Ark: Survival Evolved revamps more dinos in delightfully silly ways

I do enjoy Ark: Survival Evolved‘s process of turning real-world historical(ish) creatures into video game monsters. The abilities of its reinterpreted dinosaurs and critters seem to stem from one question: what would they do in a cartoon? This logic is delightfully evident as developers Studio Wildcard continue to overhaul older beasties with updated art and abilities, turning crocodiles into stepping stones, making a honking dino into an ambulant alarm system, and of course having raptors pounce to pin prey. Anyone who’s seen dinosaur cartoons or movies knows that’s how they work.

The raptor, argentavis, sarcosuchus, parasaur, spinosaur, and triceratops are covered by this second round of ‘TLC’ revamps, now live with update v279. Wildcard go over the changes in a blog post. The new creature models look swish and all, but I’m just so pleased that the new abilities have such weird cartoon/movie logic.

Most things recreated video games don’t work remotely like they do in the physical world but we barely notice because genre conventions are so well established. I adore all of this doofy game logic. I don’t care how real guns work, what real cars do, or any of that – I want my video game grappling hooks, revolvers, drifting, and double-jumping. Dinosaurs being less common in games than all of those, the workings of Ark’s creatures is less familiar and feels sillier. But that’s great. Look how silly these dinosaurs are. Look at the new abilities of the honking duckfaced parasaur:

  • Alarm mode
    – Can be put in turret mode and check for nearby threats
    – Notifies you audibly and visually when threats are present
  • Scare small creatures
    – C when ridden – scares away small/mid creatures
    – Toggle for alarm mode to have it automatically do it
  • Scan
    – Can trigger a scan (right click) when ridden
    – Scans for nearby threats
    – Notifies you visually when threats are present

Turret mode! Alarm mode! It’s a big hungry cop car!

You betcha the argentavis megabird can grab creatures in both its claws and beak and fly off carrying them. Heck yes Raptors can screech for buffs when in a pack. You’re damn right the sarcosuchus megacroc can be used as a platform to walk on. It’s only natural that a spinosaur can switch between biped and quadraped modes for attack power or speed. And we all know that the triceratops is a proud species of militant protectors, so it’s no surprise that it now has a “Rivalry” buff making it stronger and tougher in the presence of large carnivores, nor that it can also charge up a ram attack which sends smaller creatures flying. This is simply what they do. Everyone knows that.

Here, see more of the reworked creatures in this video:


  1. khamul says:

    I am looking forwards to the comments on this article. Someone is going to be ANGRY and they are going to tell us why they are ANGRY.

    Thank you, ANGRY MAN!
    Your passion and enthusiasm makes the world more colourful, and I like it that way!

    • SaintAn says:

      Not everyone can be sycophants. Sometimes you need someone with a passion for games and the ability to think for themselves to not just tell people what they want to hear. I’m typically max negative on Reddit because I love games so much that I criticize their problems even if people only want to be circlejerked about how great [corporation], [game], or [PR guy/developer] is.

      I suppose I’m not the hero this lifestyle wants, but I’m the hero this lifestyle needs. I’m ANGRY MAN.

      • khamul says:

        I was only partly joking. Passion makes the world come alive. A world where no-one cared enough to get angry would be – well, not somewhere I would want to live.

        Of course, not all ways of expressing that passion are equally positive, and for me, phrases like ‘circle-jerked’ put you on the wrong side of that line. Those are human beings you’re talking to. It is possible to both disagree with them AND treat them with respect. Big fan of thinking for yourself, though, so I’m on your side there.

        In any case, I feel the internet has let me down badly on this thread. I felt sure that an article writing about a games and dinosaurs in a joking way would make *someone* cross. Instead it’s all been rather gentleman(gentlewoman?)ly. And then someone did a funny that reminded me I don’t have a Special Dinosaur Friend for Special Dinosaur Times, and that made me sad.

        So good job, internet. Well done. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    What a romantic title image.

    The human’s hand seemingly caressing the dino’s arm, the dino working out these strange human ‘clothes’ with his claw…

    Ah~ Spring is in the air~

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Sometimes when a man and a dinosaur love each other very much…

  3. Nelyeth says:

    Please, don’t make me install Ark again. Every time I do, I waste 80 hours filling up my pokédex, after which I am left ashamed and empty. This game is both absolutely rubbish, and extremely fun.

  4. Palkinator89 says:

    Can’t help but agree. These new TLC updates make the game so much more fun. Can’t wait to see what comes out next, after the bug fixes are finished.

  5. hungrycookpot says:

    God I love this game. So much that I don’t dare install it again.

  6. SpookyScarecrow says:

    Is it just me or did anyone else feel a passive agressive vibe while reading this? From my perspective it seemed like they were just highlighting the inaccuracy of this game by calling it “silly” and “doofy”. Some of the sentences just seem odd such as “The new creature models look swish and all, but I’m just so pleased that the new abilities have such weird cartoon/movie logic.” I understand the game itself is not realistic (it never has been) but from reading what was said it just gave me the vibe you’re not a fan of the inaccuracies. Good article though! I really love the update.

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      ” I adore all of this doofy game logic. I don’t care how real guns work, what real cars do, or any of that – I want my video game grappling hooks, revolvers, drifting, and double-jumping. ”

      Are you sure you actually did that reading bit?

  7. fish99 says:

    Any news on when they’re adding the lesser-spotted-dx12-asaur or the optimizeratops so the game doesn’t run like dino poop?