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Something different! To demonstrate that I'm not a one-trick pony, I've decided to start posting game and film reviews on my website too. Two things I love as much as books. My first one is to review ARK: Survival Evolved. Let's get to it...

Ark: Survival Evolved is an Action/Adventure survival game that was released on 29th August 2017 for a variety of platforms (PS4/Xbox One/MS Windows/OS X/Linux). This review is for the PS4 version…

…but don’t run away yet!

The game is only marginally different on alternative platforms, so you can still form an opinion using mine. Right, so you’re sticking around? Wonderful, let’s move on.

From the folks over at Studio Wildcard, the makers of Ark took a lot of their inspiration from Jurassic Park, hence why the gameplay is centred around living with and training dinosaurs (yes, you CAN ride a T-Rex. Cool, right?) The game can be played both online and offline, even allowing you to host your own map and invite all of your friends. This means you don’t have to venture out onto the big, bad internet against strange, unknown players. It’s a spooky place.

But is it?

Actually, the online version is great fun. If you’re not an experienced player, they offer PVE maps (Players versus Everything), which means that it is just you against the wild. This doesn’t mean you can’t join forces with other players though, as this is a very popular option. It’s where most of my most amazing experiences playing this game have come from, the cooperative opportunities. However, if you are a hardened gamer, used to battling against the dark forces that frequent PVP (Player versus Player) then this is still a lot of fun for you too. You will be very frustrated on times though as I found out, when I had to construct the same building time and time again because my ‘next door neighbour’ that shared the same mountain top as me, had a habit of smashing everything of mine without remorse. Like I said, it takes a certain type of brave to venture into PVP maps.

Now onto the Single Player mode…

If you like to build things, then this game is for you. If you like to train things, then this game is for you. If you like to kill things (on games, sicko!) then this game is for you. Ark is great fun, whether you’re roasting your first dodo during a beautiful sunset on a golden beach, scaling up a mountain to mine crystal or furiously shooting a Triceratops in the face with a tranquiliser, there is so much for you to spend upwards of 60 hours a week on.

Now, there are some negatives; the loading times are sluggish and make you want to pull your teeth out, the annoying sound loop on the main menu is great at the beginning (it sounds strangely like The Hunger Games) but soon gets repetitive and soul destroying and the dinosaurs frequently do ridiculously annoying things, which usually end up with you plummeting to your death.

But. And this is a BIG BUT…

Ark: Survival Evolved is wickedly addictive and you will find yourself playing into the early hours without realising. So go watch the trailer here and make your own mind up.

We give it 4 out of 5 GRINS!

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