This article was written by a Guest Author for the site, Dale, who you can find on Twitch as Cosmic Saboteur.
Ark: Survival of the Fittest is a Battle Royale spin-off of ARK: Survival Evolved by Studio Wildcard; in which you have to collect materials, craft weapons and tame dinosaurs in order to eliminate the other players to be the last tribe standing.
Unlike other Battle Royale games, instead of dropping from a vehicle in the sky, you are lowered down to the centre of the arena. Here you can eye up your opponent’s before deciding whether you want to bomb burst out into the wilderness to collect materials and craft weapons or stay and fight your opponents for that precious centre loot and early kill. It has an almost hunger games like feel to it as canons fire to announce the elimination of players, followed by their face appearing around the dome. For the majority of the game, you will be either crafting or taming as quickly as possible before being forced back towards the centre for a fight to the death. You will have to keep your wits about you though as you may be being hunted from a player looking for an easy kill against some unsuspecting prey.
Did I also mention that the game may drop a T-Rex on your head!? Yes, the game also has events which trigger at random. These range from ‘acid rain’ to ‘carnivore drops’ so you better make sure you have weapons and armour to hand! This is where SOTF comes into its own, as well as being a highly competitive PVP, the PVE element will keep you engaged throughout the match and away from the typical loot, fight, die, repeat cycle which is the general dynamic for other Battle Royales.
Sound too good to be true? Unfortunately, that is the case with Survival of the Fittest. Despite the game releasing in 2016 with a healthy player base and hosting massive tournaments with cash prizes, it has since diminished as the gaming market has become saturated with other battle royale games. As the developers’ primary focus has been on the main game Ark: Survival Evolved, the quest to keep SOTF alive has fallen to the small but dedicated player community who continue to enjoy the game; but have to spend longer than necessary to fill lobbies and even find servers. This community spirit shows the determination of the players and their spirit as they battle to keep the game alive.
The game normally retails at £44.99 BUT is currently on sale for £9 until the 24th of April which is a lot of game for your buck! With some more love and attention from the developers I could see this game coming back and if done well would make a highly entertaining E-Sport. So with it on sale I’d recommend checking it out. If the player numbers were to rise, that might encourage Studio Wildcard to support it more fully.Ultimately for the game to progress it needs a better matchmaking service, with more servers to ensure players aren’t waiting as long between games. It could also benefit from a progression system which could be implemented in the way of season passes, challenges, experience levels or an in-game currency which could be used to purchase in-game cosmetics and emotes;as we have seen work successfully for so many other game titles. Releasing Survival of the Fittest using a Free to Play model could also help drive sales for Ark: Survival Evolved with players using it as a demo for the main game. What are your opinions? Do we have to give up on the dream of having a thriving community once more? Have I been too critical of the game developers or does the community have to do more to bring this game back to greatness?
If you’re looking to test your skills and ride a T-Rex into battle then I will see you in the Arena. You can keep up to date with clips, videos and live streams by visiting me at twitch.tv/Cosmicsaboteur.