Ark: Survival Evolved Dino-Survival Alpha Off To A Great Start
DON’T GO INTO THE TALL GRASS… unless you’re getting me some plant fiber and berries and stuff.
Yes yes y’all. The dinosaur lover in all of us is about to lose its mind as Ark Survival Evolved hits Steam Early Access. Indie developer Studio Wildcard has lept headfirst into a mysterious universe that can only be summarized as a Jurassic Park meets Matrix meets WTF kind of experience! Set for future release on PS4 and Xbox One, this game already has a grand future ahead of it with the early exposure I’ve had with the game.
As you can imagine with games of this ilk, a lot of what occurs is learned through just playing and conversing with the community. Evidenced by my day one death riddled adventure, Ark Survival Evolved often times feels like a race against time to forage, build, and hide your way to a possible savepoint that is not easily achieved. I can see how this could be frustrating for some games so hopefully this changes as the game grows.
After spawning on the Southern Coast of some randomized island, I was instantly wow’d by the graphics and wonder of it all. Being my first experience with a survival game, I blundered my way about until I learned how to level up, how to craft tools, and how to make a campfire. I foraged away gaining confidence until various Carnosaurs, Diplos, raptors, and other mean survivors would slaughter me and run off to ambush me at my next random spawn point!
Once I got past that death cycle, I realized that in order to save your character on a server that you had to advance far enough to build a house and a bed so that your character could be saved. Then you can take that saved character to use on other servers apparently. In the couple of days that I’ve played, I’ve yet to get to that point but the journey has certainly been hilarious, fun, and exciting!
I remembered pretty quickly upon my first day of playing that the trailer showed people building huge forts, wielding guns, riding dinosaurs, and battling a dragon! I’m addicted to the rush of the possibilities this game has. As a traditional FPS, the controls are simple. Going forward I might try to see if I can map the keys to a gamepad to see if that playstyle is a bit easier. The community is quickly learning of different things that can be done in game like enslaving another unconscious player from a rival tribe, forming tribes, what to do with dino poop, the immense crafting possibilities, and so much more that this game has yet to reveal.
As expected, having access to this Alpha build of the game allows the community to have questions, suggestions, and desires as well. Here goes mine!
Once in combat, I’d like to see your foes react a bit better to the attacks as well as having different types of attacks with each weapon (regular and heavy attacks). A few times I would see myself battling a horrifying Dodo bird and my attacks would seemingly have no effect on it.
As I’m sure they’re doing, there should be more low level beasts to tame, attack, and eat as well. I heard that there are giant spiders and such but I’d like to see stuff like sabretooth tigers, mammoths, monkeys, gorrillas, more fish, big insects you can tame, and things of that nature. I think I’ve seen pics where some of these animals are in the game or coming soon but I’ve yet to encounter them.
Also, the tribe manager needs to improve and have some benefits to it as well. It is easy to see that grouping together is recommended given beasts like Carnosaurs roam all over. There should probably be something else lower level that could help with getting about in the water as well. The ability to make canoes and maybe metal spears should help as those Megalodons attack!
A part of me feels that the amount of gameplay required before you can save a character may be a bit too far off. I suppose this can be bypassed by joining a tribe that already has one but some players may opt out of going that route. Seeing that servers can hold up to 100 people at a time, I can easily see people taking this game and modding it to their delight with all kinds of randomly generated creatures and forcing the players to survive in the midst of it all. No, this isn’t the first survival game ever but it is one of the first that pulled me into wanting to play it (this experience should change that preference though).
It’s also interesting to see that the character has a book (where he keeps it I don’t want to know) despite spawning on the islands in their underwear. I’m certain continued gameplay will pull the ‘non-existant’ story along somehow as the game is finished, but I think a ‘mission log’ or something to catalogue more than just the dinos you can tame would be helpful in learning the game and what you can do to survive and build.
Thankfully this is one of the first games I’ve seen announced that looks as if it will translate well into the virtual reality boom that is incoming as well. With the backing of the growing console community, I think this game could see big sales with or without VR headsets to immerse the gamer in this world.
Anyways, Ark Survival Evolved is a thrilling FPS open world adventure that looks to be capturing the imagination of scores! Be sure to tune into twitch.tv/bunneh3000 and twitch.tv/heedgeekswagg to see more gameplay sessions and learn more as the developers continue to work on this fantastic game!