Have you heard of the new survival game where you choose a server, make your character, and are thrown into a world full of dangers? Dinosaurs, Bigfoots, bugs, oh my!! Here is my experience: I created a female character, black, and named Oriona. My character awakens in what appears to be a beautiful island. The waves, the trees, it really makes me wish I was in Florida. The game tells me I am too hot, and need to get cool. Well, so I go into the interior of the island, where it is darker. I am still not cool. So I look around for things to pick up. I am looking for items to be highlighted to use. NOTHING is highlighted. I head back to the beach, and I am….. FREAKING KILLED BY A CARNO. (Which is a meat-eating aggressive dinosaur.) So I choose to stay on the south location (supposed to be easy) and re-spawn. I do some research, and learn that the game is like Minecraft. You have to punch trees, and forage the ground to pick up plants, stones, and fiber. So I punch some trees and break my hand. So now I have to wait for it to heal, but at least I have some thatch and some wood. Once I have healed, I start picking up stuff from the ground. I have an assortment of berries, stones, and fiber. My character goes up a level. I pick movement speed as my attribute to change, as I am sure I am going to be spending much of my time here running for my life. Than I get to unlock items to craft. So I gather more materials from around me, things seem to be leaving me alone this time. Phew!! But boy I can’t carry hardly anything. So my next few points go to weight. I go up another level. Now I have crafted a primitive stone hatchet, a torch, and a campfire. I warm myself at the campfire as my character is always cold now. I add thatch as my fuel. I take the stone hatchet and hack giant rocks. I now have stone, flint, and even a couple of metals. I gather a bunch of thatch , and build a basic dwelling on the beach. I make a foundation, walls, door frame, door, and roof. It takes a while and now its night-time. I go out and find a few minor herbivores and kill them. I barely survive after killing a stegosaurus. I now have meat and hide. I can now make clothes for my near naked body. yea!! BOOM! I am killed by a Dire Bear!! I go back into the game…. I am still level 4, but all my gear is GONE!! Everything I worked towards is gone. Guess I should have made my chest. But its alright, I still have my thatch house and campfire. I can find my body easy right? I have 20 minutes to find it, can’t be that hard. Welllllllll I do not see my house anywhere. I am running full tilt up and down the beach. Nothing is familiar. I know I am on the same location, but I do not see the house. Now I am being chased by a Raptor, I die, I re-spawn. I decide to start over. I gather materials all over again. Now I go up another couple of levels and can make a map. Sweet. I make a map, but the map is not that helpful. I see where I am, and where I used to be. But the world is HUGE!! I start building a new house, and Whamo!! I am killed by a bunch of weird insects. I start over again. sigh.
Okay good news is things do get a little better. If you build a bed, you can re-spawn near it. But even then I have lost my houses before. Flash forward a few days. I am now a level 30 character, and have learned to tame dinosaurs, and even made a saddle for one and ride it. I am stronger, and have more weapons, and can make lots of goodies. Things are better, but I still die, as do my tame dinos and have to regain again what is lost from my inventory. I have played with a friend on a server, which is the best part of the game, but you can’t take your character with you. That’s right. You can’t have multiple saves, or multiple characters on the same server. You can’t transfer them to other servers either or even other locations. This is the most frustrating game I have played in years. I actually spent a two-hour period where my friend and I die again, and again, and again and re-spawn and that’s all we get done in an effort to find our dwelling. It makes me want to cave the TV in, but…. I don’t. I love it too. So….to play or not to play? If you can put up with all the challenges, it is worth it. There is still so much I have not done in the game; so little I have discovered, and unlocked. My journey is only beginning. I have to see where it takes me.
If your interested, Ark Survival Evolved can be bought on the xbox store, Ps4 store, or on PC for $35. It releases officially very soon. I imagine some of the flaws will be corrected in the official release and patches down the road. Now go and kill and be killed out there!!