ARK: Survival Evolved’s Switch: I have been familiar with ARK for some time. My streaming buddies never played anything else, so I had to learn ARK so I could keep up with them. The Island was where we usually held our games due to its accessibility.
It was my responsibility to use the Parasaur to gather the supplies our Tribe Leader needed to construct the items he had envisioned. Before giving the Switch version a try for this review, I had already played Scorched Earth (and witnessed it being played).
I have spent much time in the ARK community. My streaming buddies never played anything else, so I had to learn ARK to keep up with them. The Island was where we usually held our games due of its accessibility.
Whenever our Tribe Leader had an idea for a new item, it was my responsibility to use the Parasaur to gather the raw ingredients. Before giving the Switch version a try for this review, I had already played Scorched Earth (and witnessed it being played).
I have experience with the Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Series X versions of ARK. I enjoyed online co-op play with my friend Regan, who was also playing the Switch version, and we both had a go at the single-player campaign. Where do you stand now? Alright, the Switch Version has its ups and downs, so strap in and join me for the trip.
Let me be really forthright and honest with you: the beginning of this process was challenging. Both the standard and the Ultimate Survivor Edition key codes were provided to us. There were no dinosaurs in the water when we dove in, and every once in a while, we’d suddenly begin drowning for no apparent reason.
Nighttime made it hard to get about in the game, and if we did happen to run into each other, we would have been dead within minutes due to circumstances beyond our control. To get in touch with the creators, Regan and I put in a total of roughly 10 hours of gameplay. As a side note, these problems only appeared on the public servers for multiplayer and not in the single-player mode.
The ARK developers arranged a meeting with me during which we detailed our team’s complaints about the game up to that point; to our surprise, they already had solutions to most of our problems. The ARK team was quite forthcoming about the effort they’ve put into the game to ensure that it’s enjoyable for everyone.
They were distraught to see others experiencing difficulties, but they were determined to solve the problem. Over the course of the next week, I received notices whenever the game was patched. First, on Friday, a patch was released to address issues with dehydration, and then, on Tuesday, a patch was released to address issues with dinosaurs disappearing from the world.
The two primary problems that prevented our crew from having fun were apparently not present on the test servers. When we learned that dinosaurs had returned, we wasted no time getting involved.
From here on out, unless it’s directly related to a patch that was implemented, I won’t be reviewing any gameplay that occurred prior to the release of the Dino Spawn update. The squad put forth a lot of effort and was open with me, and I believe it made a major difference in how I felt about the game.
When Star Wars Battlefront II came out, I felt the same way as a gamer. While the game had a rocky start, the development team eventually turned things around by being more open and collaborating with players to create a masterpiece.
I’m confident that if players and developers work together, ARK on the Switch will be a blast for anybody who wants to take it with them on the go for solo play or enjoy it at home in docked or portable multiplayer mode.
When you initially sign-in on the Switch, you’ll be given the option to play in either Single Player or Join ARK (online multiplayer). If this is your first time using ARK, I recommend playing a little of single-player to get used to the game’s mechanics. Without a trusted companion, the experience may be very daunting.
Upon beginning any mode, you’ll be presented with one of the most involved characters creation screens for the Nintendo Switch I’ve ever seen. Using the sliders takes a little practice, especially if you’re using the joy-cons, but the touch screen is functional in handheld mode, and that was a huge help when it came to creating a playable character.
We experimented with the dinosaur egg laying ground on The Island. A lush tropical region stocked with all the necessities for human survival on a prehistoric planet ruled by dinosaurs. My third Dodo, Melon, and I had great hopes for making it in this world, especially after losing Melon I and II to raptor attacks when we were young.
Problems arose while we labored to construct our house. In addition to the rule against constructing next to someone else’s home, the abundance of dilapidated shacks along the route prevented me from erecting anything. On the other hand, after I located a desirable piece of property, Melon III and I immediately set to work constructing our new house.
All the individuals we met were friendly (not usually the case, in my experience), and they either gave us space to work on our house or gave us a hand in taming animals or gathering supplies.
Someone was kind enough to provide me a saddle for my Parasaur when they realized I didn’t have the hide to make one me. These are the kinds of experiences that set ARK apart as a video game. It’s a fun way to spend time with friends while also challenging them to work together to live in a world overrun by dinosaurs.
Graphically, the team did a wonderful job making use of the Nintendo Switch’s capabilities. The game has been overhauled from the ground up since its first release, but visually it’s quite similar to the version I played on Xbox One. Although that may come off as slight, it is not intended as such. Since you’re using a portable console to play ARK, I think we should talk about how great it looks on the Xbox One.
Check out this fantastic side-by-side movie that Raasclark made comparing the Switch’s first release to the upgraded and better version.
We still have a few minor problems, but I believe they are readily solvable at this point. The main issue is that even the “easy spawn” places may be challenging at times. In the beginning, I died a lot because level 80 dinosaurs were destroying my butt and the butts of Melons I and II. (I have an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs, as you may have seen.) Another item I could alter is the ability to construct near a player’s home on the live servers after they have not been there for a set period of time.
About fifteen to twenty minutes of walking was required to locate a suitable building site for my needs. Though most people probably won’t even notice, I felt compelled to mention them because of how obvious they were to me.
Since I have nieces and nephews, let’s talk about a new feature in ARK that really got me thrilled. Dinosaur Discovery: ARK is a different game from the main ARK game that can be found in the Eshop, and it’s designed to let younger players enjoy ARK without worrying about being killed or assaulted.
Choose a persona from the roster of available personalities. For my adventure, I opted for the inflatable T-Rex costume and scampered all around The Island, interacting with the many prehistoric creatures who made up the game’s ensemble.
Every time you come across a new dinosaur, you’ll be able to listen to a fully narrated explanation of the dinosaur’s appearance, behavior, and other interesting information. The ARK Family Edition is a great way to get the whole family involved in the fun. The game may be played entirely with a single joy-con. I was thrilled to see the ARK Dinosaur Discovery included, and I hope it will be easy for players to track down in the Ultimate Survivor Edition. The Eshop is the place to get it.
The ARK Switch Edition shines brightest in single-player. You may construct anywhere you choose, there is no need to compete with other players for dinosaurs, and the game runs smoothly and reliably because it does not rely on any online services. While I was enjoying myself on The Island, Regan was busy with the Scorched Earth.
The one problem we encountered that hasn’t been fixed yet is that, very infrequently, when chasing a dinosaur while attempting to tame it (particularly early on, before tranq darts), a whole horde of opposing dinosaurs can suddenly pop in and start fighting you. Both on The Island and Scorched Earth, this has happened to Regan and me, although I did send a complaint to the devs about it and they were grateful for the heads up.
The whole ARK experience is still under development, but thanks to the efforts of the developers since its launch, it is getting more and more playable and entertaining. On the ARK Switch discord, the development team is being very open and honest with the gaming community.
Having experienced many a game with a shaky beginning, I can well comprehend the significance of it. Their crew is dedicated to releasing a playable Switch version of ARK. You may get your hands on The Island and Scorched Earth right now, while the rest of the maps will arrive over the following few years.
I’m looking forward to checking back in as time goes on to play through each map, but I’m even more thrilled for the many households with a Nintendo Switch that will be able to enjoy this game together.