ARK: Survival Evolved has finally hit PS4 and I’m glad it did because it’s so much fun. Say what you want about the game, it’s addicting as hell! Even when I get frustrated, I always try and go back to the game. ARK is a game where you play as a human in a world where dinosaurs live. You gather supplies, build forts, even train dinosaurs to be your pets! It’s quite the experience.
First off is gameplay. In this title, you have to work on gathering materials to survive, whether it be food, crafted weapons, and more. Then comes the crafting component, as I mentioned before, you can craft weapons, even building by creating walls, floors, doors, and more. To craft something besides a torch and a pickaxe, you have to level up your character by doing various things. From there, you’ll have to spend your points on stuff you wanna make or need. That’s pretty cool considering the fact that this game is in its early stages.
ARK has basically one overall mode: survive. You can play alone, join friends on a private server, or even play online with up to 100 people. But beware, some of these people are in tribes and they’ll kill you if you even go near them. Speaking of tribes, ARK lets you and a group of people join a tribe, that lets you get into your tribe’s stuff and lets you know who’s who.
Scorched Earth is an add-on DLC that throws you into a desert area that gives you access to new items, dinosaurs, and a new area to explore. I haven’t played much of this add-on, but I’ll have a full run down of the area when I review the game early next year.
The performance varies hardcore. If you’re playing on PS4 or PS4 Slim, you can expect performance to dip a lot when in a heated area. When looking across a plain area, the framerate looks locked and everything is gorgeous. When playing on PS4 Pro like I did, there is a 60fps option. While you don’t get anywhere near a locked 60, it is VERY smooth compared to the PS4 version. Motion Blur also changes the game big time, having it on makes for a HEAVY implementation of the blur, but it also makes the framerate seem like it’s higher than it is. Both PS4 and the Pro version includes a “Detailed Graphics” mode which doesn’t really have a noticeable difference on the base PS4. On PS4 Pro, it seems to clean up the image a lot and even add a bit of detail overall.
The price of ARK is a bit expensive, ARK is only $55 for the time being, but a standalone version is coming when the game launches on PS4 early next year. The current version that is on the PlayStation Store comes with the base game and the Scorched Earth DLC, which will also be purchasable separately earlier next year when the game comes out.
All in all, ARK has many pros like being able to tame a dinosaur (haven’t gotten that far yet), connecting with other people and playing with them as you go on various adventures, and learning how to survive in an open world pre-historic environment. But it also has its cons. Half the time I try to join a server, the game doesn’t let me in and boots me to the main menu. Also during very intensive areas on the PS4 version, the game could crash. Along with low resolutions and terrible framerates at times.
So far, this game is really incredible. For now, on this preview, I give ARK: Survival Evolved an 8.5/10. The final review will come in Spring 2017 when the final game launches.
ARK Quick Facts:
Release – PS4, out now in early access
Developer – Studio Wildcard
Price – $55 (includes DLC)
Size – 17.29GB
PS4 Pro support – yes
PS VR support – not yet
Cross-Play – no
Cross-Save – no
Cross-Buy – no