tame disappear underground yet?

    Actually fuck that. Have they added options for private servers or single player that can eliminate the grinding and just allow you to have fun with dinosaurs?

    This game has great visuals. Great graphics. Pretty good combat. Okay progression. But it really sucks to have to farm dino poop to grow food to get potions to raid dungeons to get +10% gear. And then have to spend hours to farm iron to make steel to make just a few bullets to shoot enemies in said dungeons.

    It is a game. Give us some options as to how to play it FFS.

    • DodgyG33za says:

      Oh, and for some context. Played nearly 200 hours, about 60 of which in SP, and got no-where near end game content. Not because there is a lot of content. Because of the grind. Even with all grindy mechanics turned to minimum in SP.

      I have been a gamer since the late 70’s. Games seem to be increasingly about grind rather than having fun. Is it my jaded 50+ self? Or is it that MMOs are infecting SP game design? After all, if you release before its finished, how else do you keep people playing?

      • davebo says:

        No you’re definitely correct. As I understand it their are mods to let you crank things up to whatever speed you’d like but the default game could definitely stand to be less grindy. It’s a design element that’s infected everything and I assume the reasoning is the more time it takes to fully play a game the greater value the purchase seems to consumers? Personally I don’t find a $60 game I can play through a great single player story in 8 hours then have ~20 hours in multiplayer to be any less fun than a $60 game I can waste ~400 hours grinding in just to play a couple of fun raids.

      • cranium1 says:

        Thanks for this. I hate grindy games. There are many games in my Steam library that are buggy or have poor AI or some other fault. I keep them in the hope that they may be patched some day. However, grindy games I instantly refund, because I know that is not something that can be fixed – being grindy is a design philosophy rather than a bug.

        The only grindy game I keep is Elite Dangerous. Not to play but rather as a demo for my HTC Vive.

    • fish99 says:

      I’m confused, single player/private servers have had options to adjust/reduce the grind since a few months after the game launched into early access.

    • Renek says:

      Not sure what you’re on about, but you can definitely modify every option in the game in SP or a private server. The one I run for friends is heavily tweaked to get rid of the default (and thoroughly bullshit) grind. Highly recommend using the Ark Server Manager (here: link to Makes admining much easier.

  4. fish99 says:

    Well I just visited the steam forum to see if the game is finally optimized yet. Nope. I’ll check back after launch.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      It won’t be. 1.0 is just being slapped onto the game so they can get the DLC train rolling without the blowback (and I wouldn’t be surprised to see microtransactions as well, the devs are real scummy.)

  5. Blackrook says:

    Private server with friends with settings tweaked to reduce grind = great fun.
    Single player game with default settings = grindingly boring.

    Lag and optimization hasn’t caused any problems for us except when I spawned in 1000 dodo’s for a joke.

    But I do admit the price tag now is silly stupid.

  6. RegisteredUser says:

    Sadly it sounds like this game still has no user experience oriented moderation, server settings or general quality of life (here: some kind of Dinosaur backup making cloning machine I guess?) necessities. Shame, because overall a lot of the things you could waste some time on sound intriguing, but if it will all just get griefed away or bug out, what is the point? I doubt that the gameplay process itself is fun enough to pretend that “The path is the goal” is already it?

    • fish99 says:

      You can always play it solo, then you don’t have to deal with any of those issue. It’s fun just as a primitive survival game.

  7. RJ Macready says:

    A more interesting article for the trailer would concern the same thing a raging debate on the official forums is about. Namely the question of whether or not they changed the gameplay just to make that video possible. Quite a few people have noted that the flying speeds of three animals featured in the trailer were quite different from what can be found on official servers.