ARK: Survival Evolved - PlayStation 4 Review

Build, Survive, Repeat

Game Info: (Box Display)

  • System: PS4, Xbox One, OS X, PC
  • Publisher: Studio Wildcard
  • Developer: Studio Wildcard
  • Release Date: Aug 29, 2017
  • Price:$59.99
  • Rating: T for Teen
  • Genre: Action-Adventure, Survival
  • Players: 1 (Multiplayer Online)
  • Official Website: http://playark.com/

Who it Caters to

ARK: Survival Evolved aims to change the genre of survival game. Similar to games like Minecraft or Rust, ARK: Survival Evolved tasks players with building weapons, tools, armor and do other various tasks to survive for as long as they can. The world of ARK: Survival Evolved is a treacherous one filled with dangerous beasts and harsh environmental landscapes. If you wish to survive you will need to learn how to master crafting as well as finding the best means of gathering food and water. One wrong step means the end of your character in ARK: Survival Evolved so be ready to advance your survivability game if you want to succeed.

What to Expect

Once you enter ARK: Survival Evolved, be prepared for an experience that doesn’t hold your hand. You must craft tools such as clothes and pickaxes to stand a chance on a world that is both foreign and deadly. There are many ways to perish in ARK: Survival Evolved and too often the game will teach you this the hard way. Though if you learn slowly and carefully how each of the mechanics works in ARK: Survival Edition, then your survivability in this world will be that much higher. Be warned that while in single player your only fear will be the elements and the various creatures that roam around, multiplayer will also have others who wish to survive by any means necessary. Death lies around every corner of ARK: Survival Evolved, and only those with quick thinking and mastery of the game will have any chances at surviving longer than a day.

Story

ARK: Survival Evolved has players awaken on an island in some unknown location. The player will need to find clothes as they are almost completely nude. All around you will be various areas to explore to find not only materials to be used for crafting but places to find food and build shelter against the elements. However, you’re not alone in this world. Not only are there several dozen different dinosaur-like beings but there are also other possible threats lurking to kill you if you’re unaware or open to attack. You know you want to live and the only way to do that is to survive in this foreign land. Enter the world of ARK: Survival Evolved where survival isn’t a simple concept by any means.

Gameplay

We’re going to be very honest folks, ARK: Survival Evolved isn’t perfect by any definition. Every good choice seen in ARK: Survival Evolved is marred by some very bad choices and that keeps this from being an amazing title. However, we do hope you will read our review as we outline everything we loved about ARK: Survival Evolved as well as everything we didn’t love. Now then, grab your mice and scroll down so we can begin carving away at this review.

ARK: Survival Evolved plays a lot like other survival games if we were being honest. The ones that come to mind are titles like Rust, The Forest and Minecraft just to name a few of the big survival games. Players are thrown into randomized worlds and in randomized biomes and are then tasked with surviving. It’s a simple idea and we’ve seen it before but ARK: Survival Evolved does a few different things than most traditional survival action-adventure titles. Though not all of these ideas works in its favor.

The first thing you’ll notice in ARK: Survival Evolved is there is no help system or guide. That’s right everyone, after you make your character—which we will say is a very robust character modeling system—ARK: Survival Evolved lives up to its name by throwing you into a world and told nothing but you need clothes. In one way we loved this as we here at Honey’s Anime always desire a challenge from our games—especially ones that deal with survival gameplay—but the issues with ARK: Survival Evolved begin here. Games like Minecraft and Rust are pretty easy to figure out as the menus are simple the core mechanics work even without a helping hand. In ARK: Survival Evolved, while crafting is simple enough and picking up items is easy, the menu itself is just confusing and weird. Too often we struggled to figure how to equip an item or how to move it over from another source and this is just one of the major complains about the lack of help. We don’t mind hard games folks but games that are hard because the interface is lacking just means poor choices made in the design department.

The lack of explanation continues to hurt when you look at the various world issues you’ll be facing. ARK: Survival Edition loves to tell you when you’re cold and or hot but it doesn’t show why this is. There are times where you could be standing in a spot on the desert and be completely fine only to move slightly forward and be told you’re hot. This isn’t a huge issue to fix on your own—just move away from the areas you’re told are bad—but an explanation as to why these areas are hot and or cold would be nice. ARK: Survival Evolved really just could have had a bit more explanation to avoid issues like this from even being a problem.

Now graphically, ARK: Survival Evolved doesn’t look bad at times. When you first wake up in the desert or the island areas you’re going to be awed by some impressive visuals. Developer Studio Wildcard clearly put some time into the graphics of the main areas and environments. However, with certain environmental structures and some of the dinosaurs, ARK: Survival Evolved doesn’t look that impressive. We know that games as big as ARK: Survival Evolved can’t run everything with super high end graphics but it does kill the immersion at times when you see a weird looking rock after seeing a beautiful ocean or mountain. Plus there are a lot of odd lighting issues that make some environments look really overly shiny or just plain fake.

We’ll wrap up this review by also mentioning a few more elements from ARK: Survival Evolved. In terms of the online, we’ve heard a few issues with connection issues. According to other reviewers and gamers, ARK: Survival Evolved can at times run poorly and while we can’t speak on our end of having these issues, it’s just something we should mention as multiple sources have run into this problem. We did enjoy the first DLC for ARK: Survival Evolved in the form of Scorched Earth and we love the dragons and new creatures to explore as well as the weapons. We do figure this might be why Studio Wildcard charged full price for ARK: Survival Evolved but that’s only a theory and not proven. Though we just notice that at times ARK: Survival Evolved feels like it needs more updates to be complete as there are a lot of odd glitches and sometimes weird effects, a perfect example of this is when we were hitting a dinosaur for 2 minutes and not having any feedback but apparently we were doing damage.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Survival games are becoming a dime a dozen in the current age of gaming. That’s why we appreciate what ARK: Survival Evolved attempts at times but also wish it would stick to some of the more traditional action-adventure gameplay we’ve seen in other titles. There are times where ARK: Survival Evolved will truly blow you away but just like the graphics there are other times where you will be disappointed. Asking for full price to buy or download ARK: Survival Evolved is a bit much to be honest folks and we here at Honey’s Anime won’t say to just empty your wallets now for this title. However, if you absolutely can see past the major issues with ARK: Survival Evolved and want a truly fun survival game, then we can at least say ARK: Survival Evolved does that right.

Honey's Pros:

  • Tons of ways to survive and play
  • Tough survival challenge
  • Various landscapes to explore
  • Creative survival gameplay
  • Strong environmental graphics

Honey's Cons:

  • Visuals at times can be bland or meh
  • Controls aren’t very intuitive
  • Annoying user interface at times
  • Online runs pretty rough
  • Feels like an incomplete game at times

Honey's Final Verdict:

ARK: Survival Evolved isn’t a bad game that much we want to say upfront. There is a lot to love here thanks to some difficult survival gameplay and cool looking environments to explore. However, the visuals aren’t always great and the user interface can be overly complicated in comparison to other survival games. ARK: Survival Evolved needs some updates to fix a lot of the issues we have with in this game. If you’re willing to look past those issues it’s not hard to recommend ARK: Survival Evolved for those who love a super hard survival game with the chances of being amazing in the near future. So folks what are your thoughts on ARK: Survival Evolved? Leave some comments to sound off down below and stick around for more Honey’s Anime game reviews.

Aaron

Writer

Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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