Do whatever it takes to survive on an island teeming with dinosaurs.
PC Release: Early Access (development ongoing)
By Ian Coppock
ARK: Survival Evolved is one of the biggest things happening on Steam right now. A giant online survival world where people team up against dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and all types of other creatures? It sounds like the progeny of Michael Bay and Steven Speilberg and holy shit, just too good to be true!
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!
According to the Steam store page, ARK: Survival Evolved is an open-world survival game. Players get stranded on a big island and must grow crops, hunt for food and avoid being eaten by the island’s prehistoric denizens. I’m told that the game is packed with dozens of dinosaur species and huge worlds to explore. Since this is an online game, players are best off (in theory) teaming up into tribes, both to combat the island’s savage wildlife and to stave off getting killed by other tribes.
According to the screenshots I saw, ARK looks like the big, beautiful adolescent adventure fantasy we all want it to be. The environmental effects are stunning, the body movements are amazing, and the graphics are absolutely stupendous!
“Wait a minute,” I hear you thinking, “According to? I’m told that? Ian, did you actually play this game or are you just trying to bedazzle me with the game’s own marketing material?”
The answer is B, I’m trying to bedazzle you with ARK‘s own marketing material. The truth is, I haven’t actually played ARK: Survival Evolved, and I will tell you why.
About a month ago, I was looking into buying this game because yeah, it looks fun. However, reports that Chinese hackers have corrupted the game and are commandeering entire servers gave me pause from doing so. So, as most reasonably intelligent people would, I decided to pose some questions directly to ARK: Survival Evolve‘s community and Steam moderators. Should I buy this game? Are the reports true?
This was the response I got from ARK: Survival Evolved‘s official Steam page:
Yup. I asked if ARK was being taken over by Chinese hackers, and the game developer called me a racist and banned me from the forums. This image is not altered or photoshopped in any way; this is the actual visual record of my conversation on ARK‘s page.
Pardon my French, but…
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT.
Are you for real, Studio Wildcard? I ask an honest question about your early access game, and this is how you treat a potential customer? By banning me for a nonsensical reason and turning me away?
This is a fine example of Steam’s moderator system being abused. I sought some sort of recourse, but the only way I can address a grievance with a video game forum is by complaining to that forum directly. Somehow, I don’t think that the people who banned me will take punitive measures against themselves.
I would hope that not all of Studio Wildcard is behind this type of behavior. For the people in Studio Wildcard who DO condone censorship and treating new customers like garbage, I have this message for you:
I don’t anticipate buying and reviewing ARK: Survival Evolved anytime soon.
Thank you for reading! My next review will be posted in a few days. You can follow Art as Games on Twitter @IanLayneCoppock, or friend me at username Art as Games on Steam. Feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a game that you’d like to see reviewed, though bear in mind that I only review PC games.