Ark: survival evolved pc review

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We stand before each other in our underpants, each holding a Primitive sầu Axe and eyeing each other’s beards. I inch a step forward, as does he. I inch backwards again, distancing myself from his thatched hut; he mirrors me. Then a third player in Chitin armour turns up from behind hyên ổn, cheerily says “hello” in public voice chat, and shoots the other player dead with a Simple Pistol.

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Relieved, I use the moment of chaos khổng lồ make my escape, running off along the coast, past countless half-finished wooden và stone houses và two lolloping Triceratops. But there’s a hitch to lớn my plan: a poison-spitting Dilophosaurus – of the very same genus that spelled Dennis Nedry’s downfall in Jurassic Park – has spotted me và races forwards, spitting its blinding toxin. Sightless & severely injured, I stagger defeated through the prehistoric undergrowth for a few more yards before being knocked unconscious. Through some stroke of luchồng, the Dilophosaurus gets distracted by something, & leaves me lớn stumble in peace.

Watching the Torpor meter rise in a state of unbridled angst, I somehow survive sầu the next 30 seconds & come to lớn my senses, smashing cooked meat inkhổng lồ my mouth as fast as it can be chewed in order lớn regain some health. Time passes by the beach. Later that same day, a stranger approaches my campfire & says ‘don’t worry I’m friendly’ before emptying an inventory full of valuable high-màn chơi items at my feet và walking naked onkhổng lồ my fire. ‘You can have sầu them’ he says, moments before burning lớn death.

And now I have sầu to lớn make sense of all that and slap a score on it.

*

Here goes: Ark: Survival Evolved is a great many things, all of them absurdly ambitious, & none of them particularly polished. Evolution syên, survival game, PvP.. combat arena, sandbox, single-player adventure, & thủ thuật hotbed are all part of its repertoire, although frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a decent racing game in there somewhere too. It’s also that rarest of modern-day gaming phenomena: an Early Access game that actually got a final release. As such, a critical discussion about it needs lớn take a different path than usual since a) it’s already made Warren Buffet levels of money, and b) it doesn’t really have a fair comparison point. This kind of full release is so rare for a survival game that the industry hasn’t actually decided what it should look và play like once it’s finished.

For example, my first unforgiving & death-peppered hours in Ark were spent thinking to lớn myself, ‘boy, this game does not care about guiding new players’. The ‘survival guide’ in the main thực đơn is a flimsy text-and-images gesture towards acclimatisation, và absolutely everything I learned about crafting, combat, taming, the ecosystem, & console commands came from Wiki pages & other players.

Killed on the way khổng lồ finding my previous body và picking up the precious few resources I’d gathered. Killed by ferocious, high-level, tamed dinos phối upon me by a local tribe for no reason. Killed, killed, killed.

*

But is this a failing of Ark itself? You could argue that dependence on Wiki pages và helpful community members is just a genre convention of the Early Access survival game at this point. The same is true of its inherent mechanical clunkiness, which rears its head during every melee combat scenario & dino ride. Imprecise hit detection & environmental clipping are noticeable, but only feel genuinely detrimental when you đại bại a fight. As irritating as those moments are, you get the sense that rough edges like this just sort of… come with the territory.

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That doesn’t mean it’s entirely forgivable. The absence of a more elegant early game experience or mechanical polish elsewhere doesn’t excuse Ark’s unfriendly learning curve. But it matters less than all the good times it brings – và has probably already brought – at this point. Interactions between players and ecosystem that leave you desperate to tell someone, anyone, what just happened.

This is the best thing about Ark. Better than riding a Tyrannosaur (probably everyone’s chief initial motivation for playing), & better than the strange and wonderful transition it makes from prehistoric survival lớn something more overtly sci-fi as you progress through higher levels và engrams (‘Who’s that guy in the shiny silver exoskeleton?’ You’ll wonder, hunched over a campfire, making a cap out of a Dodo’s hide).

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Anecdote generation capacity, we’ll call it. It’s as if you’re caught up in a Frank Zappage authority retelling of Robinson Crusoe, & just as you reach the precipice of some grvà self-directed objective lượt thích building a home or taming a carnivorous dino, the wild’s own narrative sầu tramples all over yours. Resources lost, progress vapourised. Ark’s ecosystem always wins.

What a complicated ecosystem it is, too. The dinosaurs aren’t a carefully deployed jump-scare device, they’re absolutely abundant. Generally, the more vicious and high-level dinos hang out towards the centre of each maps, while low-level pests and friendly herbivores populate the periphery. Buzzing, flying, crawling, và swimming in ahy vọng them all are the insects, sea creatures, prehistoric birds, & mammals. Everywhere you go, there they are. Stomping around, defecating, và eating each other.

They’re all tameable and breedable too, which gives you a feeling of real agency after countless hours of being hapless prey. It isn’t so much getting around on a dino’s baông chồng that proves so enjoyable, but the memory of your many, many previous failed attempts while you vì và the accompanying sense of achievement.

*

While Studio Wildcard don’t seem too worried about you in the opening hours, they bởi vì provide ample structure for a sense of progression once you’re up and running. Initially, you’re working towards building a svào base which can’t be overrun by dinos or other players, and for all the rough và ready mechanics elsewhere, the nitty-gritty of laying objects to build a house is handled very well. It’s a deceptively deep and complex base-builder, the upper limits of which you’re more likely khổng lồ experience as a sightseer overlooking a tribe’s property than when building something of your own. “I guess you can build huge gated castles then,” you’ll say. “Huh.”

Now on the property ladder, Ark offers you numerous other means of progression. It might be forming or joining a clan, và then wreaking revenge on those guys who used lớn brain you with their superior weaponry bachồng when you were a rookie. But if PvP.. feels like dipping yourself in acid, it might be investigating the beacons dotted around the island, & summoning bosses instead. Or perhaps breeding a family of impossibly dangerous raptors; your own personal limo service.

You’re free lớn pursue these goals in perpetuity, hampered only by the hostile environment and the whims of whoever runs the server you’re playing on (give PvPhường. servers a miss for your first few games). Before you know it, you’re that impossibly powerful guy in Chitin armour carrying an actual firearm, with a tame Velociraptor & a castle.

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*

In the kết thúc, Ark’s ambition pulls it in the right direction with more force than its clunkiness tugs it the other way. It’s always more enjoyable to spkết thúc time with a game that tries something new and exciting, stumbling along the way, than a game that tries to lớn tichồng focus group-inspired boxes. If that game also happens khổng lồ simulate an entire prehistoric ecosystem, & produces bewildering emergent scenarquả táo lượt thích clockwork, all the better.


Chuyên mục: Tin Tức