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
– 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: