ARK: Survival Evolved is currently free on Steam, the perfect promotion for those who saw Studio Wildcard’s new ARK 2 trailer with Vin Diesel today but haven’t yet familiarized themselves with the original dinosaur-themed adventure that challenges players to hunt, harvest, craft tools, grow crops, build shelters, and more to survive on a mysterious prehistoric island. Steam users have until June 19 at 10 a.m. PDT to claim the open-world survival title, which released many years ago in 2017 but has continued to receive extensive support and new content, including ARK: Fjordur, a free piece of Norse-inspired DLC that was made available today. ARK 2, the sequel that centers on Diesel’s Santiago character and daughter Meeka, played by Auli’i Cravalho, is planned for release in 2023. Studio Wildcard confirmed in a new article written for the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase today that the game will be playable in third-person only, unlike the original.
Taking inspiration from game systems like Assassin’s Creed’s automatic parkour and Breath of the Wild’s climbing, player characters can now clamber over the environment in a more realistic and freeform manner. With a focus on primitive-era combat (Santiago and Tek have a complicated relationship…), Ark 2 draws heavily from Souls-like action for its human-scale combat: an emphasis on dodges, blocks, light and heavy attacks, combos, and player-reflex skill — a rarity for the PvP survival genre.