Walking up to the Ark: Survival of the Fittest booth while here at PAX East and seeing a 16-foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex was very intimidating. I can now imagine how the characters inside the game feel with a T-Rex chasing and trying to eat them as they’re just trying to survive. With Ark: Survival of the Fittest, massive dinosaurs and just about everything else on your little island are trying to kill you. The goal of the game? Survive!

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Like Bear Grylls, but just in skivvies, players must figure out how to adapt and succeed on their own little island of horror. There are many obstacles players must over come to survive. Other players, who co-exist within your server, dinosaurs, poisonous plants and animals. Players may get overwhelmed at times but I encourage you to stick with it.

Ark: SotF does a fantastic job of making sure that players won’t be able to level up every skill in their skill tree. As you play, you can unlock different engrams, which fit into small tech trees. Most of these are logical progressions, such as projectile weapon going the route of arrows to gunpowder to guns. While your individual characters can’t learn everything, they can be small part of larger, player-moderated, tribes. Based on how the tribes are set up, there could be a pseudo-dictatorship or democracy,They may have need of you and your skill set.

Tribes are built up with the sole discretion of those living within that server. The other benefits besides a government is the availability to be in packs, as you’re more efficient as a group. But, efficiency isn’t necessarily all being hunters. Gathering is just important, and finding things needed to live can help a tribe just as much. Players can help in being tamers, to tame the dinosaurs. Builders, crafters, and other pursuits can be taken up instead of seeking to kill everyone.

PS4 is getting the e-sports intended game as well, and will include an exclusive offline practice arena to hone your skills. Up to 72 players can compete at once, all doing their best to kill each other and become the sole victor, with inspiration coming from The Hunger Games style combat. ELO rating, match-making, leaderboards, and pro-tier monthly cash prizes will round out the eSports experience.

Gatherings for Ark communities are found on the official forums for the game. if you are looking to join a tribe there are many different groups recruiting.

Ark: Survival Of The Fittest is a Multiplayer Online Survival Arena. This version of the game started off as a mod of the base Ark: Survival Evolved, but has become so popular that it now has it’s own codebase. You can currently download Survival of the Fittest for free, but Ark: Survival Evolved is not. They are completely separate games from each other.

Studio Wildcard, the creators of Ark: Survival Evolved got initial start on development in October 2014 when the core of the game came out, but this mod came out more recently. The paid Survial Evolved is available for early access now, with full release due later in 2016. This early access gives the full game at a discounted price, and a few cosmetic items for free. After full launch however, the price will go up.

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Gameplay Designer Kayd Hendricks, has said that many of the ideas for the content has come from the feedback from the community. The feedback on what is fun, what works, what doesn’t work, and some of the dinosaurs, plants, and animals that are in game come from requests within the community. He stated that a lot of the design and direction was pre-planned and detailed long ago, but direction still comes from community.

You can find the free download of Ark: Survival of the Fittest for steam here, playable now. The PS4 version is due out on July 19th.

About The Author

Bobby C
Director, Editorial/Reviews

Bobby C is a veteran FPS and adventure gamer, starting with the NES and Super Mario Bros. The game that really started his love for the FPS Genre was Goldeneye for the N64. Since then, the love grew. From casual, to semi-pro COD with Modern Warfare 2 and 3, and back to casual, it’s a bad week when there isn’t at least 15 hours of games played.