ARK: Survival Evolved Review

  • First Released Jun 2, 2015
  • PC

This ain’t the Flintstones.

After a couple of dozen hours exploring the dinosaur survival simulation from developer Studio Wildcard, I’ve barely scratched the surface of what is both an impressive achievement and a deeply frustrating experience. One moment I was beaming over how I was able to slap together a hut on the beach and start a fire to keep warm during a long and spooky prehistoric night. The next I was swearing until I was out of breath after being killed yet again by a Dilophosaurus or a pack of Compys or a Titanoboa or whatever else decided to roar out of the jungle for a snack.

This is a pure, hardcore survival game where you’re dropped in your tighty whities on a beach by beings unknown (UFO-like monoliths float in the sky) with the sole goal of figuring out how to stay alive. Land and sea are populated with all sorts of dinosaurs and other assorted prehistoric creatures, ranging from the milquetoast Dodos and Moschops to aggressive predators like the Spinosaurus, the Megapiranha, the Troodon, the Raptor, and much, much more. So not only are you stuck essentially naked with nothing other than your wits to keep you breathing, just about everything stuck here with you has big pointy teeth and zero qualms about using them to rip you to pieces.

That said, there isn’t much of a learning curve. Everything is based on a hunter-gatherer system where you collect resources by killing animals for their hides and meat and other goodies, and by chopping down trees, smashing up rocks, and scavenging in the jungle for wood, stone, flint, berries, fiber, and more. Leveling up--which happens fast and frequently throughout the game to keep things interesting--provides points used to purchase engrams that serve as plans for all of the survival gear that you can make. You start with caveman stuff like stone axes, thatch huts, ragged clothing, and campfires, but soon progress to compasses, spyglasses, bows and arrows, wood structures, gunpowder, and more. Stick with things long enough and you move into the modern era with rifles and radios.

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Another major component of Ark is the ability to train dinos. Carefully combining knocking out your prey with feeding them results in tame creatures that can be ridden around the landscape and even bred. It’s something of a tedious affair involving a fair bit of gathering different types of food and waiting around, but it's well worth it in the end as you can wind up with mounts far better at fighting other dinosaurs than you can with your puny fists and weapons. Toss in a wide range of crafting and that steadily increasing engram tech, and you’ve got an impressive sandbox in which to play.

All of this can be experienced either solo or together with other players on multiplayer servers that can be designated either PVE, where players cannot kill one another, and PVP, where they can, and there are basically no rules at all. Ark has been built around a tribal model, though, where playing cooperatively feels generally like the prescribed way to go.

Single-player does have its benefits, namely in that you avoid messy interactions with fellow human players. But going solo comes at the cost of cranking difficulty through the roof and forcing you to do everything for yourself. You have to become a one-man tribe to get anything done, and I found the process of chopping trees, hacking stone, and gathering assorted things in the brush to be a repetitive process. While you level up fairly quickly and add new engrams on a regular basis, it’s not exactly thrilling to spend all of your time mindlessly pushing buttons to accumulate one stockpile after another.

Of course, playing alone also means that you have to fight dinosaurs mano-a-mano. This means that you die. A lot. The game thankfully stocks the default areas where you spawn (generally coastal beach regions) with wussier, almost cattle-like creatures that can be farmed to get you started collecting meat and skins. But aggressive carnivores are never far away. The landscape is dotted with creatures that you have almost zero chance at killing or escaping, especially in the early hours.

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This outstanding sense of place and mood is offset by the sheer difficulty of everything that you have to do, the spectacular amounts of time necessary to experience even a tenth of what the game has to offer, and the randomness of death constantly destroying everything that you have built.

