ARK: Survival Evolved is one of the few survival games I can get behind. I think it’s because the game ditched the zombie thing, which let’s face it, is a bit overdone. Zombies have invaded pop culture to the point of over saturation being on TV, movies, books, games, and occasionally real life if you feel like visiting a state that has “legalized it”. ARK was right to go with dinosaurs, because it has been a smash hit. Screw pop culture! This brings me to ARK’s new mode, The Hunger Games (or Battle Royale, whichever you enjoy more).
Actually ARK calls it “Survival of the Fittest”, but you’re just going to call it Hunger Games. I got a chance to play this mode at PAX Prime and also a chance to talk to the devs about their upcoming plans for ARK, both of which were a lot of fun. Survival of the Fittest pits you against others in an attempt to outlive your enemies. You’ll start off in a waiting room before being teleported down to the world. Once on the world, the clock starts.
From here you can take your chances and try to run to a platform in the middle of the map to grab some supplies there (I don’t suggest it, and I’ll tell you why in a second), or you can head out into the wilderness and try to build up your own supplies. You could start up a clan and team up, but where’s the fun in that? Now I know what you’re thinking, “This is going to last FOREVER!” Nope. This game mode has a time limit. As the clock counts down, a wall that surrounds the map slowly moves in toward the middle, and should you get caught outside the wall for too long, you die. So you better get to gathering, crafting, and killing!
A lot of survival game fans will likely recognize this game mode by the name Battle Royale, a mod that has been incorporated into H1Z1 and DayZ. Similar to this, ARK is really hoping that this mode will add in some competitive spirit to the game and introduce a bit of the esports aspect. In fact, they’re actually holding a tournament with some big cash rewards for the new mode! Survival is the most ancient competition on Earth after all. Remember how I said not to go for supplies in the center? Well, that’s because my time with ARK’s Survival of the Fittest was cut short because I decided to see what I could gather. I died within 30 seconds. But those 30 seconds were RIVETING.
As for future plans for ARK, well, it’s more of the same, which is NOT a bad thing. Coming up are new biomes to explore, bigger maps, new dinosaurs, and… this is the biggie… a single player mode with story! Up to this point, the story of ARK has been really only alluded to. The single player mode will really delve into the lore of ARK and how all of this came about. How did you get stranded on an island with dinosaurs? Where did that thing in your arm come from? How does that poop button work? All the important questions will be answered in time my friends. In time…