Ark: Survival Evolved was the kind of game that always grabbed my attention in GamePass, but I never downloaded it. Seeing videos of people being captured, knocked out, and thrown into cages by other players made the game seem like a trolling nightmare. I finally decided I was willing to take the risk and I asked my boyfriend to download it too. Fortunately, we found we could make our own private game and we’ve been running around in it every night since. “Wanna go get some ROCKS!?” is a nightly question now and I am loving this chaotic game (even though I am completely clueless).
Ark: Survival Evolved begins with you washing up on a beach and you have nothing. We started running around in our underwear, picking up berries and stones, punching trees, and trying to figure out how the heck to build a fire. Things seemed okay. The dinosaurs ignored us (although there was a GIANT Spino on the beach that we stayed away from), we started a fire, and we built a little thatch house. After punching a couple of dinosaurs and making some crappy tools, my boyfriend thought we should try to attack a Triceratops. Sure… it’s level 4… maybe that’s okay? I mean, I wasn’t too confident since it is a MASSIVE TRICERATOPS, but why not? He swings and immediately gets annihilated. Another Triceratops gets aggro’d too. We run into our little thatch house only to have it completely eviscerated in seconds. We both die and that’s the end of that.
This game is kind of scary. When it is night, it is DARK and you cannot see anything! Loud screams from unknown animals will randomly occur. It is unsettling. The scariest moments are when you are in the raft in the middle of the ocean. It is PITCH BLACK. No matter what the terrain is, dinosaurs will come out of nowhere and mess you up. You’ll scout areas trying to determine if it’s safe and right when you let your guard down, BOOM, you’re unconscious and getting murdered by something you never saw. What’s fun though is you can chop up your dead body for meat?
You’ll also randomly defecate and it’s accompanied by a fart sound. I laugh a lot at it, but it happens so regularly, I actually don’t as often now. I do laugh though when you defecate in the middle of a serious moment or immediately after a stressful event. Your poop flying off the back of a boat as you speed away from danger is still hilarious. Even the dinosaurs poop!
Since we were pretty weak and had nothing, we decided we would get settled somewhere and make a little camp. Things were going well! Our house was made of wood and we collected a lot of materials. We had more tools! Maybe we should explore some more? Well, that didn’t end well either. Pretty quickly, we ran into some giant venomous snakes that knocked us out and killed us. The thing is, there is no aggro range and enemies don’t retreat back to where they come from. They will chase you FOREVER. They will stay on your body FOREVER. When you die, everything you had on you is left with your body. You have to go back and collect things if you want it back. Good luck fist-fighting a venomous snake in your underwear. Spoiler alert: we never got our stuff back and started over.
We ended up saving enough materials to build a raft. We found a nice quiet beach to build on nearby. There was an Iguanadon, but he was chill. The sun was starting to set, we were collecting wood… things were good. Until a pack of Troodon ran out of the trees and murdered us. That left the boat and our items stranded by a half-built base. I was NOT going to give up on getting my raft back. I swam my naked butt across the water, got attacked by piranhas, ran through the forest as soon as it was light enough, and emerged on the other side. I died. This did not deter me. I went back, grabbed my stuff, jumped on the boat, and started moving. The Troodon swam OUT INTO THE WATER AFTER ME!? I started shooting them with arrows and killed a couple. I’d keep moving the boat, take a couple of shots, and repeat until they were all dead. My boyfriend refused to go get his stuff. We have not been back to that camp since.
Taking the boat around, we’ve been seeing gigantic sharks and jellyfish, but nothing has messed with us (although sharks get terrifyingly close). I thought, oh… the raft is safe! Things might chase us out in the water, but we can just get away! Let’s go sail up a coast and check things out from the safety of our boat… Until 5 seconds into an expedition a GIANT SARCO AKA CROCODILE jumped on the boat, grabbed my boyfriend and death spun his ass into oblivion. I got away, went and picked him up at the beach, and we made a daring escape getting his stuff back. No more boat adventures.
I have no idea what I am doing and I am just trying to survive. I figured out how to tame a couple of dinosaurs. We had two Parasaurs, Mouse and Ye, and some random little Lystrosaurus named Lady. Mouse is mine. Ye WAS my boyfriend’s. We made the mistake of letting them wander around base and for some reason, Ye thought it was a good idea to go walk over to the Spino. The message of Ye being killed by a Spino splayed across our screen and I immediately found Mouse to turn off wandering. It took a while, but I found to turn it off, you have to make the dinosaur follow you first. Then you can adjust “wander” abilities. RIP Ye.
Since then, I’ve gone on a mission to get more dinosaurs. I have a new Parasaur and Lystrosaurus. I got a Dilophosaurus and I got a Pachy! I made sure the Dilo wouldn’t kill my other dinosaurs before I brought him home. His name is Blue. I feel like a Pokemon trainer. Also, I’m glad they both immediately pooped after I tamed Blue.
We’re at a point where we are a little trapped. I want to explore, but we are getting decked regularly. We thought we found a chill horse gorilla thing called a Chalico (I saw him wandering around other herbivores and nothing spooky happened). From a distance, he was cool. Getting too close, however, the dude turned territorial. He swung on my boyfriend and we took off running to the beach. The Chalico THREW ROCKS AT US AND SWAM AFTER US!? It was terrifying! We went back and shot him from our boat with crossbows until he died in the water chasing us all around. As much as context clues about interactions between animals/dinos may help, they aren’t the full-proof way to make judgement calls.
So, here’s my idea. We need to take out these big carnivores. My first target is the Spino near our first base. I’m going to make a bunch of traps. I’m going to make a bunch of tranquilizer arrows. I’m going to stand on top of a cliff and shoot down at the Spino that ate Ye. I am going to see if we can tame it. I also need to get my boyfriend to go along with this and it might be a disaster… but I’m ready to risk it all. I’ll report back when the mission goes down… maybe I’ll even see about taming it and bringing it to the OTHER SPINO at the OTHER beach and make them fight to the death? One thing at a time. But seriously, look at how this thing moves. It freaked me out when I was trying to get my new Parasaur, Red.
Have you played Ark: Survival Evolved? Am I a reckless noob or is this how things typically go? Let me know your thoughts!