Ark: Survival Evolved | Teen Ink

Ark: Survival Evolved MAG

January 22, 2019
By Ya BRONZE, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Ya BRONZE, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I’m sitting there, waiting for the game to start. Then suddenly, the screen comes to life with a blinding light! As the character adjusts there is a blue sky holding the sun and some clouds. The character sits up seeing a diamond engraved in their wrist; they scratch at it, but it does nothing. Then the game lets me take over, having free rein to do whatever I want. 

“Ark: Survival Evolved” isn’t a normal survival game where the only objective is to try and survive. Surviving in “Ark” varies greatly depending on the player’s style of play. With endless possibilities, who knows what will be discovered in the wild world of the “Ark?”

The storyline of “Ark: Survival Evolved” isn’t a big part of the game. In fact, there isn’t any sort of story mode. For those who do want to venture out and discover the origins of the Ark, notes can be found across the map from three previous explorers – Helena, Mei, and Rockwell, You can follow the journey throughout all of the downloadable content maps, including the custom maps “Ragnarok” and “The Center.” The basic story is that the environment is unnatural and seems like it is being controlled by something. The three explorers eventually end up getting aboard what appears to be an alien ship overseeing and controlling the world below. I didn’t follow much of the story past this point. In my opinion the story is more of an optional thing. However when I did find notes, it did grant me ingame experience.

When talking about any video game, graphics are a key element. From my personal experience playing “Ark,” I can say that the graphics are truly stunning. Wildcard, the creators of the game, went above and beyond when developing this game. From the shimmering grass to the delicate leaves on the trees blowing in the wind, the sheer amount of detail that went into the game is incredible.

When I play a game I want all of the parts to function exactly the way they are supposed to. And, I want it to be done smoothly. “Ark” is available on the following platforms: PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. When I started playing “Ark” on Xbox, it was difficult to learn some of the buttons. After playing for 20 minutes or so it became much more effortless. The basics of “Ark” are considerably simple. When I first spawned in, I had to make sure my food and water stayed at a reasonable level, and try not to get ripped apart from a pack of raptors, a common death I face. Once I moved past the “trying to survive stage” stuff becomes a lot more complicated. At level 20 I learned that I could start crafting with metal instead of stone. The only reason I figured this out was because of my friend who had been playing the game for over a year and knew this kind of stuff. This is just the beginning of a steep slope I had to climb before I reached the top.

“Ark”’s gameplay is almost entirely based on two of the most unique features about it: the customization and the dinos. Survival in this game is largely based on avoiding dinosaurs, which are literally everywhere I went. Taming a dino requires four basic steps: knocking the dino out, putting food in its inventory, making sure it stays asleep, and waiting until the taming meter is at 100. Wow, I just tamed my first dinosaur! Although it was only a dodo. Taming a dodo bird is one thing, but taming a T-Rex, isn’t quite as easy. Taming speed is based on the type and the level of the dino. Another thing to consider is what the dino eats. For example; a dodo will eat berries, while a T-Rex eats meat. That brings us into the next big thing about “Ark” – customization.

My favorite element of “Ark” is the customization. Customization is everywhere in “Ark.” It is even available before the game starts. On the screen where I could choose what world I would load into, there is a settings tab. With just that alone I could choose how challenging the game was going to be. At first I didn’t think much of it; after all, most games have a difficulty setting. That was until I realized I could change specific features about it. For example, if I thought that wild dinos have too much health, I would turn that down. Difficulty settings is just the tip of the iceberg. Other adjustments can also be made. The following are just a few of the customizable items: taming speed, stats per level, and the growing speed of plants. Player and dino stats are another thing I was able to decide as my dinos and I leveled up. Every time my dino leveled up, I could choose an attribute to enhance. Some of them may be near useless (like food or water) while others (like weight) are very important. 

Although “Ark” is a great game, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The game does have a lot of problems. Some of them aren’t as big a deal as others. Small glitches include some type of audio or visual problem. For instance, sometimes when I hit a rock or tree it won’t make the sound effect is usually does. Obviously this isn’t something that is going to break the game, but it is very common. Due to the size of “Ark” – about 67 gigabytes plus any DLCs – the game does crash every once in a while. The most impactful glitch I have come across is that the game kicks me out of my tribe after I get off and back on again. This means that I (or anyone else in my tribe) can’t access anything we had built when we were in the tribe, not to mention all of our dinos were gone. We had to purge the world and start anew. “Ark” may be a great game, but is does have some problems to fix.

There are a couple of options for the multiplayer function. The first is to play on a custom world with only people I invite. This, along with going solo, has been my go-to style of play. The second option is to play on a public server where I wouldn’t be able to customize anything like the difficulty settings. This also puts me in a world with other players I don’t know. This can be difficult especially when there are much stronger people constantly killing me. If you are a new player I would suggest playing by yourself or with friends on a custom server.

Overall, “Ark: Survival Evolved” is an excellent game. With stunning graphics and the unique feature of dinosaurs, it goes above and beyond most other free roaming survival games. There are glitches to be fixed, but “Ark”’s gameplay mechanics, and customization are the best in its field. Even if “Ark” isn’t exactly the type of game you’re into, I would still recommend it.

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