ARK: Survival Evolved (Xbox One) Preview

By Carrick Puckett 04.12.2016

Review for ARK: Survival Evolved on Xbox One

ARK: Survival Evolved is what could be described as a massively multiplayer online survival game developed by Studio Wildcard. It was first released on PC, Mac OS X, and Linux in June of 2015, then on the Xbox One in December of 2015. The game has not yet seen an official gold release, and is considered an "early access" game; as such, Cubed3 previews its beta state and paid DLC, Scorched Earth.

After players create their character, ARK: Survival Evolved deposits them into the game world. Awakening on a beach, and after a brief cut-scene from their perspective, the player may take control and begin walking around. One of the first goals is to scrounge up enough wood, fibre, and stone to make a crude pickaxe.

A big part of the gameplay comes from "Engrams." Essentially character abilities, Engrams allow players to construct weapons, armour, and buildings with raw materials they find in the world. Players start off with just a single Engram (for a stone pickaxe), but as they advance in character level, they can spend earned Engram Points to unlock more recipes for use.

Screenshot for ARK: Survival Evolved on Xbox One

The player is by far not the only denizen of the island; in fact, the place is crawling with an abundance of extinct species. One of the first creatures that may be encountered is the harmless dodo bird, but bigger and meaner beasties can be found in the areas beyond your starting point. This point is further driven home if deciding to play on a multiplayer server, where players can interact in a variety of ways.

Unfortunately, ARK suffers from a slew of issues that rather hamper how much enjoyment can be gotten out of it. The game is not well optimised; as a whole, it looks simply amazing, but the framerate suffers for it, especially when exploring the dense jungles of the island. In multiplayer games, it is all too likely for more unscrupulous players to come in while you're logged off, salvage your dwelling for materials, and steal your precious food, leaving you with nothing. This complaint is not exclusive to the Xbox One port: griefing is an issue across all platforms.

The Scorched Earth DLC mixes things up a little by introducing post-apocalyptic desert environments and new creatures to encounter and tame. Scorched Earth is a refreshing change of pace… when it's not brutalising you with its vicious indigenous wildlife, searing heat that causes heatstroke and thirst, sandstorms that fatigue you and limit visibility, and magnetic storms that short out your electronic devices.

Screenshot for ARK: Survival Evolved on Xbox One

Final Thoughts

There's a lot of good things to say about ARK and Scorched Earth, but there's still a lot of problems that remain to be addressed. The moment Studio Wildcard takes steps to better optimise the game and limit griefing, many complaints levelled towards it would cease to exist.


Studio Wildcard


Studio Wildcard





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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