ARK: Extinction First Impressions

Is it worth the $20 Price tag?

With Studio Wildcard’s release of Extinction, a new wave of players has returned to frolic with the Dinos that inhabit Ark. Survival game enthusiasts will certainly pick up the newest expansion, but is it really worth the $20 price tag the developers are asking for? To answer this question, my friend and I loaded it to try it for ourselves.

Instantly, the spawn location names popped out at me. They’re off-center, which attacked my OCD like no other. On this map, there seems to be four major locations. The beginning Sanctuary, the Sunken Forest, The Desert, and the Snow Biome. Pretty basic names, but the appeal of Ark has always been the Dinos instead of the locations.

In our first few moments, I noticed that the irritating sound bug still existed in the game. When you spawn, loud music will play to your awakening. The issue is that it will clip out at will, instantly creating a jarring moment. As I have played for a very long time, I’m used to it. Newer players will find it quite annoying though.

Immediately, I was aware of how much calmer the initial starting area is. If you’re unfamiliar with the previous Ark expansions, Aberration started you underground with aggressive enemies right away. Extinction seems to have learned from that problem, as my friend and I were able to explore at our leisure.

As usual, the game looks absolutely amazing. The view distance sort of gives the impression of blurry backgrounds, but I’m sure there are settings to fix this issue. The game seems to be running better than it has in the past, which is an amazing improvement.

You will have to get used to being constantly dehydrated, as once again the weather is quite extreme. There is a river running through the beginning spots, so it won’t be as much an issue than an annoyance. Speaking of annoyances, Dilophosaurs are back to nip at your heels. A few punches to the head should take them out with relative ease.

There is quite a surprise to those of you looking for a new species of Dino. Droidekas from Star Wars make an appearance in the game! Jokes aside, the new defense units have a striking resemblance to the beloved role-polys. They appear to be passive creatures, but you must kill them to gain the blueprints to craft one of your own.

So far, the newest Expansion breathes life into an otherwise dying game. I’m excited to explore more of the map as we progress farther into the game. I don’t want to post too many spoilers, as I want you to experience the wonders for yourself! Pick up Ark on steam here.

If you want to read more articles of mine, I do have a review up for At Home Alone here. In the meantime, follow me on twitter @Cronathecritic. Until next time, try not to get eaten by a T-Rex!

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Gary Smith

My name is Gary, and I love video games. I've been writing and gaming since I got my gameboy color as a boy. Ever since, I haven't been able to live without it. I'm an established playwright turned journalist, and I hope to entertain many for years to come!

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