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Ark: Survival Evolved Review

Posted: 21 months ago, last updated 5 days ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer, Jo Robertson and Ben Kendall.


This game offers hunting-and-harvesting gameplay in a primal setting. Although not as polished or streamlined as a game like Horizon Zero Dawn, this is a more ambitiously open world where you can choose your own way to survive. With crafting and building, like Minecraft but with realistic visuals, this is a game where you step into your own monster movie.

The game offers additional expansions to bring new maps, hazards and enemies:
  • Scorched Earth expansion pack
  • Aberration Aberration expansion pack
  • Extinction expansion pack
  • The Center map
  • Ragnarok map
  • Valguero map
  • Crystal Isles map

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Price: 33% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Survivetheark (@Survivetheark)


Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 8 players online. Multiplayer allows you to form tribes of members in a server. The max number of tribe mates varies from each server. There's a split-screen mode for two players on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 by creating a local server.

Cross-Play: You can play people on different systems: PC and Xbox One.


Ark: Survival Evolved usually costs £24.99 to £74.99. 

Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark: Survival Evolved Explorer's Edition

Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. This includes a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game. You can purchase Scorched Earth and Aberration expansions to add maps, creatures and hazards. The third expansion, Extinction, is available through a battle pass.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

This game was rated PEGI 16 for frequent scenes of moderate violence. Violence consists of you fabricating a variety of weapons from pointy sticks to rocket launchers and using them against enemy humans and dinosaurs. Physical responses vary from minor to realistic but blood is shown and bodies remain until they’ve been harvested for parts or decompose.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Skill Rating

12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content.

Account Rating

Account required for online play that has 13 years old as minimum age.


Instead of traditional difficulty levels, in the game you choose the difficulty by assigning it a number between 0.5 and 4 to fine-tune the challenge. The higher the difficulty, the higher level the wild animals will be, and will subsequently be harder to defeat. Additionally, the amount of loot you get in loot drops is decreased. For some of the fights, especially in higher difficulties, you'll need to be able to react fast to attacks and quickly launch a counterattack.

All of the in-game information is displayed as text, which is crucial to the understanding and setting up of the game. Most of it is quite small and cannot be adjusted. Additionally, it is overlaid over the gameplay, meaning on occasion it can be difficult to distinguish from the scenery. The same goes for the information displayed over interactive objects regarding how to use, pick up and its use.

You can use the map item to view the lay of the land, and also, if you enable it in the settings, to view your location. It can, however, be difficult to interpret the map, due to its style, which only clearly shows coastlines, rivers and hilly areas.

The game's visuals are generally bright during the day, with most of the game elements contrasting well. However, some animals can blend in with tree trunks or other parts of the environment. Furthermore, during nighttime, the game becomes very dark, meaning if you don't have a source of light it becomes very difficult to play. Some of the essential parts in the game, such as supply drops, rely heavily on colours that can be hard to distinguish for colourblind people and cannot be adjusted.

While you can remap buttons on the PC version, on consoles this is not an option.
Our Ark: Survival Evolved Accessibility Report documents 22 accessibility features:

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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