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Three years after it released in Steam Early Access, and one year after it launched for real, Ark: Survival Evolved's third and final DLC expansion, Extinction, arrives today on PC. It comes to PS4 and Xbox One on November 11th.
Extinction follows on from Ark's previous paid expansions, Scorched Earth and Aberration, and introduces a brand-new map, a new selection of mechanics, and new tameable critters.
For this, its final offering, developer Studio Wildcard has once again opted to go hard on the sci-fi, foregoing Ark's earlier, more natural environments for a brooding sprawl of dereliction. Extinction's map transports players to a ravaged Earth, which, for those invested in the series' lore, "holds both the secrets of the past and the keys to its salvation". Alongside its ample wasteland, Extinction includes the remains of a sprawling metropolis, waiting to be explored.
Valve has stepped up its anti-cheat measures and issued almost 95,000 bans in the last week alone.
In July 2017, we reported that on 6th July Valve banned over 40K Steam accounts for cheating, making it the single largest banhammer the company had ever deployed.
Emphasis on "had", though.
Streaming video games is big business for some. Tyler "Ninja" Blevins reportedly makes $500,000 a month playing Fortnite on Twitch. But for the vast majority of streamers, barely anyone's watching, and precious few are paying. For the vast majority, streaming is a hobby. For others, it's the hope of something bigger - a bigger audience, perhaps, more views, more comments and, of course, more money.
So, what's it like being a low-level streamer hoping to hit the big time? How does committing to at least trying to make something out of streaming affect your life, your relationships, your day to day? For 29 year-old Admiral Peach, an Ark fan whose streams get around 20-something concurrent viewers, it's a juggling act. She streamed for 93 hours in the 30 days up to mid July 2018, but she also has a part-time job and a relationship. There's a lot going on. This is her story.
You might expect a streamer to have played games their whole life. This isn't the case for Admiral Peach. Though she's now based in Oxfordshire, she's made a few moves over the years, from her birthplace in India, to County Westmeath in Ireland when she was seven. Like many of us, she developed her love of gaming while growing up, but it wasn't from an early age. She remembers looking on enviously for years as her friends got consoles. Eventually, she managed to convince her parents to buy a PlayStation One and the fire was lit.
Update, 27/3/18: Ark: Survival Evolved's intriguing Minecraft-like spin-off PixArk is now available in Steam Early Access and on Xbox Game Preview.
PixArk aims to offer a dinosaur-themed survival experience similar proper Ark, albeit in a more cheerful, accessible package. Its initial early access release includes crafting and base building, character progression and customisation, procedurally generated worlds and questing, eight biomes, over 100 creatures to tame and ride, a Creative Mode, plus single-player and online multiplayer modes.
Developer Snail Games notes that while multiplayer is currently live on Steam, it will launch on Xbox Games Preview in approximately two weeks. Additionally, it says that the final game will include "a great deal more content" compared to the initial early access release, and that the studio will share its development roadmap as work continues.
With Aberration, Ark: Survival Evolved's third expansion, now released, developer Wildcard is turning its attention back to the core game, and addressing some of its longest-standing issues. As part of that effort, it's unveiled more details on its long-promised TLC update, designed to beautify, and improve, some of Ark's oldest, and weirdest looking animals.
The aim of the multi-part process is, essentially, to add relevance to some of the game's earliest creatures, whose basic functionality has long been superseded by newer, more exciting additions. As a happy bonus, Wildcard is also taking the opportunity to update some of the Ark's older, more rudimentary creature model.
Four such creatures will be getting a TLC overhaul as part of Ark's Phase 1 update, which is expected to arrive in the week of February 18th: the Direbear, Procoptodon, Gigantopithecus, Direwolf, and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Wildcard has also shared a few details on Phase 2, which will seek to improve the Argentavis, and Spinosaur among others. Look!
PixArk, an official Minecraft-inspired Ark: Survival Evolved spin-off, is heading to Steam Early Access and Xbox Games Preview this March, developer Snail Games has announced.
PixArk was unveiled late last year and is the result of a licensing deal with original Ark developer Studio Wildcard. It's an open-world sandbox game that takes the core elements of the main Ark series - survival, dinosaur taming, crafting, base building, and co-operative tribe living - and re-assembles them as a more casual, Minecraft-esque experience.
According to its Steam Early Access page, PixArk will feature a robust character creator and progression system (complete with skill trees and customisable stats), a voxel block building system, procedurally generated quests, an "infinite number" of voxel based maps featuring deserts, jungles, caves, and more, plus 100 voxel-ized Ark creatures to tame, train, and ride.
Ark: Survival Evolved has finally arrived on the Windows 10 store and as an Xbox Play Anywhere title, so if you bought the game digitally on Xbox One, you also already own it on Windows 10. Two versions for the price of one, basically.
Being Xbox Play Anywhere also means paraphernalia such as saved games, add-on content and achievements go with you as you hop between versions. Also the two multiplayer communities - Windows 10 and Xbox One - can play together.
Ark recently launched an Aberration expansion pack which, among many other things, has an enemy that can impregnate you! But if that's not your cup of tea, the new underground biome has plenty more treats in store, including loads of new beasties, equipment and adventures.
A second expansion pack for Ark: Survival Evolved has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It's called Aberration and it is, as the title suggests, unusual.
Aberration is the name of a malfunctioning Ark with an underground biome. There's radioactive sunlight, earthquakes, ziplines, wingsuits, climbing gear and weird creatures. There are spooky humanoids called Nameless, and Reapers who impregnate enemies to spawn offspring. Apparently if you let the Reaper Queen impregnate you, you spawn a Reaper you can tame and control.
It won't be the only new beast you can tame. You can climb and fly on the back of a camouflaged Rock Drake chamaeleon thing; you can stamp around with a giant Cave Crustacean, which is probably an overgrown crab; and you can light the way with a Lantern Pet.
Studio Wildcard has announced that Ark: Survival Evolved's next full-scale, paid-for expansion Aberration will release on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on December 12th.
Aberration, which was originally slated to release in October, is the second paid-for expansion to come to Ark, following last year's desert-themed Scorched Earth.
Its main feature is a new, horror-tinged map, set on an inhospitable, malfunctioning Ark - which, for those not in the know, are basically [MILD SPOILER] giant, floating space zoos run by some very naughty aliens [/MILD SPOILER].
Ark developer Studio Wildcard has detailed the Xbox One X enhancements coming to its dinosaur survival-adventure game.
Provided as a free update to Xbox players, Ark on the Xbox One X features true sky dynamics, greater draw distance, HDR vivid colour, and faster loading times.
This is the full list of enhancements the Xbox One X provides: