ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition has been given a new release date after months of teasing. The revamped Switch version is seeing a release on November 1st, which is (checks watch), tomorrow. The release tomorrow comes after Grove Street delayed the release by a week, citing an "unforeseen and unprecedented environment situation" in the Pacific Northwest last week. The EU and other regions will be released afterward.
We've known about the revamped Switch port of ARK: Survival Evolved for a while now, as Grove Street Games has been putting in the work to improve the middling port that already exists on Nintendo's platform. While always a very demanding game, regardless of platform, the ARK port on Switch was, to put it bluntly, bad. However, Grove Street Games has done nothing short of technical wizardry.
The upcoming Ultimate Survivor Edition sees the Switch port brought to the newest version of Unreal Engine 4, complete with a boost to the visuals that sees the survival MMO looking pretty good. At PAX West earlier this year, we had the chance to see the port in action and it looked pretty great, reminding me of the visuals I used to get on my mid-tier PC when ARK was first released. In addition to the improved visuals, performance is also more stable. It's not going to reach the high framerates of the PC version, but it's a much more stable 30fps now, at least in my own playtesting of a build earlier last month.
The Switch port is also bringing (finally) the features that are missing compared to the other ports of the survival MMO, as well as getting the various expansion packs that were never released on the platform. ARK: Ultimate Survival Edition comes with the Scorched Earth expansion, with the Aberration, Extinction and Genesis expansions coming later.
We're excited to share news on the ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition update for Nintendo Switch!??Base Game Patch: Worldwide release on Nov 1st, 10 AM Eastern??Scorched Earth: NA release on Nov 1st at 10am, EU to release on Nov 8th??Dino Discovery: Worldwide release on Nov 9th pic.twitter.com/KkLKeFiLPu— ARK: Survival Evolved (@survivetheark) October 27, 2022
The upcoming Ultimate Survival Edition also brings with it cinematics to help tell ARK's story more fully, but most importantly it will be free for all those who already own the survival MMO on the Nintendo Switch. I for one can't wait to dive back in, hoping that it will surprise me again like it did when I first played years ago.