When “Ark: Survival Evolved” took the leap out of early access to a finalised product, the reception was pretty mixed. Sure, my experience with the game was somewhat positive but it did lose its charm after a while. You see, I had walked with the dinosaurs, but there wasn’t much else left to do, other than well, knock someone’s house down and take a poop in it.
However, the DLC has arrived for ARK in the shape of “ARK: Aberration”, (for those unaware, Aberration meaning “a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically an unwelcome one.”). Which holds true due to the fact I was immediately killed by a beast I had never seen before, “that was no dinosaur” I proclaimed as this ugly-looking thing arose and bashed my caveman into orbit. This is a world of surreal oddities. As it’s a phantasy world which gives a fresh ness to it, because we’ve all seen T-Rex’s and other typical dinosaurs, how about dragons and little creatures that can sit on your shoulder!
Along with new beasties, there’s also new gear (you can craft such as ziplines, wingsuits, climbing gear and more). Furthermore, there are huge new areas to explore complete with their own dangers as well (whether it’s the radioactive sunlight or pure evil creatures known as the nameless which are pretty much one of the worse things to come across). So all of that adds a brand-new dimension to the game as the world now feels more alien than familiar, we knew what we were getting into before, but now things are different and albeit is way more dangerous.
What’s cool is that you can tame new creatures and some of them have some pretty cool abilities, while some will sit happily on your shoulder, other beasts have various uses. For example, there is a giant rat that you can tame, in which then could be equipped with a special saddle that lets you roll around at a pretty decent speed (before the wheel, there was a rolling rat).
The experience is always better with other players, since “Aberration” is new, many of its secrets are yet to be discovered, which is great as the base game has been played to death already. It gives new players a chance to grow with the game like those who played it in early access. Furthermore, ARK has also been well supported with countless updates since its release. Ark is constantly evolving, and it’s nice to see developer WildCard working hard on keeping the community alive and interested.
At the time of writing, the season pass is also in the sale at £24.99 (discounted from £36.99) which is well worth picking up, especially if you missed out on the Scorched Earth expansion as well. In terms of content, there are countless hours on offer, right into triple figures.
Admittedly, I’m not great at surviving in Ark. Nevertheless, I still managed to make a house and kill some dinos in the base game but Aberration is on another level, there were a few unforeseen deaths before I built my first hut, death by misadventure is a common occurrence. Nonetheless, “Aberration” is great fun, especially when exploring the huge map, coming across all kinds of creatures big and small.
So, all in all, those who are looking for a fantasy wonderland full of deadly monsters will feel right at home with “Aberration”. However, keep in mind that death lures around every corner, even more so on the PVP maps. Simply put, if you feel like the base game has become somewhat stagnant. Then you might want to consider picking up the “Aberration” expansion because there are all kinds of wonders on offer here, not to mention the many other extra additions the season pass brings!
+ There is a variety of new creatures to be found in “Aberration”
+ A huge new world to explore
+ Cool items to craft (wing suit anyone?)
– Not very forgiving
– The UI could always be better
– Some visual goofiness remains
Replay value: 4/5
With the release of the “Aberration” Expansion Pack “ARK: Survival Evolved” feels like a fresher experience and is far more engaging. The variety of creatures and huge area to explore makes for a compelling purchase. So if you own Ark, then you need this expansion in your life with no doubt.
Title: Ark Aberration (DLC)
Format: PS4, Xbox, PC (version played: PS4)
Genre: Survival MMO
Resolution: 1080p with 4K upscale.
Release date: 2017-12-12
Spent time: +2 hours
Average grade internationally: (No score for DLC) Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: Pegi 16
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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