Ark: Survival Evolved

Originally posted 2015-12-15 12:00:27.

Ark: Survival Evolved is a game I had been hearing about from some friends and over Twitter for a bit before I checked it out on Steam. From what I saw of the game I wasn’t sure if I would like it, it seemed like a large open world game and it didn’t give anything in the way of a story for it. The game is currently still in early access so more for it might come later but from what I played of it I won’t be continuing with it very far. I still thought I would give it a shot with how well my friends spoke of it and it was on sale for less so I went for it. Right off the bat the game was very difficult to get into, you have to pick servers like in World of Warcraft but it wasn’t able to find the server that my friends were playing on. I searched and searched and tried different things for what felt like hours until the server name finally came up and I was able to join, except that now I was looking at a loading screen that went on for even longer. I was already pretty frustrated with this game and I hadn’t even played it at all so my starting opinion was already looking bad.

So I finally get into the game and the first thing I see is a black screen and red words saying that I had been killed. Great way to start an already annoying game. So now it tells me to respawn and right away I get killed again, this game is looking better and better. I respawn again and this time I can actually see the game, I’m on a beach near a forest and there is some strange jewel embedded in my arm but before I can even start to wonder what that is I am attacked again by some prehistoric snake thing. I try to run away only to die yet again, I am really loving this game by this point, and I respawn hoping that I can finally do something beside die. I head down to the beach because it looks clearer and might be a little safer then the forest full of giant snakes and bugs. My friends who are in game finally notice and try to come find me so they can help get me started because there is absolutely no starting tutorial or hints or anything for this game except for a map that shows a little of the area you are in but not actually your location on the map making it virtually useless. So my friends finally find me and give me some clothes because you start the game in only underwear and start to show me around some.

My friends have a tribe in game with a very large fort area that they all stay in to keep safe from animals and any enemy players who might want to kill them as this is a PvP server. I explore the area around the fort and start to get a feel for the game and what I can do in it. The game looks pretty good with the settings at medium and doesn’t lag too bad and I find myself playing for several hours leveling up and learning new things I can craft to build with. After a bit I am able to build a small shack in the opening of a cave down the beach a little ways which makes me feel pretty good until I learn that the caves are apparently used for what goes for raiding in Ark and it gets destroyed and I am once again killed. I later tried to rebuild and even tame some dinos which you can do for protection and to have as mounts only to lose the first big one I get the same day. There is so much the game doesn’t tell you that you need to know in order to play successfully and have fun which made it very difficult for me to do much. The learning curve is very steep if you don’t have people helping to guide you and I believe you will die far more than you should in the beginning of a game.

I got frustrated and turned the game off several times and yet I did return to try again but, after finally getting used to what I needed to do and where I shouldn’t go the game became boring. Almost all the time I spent in game was just cutting down trees for wood, picking berries and breaking rocks for materials so I could create more building supplies or feed other peoples dinosaurs. There didn’t seem to be any point to the game, at least not that I could see. I know it is a survival game and that is the main goal but why? What is the point of just surviving and pretty much wasting time with nothing to look forward to in the end? I guess if you play PvP against people you could have fun but it’s like other PvP games I’ve tried in that if you start late,everyone has a huge advantage in skill level and will just destroy you.

So I was starting to not enjoy the game at all anymore when my friends told me about switching to a PvE server instead that might be easier and less stressful on everyone. It sounded really good at first and I was able to just be on my own a little and do my own thing near the group. I built a little hut of my own and was leveling up better than the PvP server and I was again spending hours just collecting materials and learning more things that I could create. The server was kinda more of the same but there was less threat of being killed by random dinos or other players so I was starting to have fun again, until I was exploring the woods a little with a tamed Parasaur I had just gotten and was killed by tiny little dinosaurs I could barely see. So I respawn for the umpteenth time since first starting the game and I read that my new Parasaur has also been killed. So now everything I’ve worked hard for is gone once again including my new dinosaur and I can’t even try to find my body to get any of my gear back which you can do if you can get back in time. I am now beyond frustrated with everything because it seems anytime I get anything in game it is taken away from me and I am forced to start over again. I tried to like Ark and have some fun with my friends but I just wasn’t able to apparently, maybe this type of game just isn’t for me and is better suited for other people. I probably won’t be back to this game once it is finally finished if I even do come back to it, it was a huge disappointment and a very large waste of my time and money. I hope this wasn’t as big a waste of time to read as that game was for me to play and I swear, I’m not always this negative. Happy gaming in whatever you do.