Working in collaboration with Wildcard Studios and their popular game Ark: Survival Evolved, Snail Games brings Ark Park via virtual Reality. It’s time to get up close and personal with all your favourite dinosaurs in a Jurassic Park-like environment.
I’ve loved dinosaurs for as long as I can remember, and I thought dino games couldn’t get any better than Ark: Survival Evolved. That was until I first heard about Ark Park. Utilising all the assets from the other game and putting them into a living museum situation is nothing but a dream come true for me.
The game starts at an offshore location where you get to ride a train to the island and disembark to the visitor centre where you can learn facts about each of the dinosaurs like never before. Stepping out of the visitor centre you enter the park where you can hatch your very own Triceratops and take it for a ride while taking snap shots of other dinosaurs in the local area. This is a nice way to introduce you to the game and get you familiar with some controls and what objects to look for that can be interacted with.
You can visit other locations where you can harvest materials to manufacture tools and scan dinosaurs in their natural environments which will unlock more tools to create. There are multiple locations each unique in visual appearance and the species therein. Your safety is not jeopardised in these locations which means you can take as long as you like to fully appreciate each area.
If you prefer to get into some fast-paced action, you can go to battle locations. Here, you equip your weapons and need to defend a location from the attacking dinosaurs. This game mode is similar to other single-location shooters in the VR range and can be a lot of fun. This mode also offers a number of locations, each with their unique objectives for you to accomplish. The more difficult the level, the more weapons you will need.
If you are observant enough, you may even find random eggs located around the park of which you can also hatch and start growing your own little family of dinosaurs along with your Trike.
What I love about this game is that it is fairly simplistic and yet sometimes challenging. There is quite a lot of work involved to finally craft your automatic gun turret for example, but it is still family friendly, so it can be enjoyed by a younger player base as well.
There is also a multiplayer element to the game, but I unfortunately do not know anyone else with a VR unit.
Audio & Visuals
As mentioned earlier, the majority of the assets have been acquired from Ark: Survival Evolved and a lot of those have recently had whole new models and textures so that is a big plus for Ark Park. The environments and dinosaurs look great. I was very impressed with the visitor centre and the museum features. I’m sure some people could learn things from the information there. There are some small amounts of screen tearing that I noticed but nothing to greatly affect the user experience. The biggest issue I experienced was the sound cutting in and out at times. I am running this on a very high-end PC, so it was not related to poor system performance. Other than that, the audio and soundtrack were quite impressive.
I love the fact that I can now interact with CG dinosaurs in Virtual Reality. Ark Park is fairly simplistic, with only a handful of areas you can visit but it offers enough to give you a good experience and things to do. It would also be great for a younger audience as long as they don’t get scared easily.
Thank you to Snail Games for providing a copy of Ark Park for review purposes.