As a result, Ark does not make a great first impression. I was routinely slaughtered by Dilophosauruses on the beaches, gangs of Compys in the jungle, random Trodoons nearly everywhere, and even a positively brutal Spinosaurus that somehow managed to spawn in not far from where I began my game. Whenever I thought I was making progress, wham, along came a Raptor or something equally frightening to remind me of my place in the food chain. Even the water offered me no respite, as every little stream seemed to be well stocked with Megapiranhas and Sabertooth Salmon. These killer fish actually gave me my first wake-up call as to how brutal Ark was going to be. I finished my first thatch house and decided to start really exploring territory, starting with a quick swim across the bay. I didn’t get halfway across before I was eaten alive.

The only good thing being killed is that your stuff gets packed into a bag and left at the point of your demise, ready to be picked up by your respawned self. This is easier said than done, however, as the early-game's random respawns generally place you a long way from where you died. And you have a limited amount of time to grab everything before it vanishes forever. Even worse, whatever killed you often hangs around the pack, as if it’s guarding the treasure trove in the knowledge that somebody is coming back for it. Other times, your gear is simply inaccessible. I don’t think I ever reclaimed my gear after being killed in the water, as those packs always wound up in the midst of schools of fish with steak-knife teeth.

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In a perfect world, playing the multiplayer version of Ark would solve the above problems. It doesn’t. All of these issues remain present when playing on servers with other people, and other, potentially even more serious annoyances, are introduced. Playing on an established public server means that you’re the new guy, so it doesn’t seem entirely easy to join a tribe. On the PVP servers, you can be an easy target for the more experienced players who enjoy playing serial killer. PVE servers let you relax and work cooperatively, but I saw a lot of people there doing their own thing exactly as they would have in the solo game. So aside from the social aspect of trying to stay alive in dino-land with the help of fellow human beings, I didn’t really see the point.

There is something majestic about Ark's addictive and incredibly atmospheric design. I’ve never been so invested in the protagonist’s predicament, especially when huddling around a fire in the middle of the night or when facing off with a dinosaur that was stalking me, and the sense of being so utterly alone really sank in.

Still, this outstanding sense of place and mood is offset by the sheer difficulty of everything that you have to do, the spectacular amounts of time necessary to experience even a tenth of what the game has to offer, and the randomness of death constantly destroying everything that you have built. None of these things can exactly be considered flaws, as the designers surely intended the game to play like this, at least for the most part. But all of these factors also make Ark an acquired taste that requires a strong level of commitment that is not for everyone, probably myself included.

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The Good
Wide-open game world gives players an incredible amount of freedom
Impressive and deceptively simple core mechanics and character development
Spectacular prehistoric landscapes with dinosaur denizens that awe and frighten
The Bad
No structure, story, or direction provided for players other than the goal of staying alive
Spectacularly high and unforgiving difficulty, especially in the beginning
Requires a great deal of repetition and grinding
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

About 30 hours of skinning dinos, starting fires, running for his life, and cursing, loads of glorious cursing, went into Brett’s review of Ark: Survival Evolved. GameSpot was provided with complimentary copies of the game by Studio Wildcard.
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Avatar image for sinistery

Great Review!!! If you could rate it any lower, you should have.

This game is truly terrible. Do Not buy it. I can't believe someone would need to spend 2 years in game to even be able to play it.

The Forest had building, harvesting, and survival elements, but someone how it not suck as hard as this game.

Im happy I realized this game was a complete rip off just from 2 hours of gameplay so I was able to get my $19 refund. And this game wasn't even worth this much.

You wouldn't believe at how terribly everything in this game is made, how clunky and buggy the menu is, how poor the gamepad support is, how bad the survival system is.

I mean even if you run around and do nothing but eat berries at start you still starve to death. What do you need to eat to become full, like 10000 berries.

Even No Man's Sky was playable when it came out, I would rather spend hours doing pointless tasks in an alpha version of no mans sky.

I can't believe people are not outraged by this game at all, at least no mans sky was playable.

Avatar image for thorasta

Yeah no. You didn't play this game enough to give it this terrible review.

Yes - you die a lot in the beginning.

