A couple of years ago, one of the strangest sequel announcements ever was made at The Game Awards – a sequel to Ark: Survival Evolved that starred Vin Diesel. We haven’t heard much about that project since its announcement and subsequent promise that it’s going to be released in 2023 (which seems very unlikely now), but at least we’ve got Ark: Survival Ascended to look forward to.
We’ve known about Ark: Survival Ascended for quite some time now but, despite it having just launched on PC, the trailer that just debuted at the Xbox Partner Preview showcase is the first time that we’ve seen gameplay. Not only did we get to see the first footage, but developer WildCard decided to shadow-drop the game on Steam right after the trailer was shown.
The trailer showed a bunch of sights that are sure to be familiar to players of Ark: Survival Evolved. Waking up on a beach with a strange diamond thing in your arm, shooting or befriending dinosaurs, and palling around with other survivors on the island. The major improvement shown here is that the graphics are a lot better than they’ve ever been, owing to the fact that, according to the Xbox Wire announcement, the game has been “remade from the ground up utilizing next-gen tech with support for cross-platform modding with Unreal Engine 5”.
Following the showcase, Studio Wildcard shared a post on the Xbox Wire about the remake, which detailed some of the biggest changes being made in Survival Ascended. The first two things the post mentions are cross-platform modding and some of the advancements made in the lighting engine, but the real meat of the remake for many will be the changes made to the gameplay.
According to the post, the user interface has seen a “huge overhaul” that has more functionality alongside being “punched up visually”. The third-person camera for players and creatures has also been upgraded, alongside a new “highly detailed” map system that lets you ping points of interest. Another big upgrade is that creature pathfinding has been beefed up, meaning they’ll no longer run into walls quite as much.
Finally, the post reveals that Ark: Survival Ascended will include all of the DLC and maps from the previous game in remade form, and will have its own content roadmap that includes 11 brand-new creatures and new story content.