No - if you are dying to compy's and Dilo's, then you didn't play enough to write a balanced review. These are the lowest level dinosaurs. early game they are easy to defeat once you know how. Mid to late game these dinosaurs can't kill you even if you're being a moron.

Compy's - you hear them coming before they hit you. When you kill one, the pack scatters. This makes it possible to kill them one at a time even at low low levels. Use a pike.

Dilo's - it's all about avoiding their spit. When their face poofs up, they spit. strafe left or right and they will miss every time. Kill with pike. I can kill 3 of them no problem at level 1 - you gotta LISTEN to hear them coming, or look around a lot.

Spino's? - these are high level monsters. Stay the **** away till you know what you're doing.

I'm not particularly good at this game, but I've played it more than any other game my entire life at 1643 hours (starting before ultima online and everquest). Your review isn't fair or balanced. You didn't play long enough for the more annoying early deaths to become impossible. You didn't wear armor. You didn't tame dinos to kill the other dinos that were killing you. Either invest some time in this game or go review some other twitch game you can master in 4.3 minutes.

Avatar image for cherub1000

@thorasta: hey man. This may come out of the blue but I'm really into survival games and I've been trying to decide on Ark for sometime. I am a solo gamer (perhaps a little online coop pve?) and have a ps4. I've scoured reviews and most focus on the pros and cons of online play. Others are just very old and tend to be quite negative. I can handle grinding and am more than happy taking my time to achieve a long term goal (been playing Elite Dangerous for a long time). Basically I'm wondering if you can comment on the game in it's current state (fixes, patches etc) and would you reccomend it?

Avatar image for sinistery


Damn 163 hours and "not particularly good"

Avatar image for DeadManRollin

"But all of these factors also make Ark an acquired taste that requires a strong level of commitment that is not for everyone, probably myself included."

Thanks for the honest review.

Avatar image for grumpytrooper

There should be another "bad" on the bottom of the article. It should state about the piss-poor business model of ripping the early access community in two by releasing paid DLC before the game even properly launched. The DLC pretty much forced a lot of players into getting it because without it they couldn't either play with friends or on their favourite servers.

Releasing paid content whilst the game is still in Alpha/Beta phase is purely a disgusting move on the devs part and sets a terrible precedent for future Early Access games.............

"lets milk our community some more by ripping out finished content from the main game and charging them for it before we properly release the (almost) full game".

If content is ready to go on launch day (or before in this case) it should be in the main game at no extra cost.

**** ARK and the dev team.

Avatar image for Greyfox-101

@grumpytrooper: Early Access imo is one of the worst things to happen to the gaming industry.

Avatar image for callen3

I got the game in April and have invested hundreds of hours in the game. I'd probably give it a 7 or 8 even though it's one of my favorite games of all time. The reason why I don't fully endorse it is because 1) it's somewhat buggy at times 2) you can lose everything in a matter of mins or hours. It's probably too much of a time investment for the average gamer. I do think, however, this style of game is the future. If someone, like Blizzard, makes a less punishing survival-mmorpg hybrid, it would take over the gaming world.

Avatar image for thorasta

@callen3: gotta disagree. Less punishing == less rewarding.

Avatar image for NickCanadian

As someone who has played over 750 hours in early access and about 30 in the release, I feel that this is a good rating to give it, it's shortcomings and problems should not be ignored can it be fun? Yes, when you finally get some flyer's and a strong carnivore but to get to that point is arbitrally long and needlessly overly difficult just by a number of things that will hunt you down to kill you. It can be fun, but overly frustrating to new players(especially in the release version where there's a lot more that can kill you now)

I have been on PVE servers where I tamed everything, got everything, became the top tribe on the server, but it took multiple failures and learning and over 750 hours to achieve that, to be fair that is also on PVE server, I never bothered with PvP because the PvE was challenging enough to go down to the river and pick berries without getting your face eaten off.

Avatar image for DeadManRollin

@NickCanadian: 780 hours behind one game? I really envy you.

Avatar image for cyanicember

If you're going to review a game, especially this kind of game, you need to give it more than 30 hours and you need to take the vast customization options into account as well. This review is uniformed at best and apathetic at worst, I am stunned that Gamespot allows this trite nonsense to be published under their name.

Avatar image for sinistery


Gamespot isn't going to pay someone to spend 30 hours on a game that's not worth 1 hour of that time. Sorry, not everyone is a princess and not every p.o.s game deserves the reviewer's grinding and ball busting for a crappy product. If anything he spent too much tiem on it and rated it too high

Avatar image for thorasta

@cyanicember: I couldn't agree more. This is a game worth investing months in to.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@cyanicember: If it takes more than 30 hours to get to the best bits of a game, something is already very wrong with its pacing.

Avatar image for PrpleTrtleBuBum

@Gelugon_baat: If you play basketball or something for 30 hours or less, you can't really say you know **** about the game.

Of course this is a double-sided coin. Some games get thrashed because they are extremely fun, but there's literally only 3 minutes worth of content no matter how you play. And then there are these games.

But I also guess it's just not possible for reviewers to play games for 10-200 hours and then publish the article.

Avatar image for biggamerdude

@cyanicember: 30 hours is fine for this kind of game.

This isnt final fantasy or some shit. Its a survival game. It doesnt take 100 hours to do the same shit over and over again

Avatar image for cyanicember

@biggamerdude: The fact you think it's just the same thing over and over again indicates a tragic lack of imagination on your part.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

Oh yeah, just so anyone knows, player characters could possibly enslave other player characters in PvP servers, typically by knocking the latter unconscious and dragging them into a fortified enclosure.

Afterwards, the prisoners could be knocked unconscious again, or otherwise immobilized in other ways. The main way that the captors can profit from this is to draw human blood from the prisoners - if they are not just tormenting the prisoners outright, such as having trained beasts chase them.

If the prisoners are trying to starve or otherwise injure themselves, they can be force-fed and healed while unconscious.

There is no control input to commit suicide, or a readily available way to force-delete one's player character from a server, so there's no easy way out of imprisonment for a player character in a PvP server.

Avatar image for MashedBuddha

@Gelugon_baat: Wow that sounds like so much "fun" being the prisoner

Avatar image for tevic

@MashedBuddha: If you're a masochist IT IS a lot of fun :-)

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@MashedBuddha: I have read the experiences of some people who just stay being a prisoner just to see how wretched the experience can be.

Avatar image for Vividnightmare

Totally agree with the multiplayer aspect, the community does more to ruin the experience than improve the game. Rarely have I seen people play together unless they're friends in real life who get together to play the game together. Basically PvE is about playing the single player in a public area to feel less lonely, beyond that though public servers are ruined by pillar spammers, people who build the cheapest nothing they can everywhere to consume as much land for themselves as possible. In most cases you can't even build a fire to survive a single night, you hop around looking for anything to survive and die again and again because there is no where to build and nothing to do. Ruined. PvP is a joke, ruined. Singleplayer for me was the highlight, and that isn't saying a ton. The saving grace for Singleplayer was the custom play sliders and Console commands. After about 20 hours I was completely burnt on Arks gameplay, it just had nothing to offer, you had to harvest an insane amount of incredibly rare resources like metal and oil to build anything interesting. You had to spend hours in these tedious cycles to make an inch of progress which the game could screw you and kill you, basically resetting you at any moment. Sliders and Console to the rescue. Turn up resources and harvest rate, turn up player damage and damage resistance, turn down dino damage and damage resistance. Sweet, now it's a bit more enjoyable, I can explore, I can defend myself, I can actually play the game instead of just continually running and hiding and experiencing 5% of the games content. Next, console commands. I didn't even realize the game had guns until 10 hours into it, then I realized they were merely unobtainable. Ha, type in console command and bam, now I'm a commando walking through the forest. Raptor? Bam. T-Rex? Bam. Spinosaurus? (Machine gun fire). I won't disagree that in the end the experience this way is a bit hollow, not earning these things does feel empty to a degree. However, buying a game you never experience 70% of the games content with feels even emptier. In the end though, what truly ruined the game for me and finally made me drop it, navigation. The map is a generic horror that is virtually useless for figuring out where you are. I think there is a GPS module you can get, not sure, maybe that's better. But overall, trying to figure out where you were and where you are is just a pain. During EA sometimes there was a little 'pin' on the map representing your position, but this pin seemed to flicker in and out of the game. Sometimes it was there, other times it was not. I have no idea why and while it helped a lot, it by no means made navigating the island easy because it was still a bland map with few details. Studio Wildcard needed to focus a LOT more on structuring the game and creating some kind of 'direction'. Much like Minecraft has figured out more recently. Especially since exploration in Ark is far more dangerous and much less interesting than Minecraft.

Avatar image for MashedBuddha

@Vividnightmare: Well said. I wasn't much interested in the game, but your sentiments echo my expectations and certainly am not interested in the obnoxious overly hardcore gameplay.

Avatar image for tr4newreck

a criminal amount of bloom effects as well... that game will destroy your eye's

Avatar image for thorasta

@tr4newreck: eyes.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@Louis: Now, I would agree with your statement that brutal starts would suggest that the player should change his/her strategy, but what other strategies are there, especially when the player has yet to establish any resupply posts in his/her session in Ark, or has yet to familiarize oneself with the gameplay and game world for that matter?

Really, as some more observant people have pointed out already - including even the reviewer himself - the issue is not that the reviewer sucks, but rather the wrong reviewer without the temperament for survival games has been chosen to review this game.

(On the other hand, I have no problems with reviews which end with closing statements that are practically reminders that not every game is for everyone.)

Avatar image for MashedBuddha

@Gelugon_baat: Sounds more like me that the reviewer isn't much charmed by *this* particular survival game. I doubt I would like it myself, but I enjoyed many survival games, among them Don't Starve (to a point) and certainly the Long Dark (before they added story - haven't tried that aspect yet), the Flame in the Flood. Those are pretty unforgiving survival games.

Avatar image for wexorian

@Gelugon_baat: Stop being devils advocate, gamespot can defend themselves bad journalism should not be greeted :D

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@wexorian: I did say that the wrong person had been chosen to review this game, you know. :\

Avatar image for Louis

@Gelugon_baat: I agree with you that with the brutal start, there are limitations on how much one can vary their strategy. Great point.

I just read a "What I think" article on the PC Gamer site where the writer gave more information on how they played and how far they got. In a funny way, he agreed with Gamespot (brutal, not for everyone), but I felt the article had more depth to help a new player make a decision on the game.

When Brett complained about the grinding nature, I didn't even know if he had gotten to metal tools which gives one a better return on the work involved in collecting resources?

Unless there was a deadline looming, he could find out and put that in the review that he had to go to external sites for information that should have been in-game.

Now I've read others here that have stated one needs to put in 100's of hours before commenting... I disagree. If by the 10th hour you are frustrated or bored, it's just not a good game by that reviewer's viewpoint.

I will say one thing for Brett's review, it's got us all commenting on it. Lol.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@Louis: I very much agree on the "10th. hour" taste thing. That's a long, long time.

Only stubborn people with lots of time to burn continue to give a game the benefit of the doubt after that mark. I don't consider such people to be representative of smart game consumers.

Avatar image for MashedBuddha

@Gelugon_baat: i.e. they don't have an issue with limited free time like many of us. Gaming hours are long and I'm still going to find time for it but it has to count.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@Henry518: I agree with you on the notion that the wrong reviewer had been selected for this game. I have read Brett Todd's reviews for many games over the years, and I think that foisting this game review on Brett Todd is a bad idea.

He's more of the kind of person who prefers 4X and complex strategy games. It might seem that he might have the patience for this game if he could stomach the pacing of those games, but the grind of the survival game genre is a different kind of grind.

Avatar image for misscat

Well who said a game need a story? You make the story. You live the story just by what happens trying to survive and explore, tame, take care of your dino, protect yourself and dinos, prepare to war if you are in PVP. 30 hrs is not enough to know the game. Get 1000 hrs and maybe you have an idea but 30 hrs you know absolutly nothing about the game... Just by reading this article I see you know nothing about the game at all.. You have different ways to tame creatures, protect from different creatures, collect what you need and your creatures. Someone wasting hours gathering stuff without dinos is just a pure noob. 30 hrs is a pre-noob that learned nothing about the game searching just a way to survive. The game is waaaaaaaaay more than this and you don't know. Nobody can really rate this game it is like a second life. But of course waaaaay better than Second Life :D

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

I have said earlier that there is going to be a fanboy/fangirl who would come over and gripe about the reviewer not having reached the end-game content.

See above.

Avatar image for MashedBuddha

@Gelugon_baat: It's interesting how this commenter completely missed the points the reviewer made. Yeah, I'm going to put 1000s of hours in to make sure I enjoy it...

I think it's safe to say it's not worth the time investment if you know "nothing" about the game 30 hours in lol

Avatar image for jinzo9988

I got bored with it before getting anywhere in the game. It takes far too long to accomplish anything.

Avatar image for Barighm

No mention of the framerate? Did they ever fix it for the full release?

Avatar image for wexorian

@Barighm: Consoles can't handle it with it's full glory

Avatar image for kenundrum7

@Barighm: They have made many optimizations. But some are still complaining. It works good for me though. I think On-Line may have a problem with lag, which some confuse with a lack of optimization.

Avatar image for oflow

30 hours is not enough to time to really review this game. It's by no means perfect but it's way better than a 6 based on shear content volume alone. It's more like an 8. It has a lot of flaws but it's definitely playable and as far as survival games go easily the best out there.

Review is mostly based on the reviewer playing it as a single player experience to me, which is kind of doing it wrong as far as this game goes.

Avatar image for cyanicember

@oflow: Yeah, a 6 is just ridiculous, I understand most review sites giving it a 7, but a 6? Absolutely not.

Avatar image for JustPlainLucas

I wouldn't mind giving it a try but considering it sounds like a massive time sink, I'd rather just play other games.

Avatar image for greaseman1985

I've wanted to play this game, but at the same time it has scared me off with what seems like a giant learning curve and the sheer amount of time required for something that is simply a survival game. The content of this review seem to generally support my hesitation to try this game. I'm reading a lot of comments complaining about how a review score of 6 is low or how it should be a 7. To me, as someone that hasn't played the game, that is meaningless. What is more meaningful is the content of the review. To me it would be more helpful if people would comment whether what the reviewer says about the game is accurate or not, and not weather a random number of 6 is too low or not.

Avatar image for Louis

@greaseman1985: I agree with you. A number can catch one's attention, but the details of the review are more important.

I just wish the reviewer had added even more. Or played longer so as to provide the details you and others want.

But I'll say, the review is accurate for when a new gamer starts. It's brutal. But I don't think he showed well enough that the game does get easier as the player learn the mechanics and works up the tech tree. (Or just change all the settings.)

Now that the game is in full access I'm not sure how the pricing will go. I bought this game during the last Steam Holiday sale for $12. That price nailed it for me.

I'd say probably stay away from it at its current $60. But if it ever goes back to the $20's (will that every happen?) you might want to give it a shot... If you have a system that can run it smoothly, it's beautiful to walk around in that world... till you get eaten. ;-)

Avatar image for Louis

Could the reviewer "Brett Todd" come back and let us know how much time he put into this game? I'm reading many of the comments and they are spot on.

Brett how much time did you put into solo vs multiplayer? How high up the tech tree did you get? How far did you explore, did you explore the sea, how many bases? Each environment offers something different...

I agree with someone who noted that a score of 6 is not fair if only a few hours were put into the game. Myself, I've put in 252 hours and I think the game's a 7 maybe 8... but note, I've only played solo. I have yet to battle a boss. The only change I made to the game is to speed up the taming speed.

One thing I notice about this game is that yes, it's freaking brutal. But many times that brutality is a signal to do something new or change your strategy.

In dying a lot I focused on armor and weapons. With the armor suit and sword I'm pretty darn hardy now. For brutal battles my pump-action shot gun evens the score. I was pushed to that since I hated dying so much.

Currently I'm in an exploration phase. I have my shoreline base, my redwood base and awhile back finished my 3rd one in a mountain range. Why? Because being situated between the two mountains gives me access to more metal and obsidian. Again, the game drove me to that if I wanted to survive this human-killing, beautiful world.

In the last 20 hours I finally tamed a sea creature and have access to lots of oil in the sea! An absolute must for survival.

The game is nice in the way it gives you samples of the next needed resource. (Metals, oil, ...) But to get larger amounts you need to push forwards to a new environment to find a richer vein.

Finally, it forces you to think a little. I wanted to kill larger dinosaurs to see what they dropped, but playing solo made that difficult before having the more powerful guns. Then I came up with the idea of using the barricades. I create a "ring" with a gap for me to enter. I run off and tick off a dino, the chase is on, I dash into my barricaded ring. As the dino injuries itself on the spikes I let loose with the weapon of my choice. It actually worked nicely.

Works the same for standing on a cliff and shooting downwards. Be clever! Heck, the game even allows you to create traps to hold a dino in place. The game is tough, so think about how to survive.

I do understand rating a game from a base configuration. So in speeding up the taming speed, that does change the base game. I'd mention that in my review, but in fairness, the developers allowed it. They gave me the control to set up the game in a way that works for me. I give 'em points for that. I love I can play solo.

Can you guess I like the game? Like a few, there aren't many games that I've put this many hours into and am planning to add more still. Later I'm looking forwards to checking out their other maps and starting a new game.

Brett was at least honest with his last line, "But all of these factors also make Ark an acquired taste that requires a strong level of commitment that is not for everyone, probably myself included."

Maybe another person should have been given this assignment?

Avatar image for greaseman1985

@Louis: It is good to have reviews from different viewpoints. It doesn't make sense to only read reviews from someone that likes a game, otherwise all reviews would be positive. This is why I tend to read many different reviews and see which one comes closer to the opinions of someone that is a similar gamer to me.

Avatar image for Louis

@greaseman1985: I do agree with you at the base level. Mulitiple reviews are better. To be fair, even on this page Gamespot has the area showing the avg review from gamers (7.1 - 73 ratings).

You are right that if a game is reviewed by someone that likes the genre, the tendency will be a higher score, but in balance a non-fan will score lower.

I just think someone that likes the genre can suss out more of the elements knowing how it plays in other games. I'd trust their "gut" score more than someone who isn't into this type of game. But that's just me.

I'm sure most gamers don't base their purchases solely on review scores. Though someone (if you somehow had not heard of this game) looking for a survival game saw a score of 6, might just keep scrolling past it?

Gotta say for me, one of the best purchases I made. :-)

Thanks for your viewpoint.

ARK: Survival Evolved More Info

  • First Released Jun 2, 2015
    • Android
    • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
    • + 6 more
    • Linux
    • Macintosh
    • Nintendo Switch
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    As a man or woman stranded naked, freezing & starving on a mysterious island, you must hunt, harvest, craft items, grow crops, & build shelters to survive. Use skill and cunning to kill or tame & ride the Dinosaurs & primeval creatures roaming the land, & team up with hundreds of players or play locally!
    Average Rating98 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    War Drum Studios, Studio Wildcard
    Published by:
    Studio Wildcard, Snail Games, Solutions 2 GO, Five Star Games, Spike Chunsoft
    Action, Adventure, Survival, 3D
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Blood, Crude Humor, Use of Alcohol, Violence