|a game by
|Snail Games USA, Inc.
|8/10, based on 1 review
|7.3/10 - 3 votes
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|Sandbox Games, Open World Games, Prehistoric Games, Ark Series, Park Simulator Games
It seems these days like all the big sandbox games want a piece of the VR pie. And who can blame them? It’s like a match made in heaven. Open-world environments where everything is possible viewed from the lens of virtual reality is what we’ve always dreamed of. ARK Park aims to bring us ever closer that vision of VR open-worlds by taking an already popular concept and making it work with current immersive technology limitations.
Join us on an epic journey through what we know about ARK Park.
ARK: Survival Evolved is the legendary game that gave everyone a chance to shoot dinosaurs in the face. ARK Park is the spin-off that lets us do it in full VR glory.
Just like its Jurassic Park-inspired big brother, this virtual reality experience plops you down into a world filled with ancient giant lizards of all shapes and sizes. Not only can you fight them but just like in Survival Evolved, you can tame and ride them as well. Hitching a piggyback ride from a triceratops never felt better than through the immersive VR lens.
Virtual reality isn’t quite where cyberpunk movies want it to be. As with most technologies still in their infancy, VR has its limitations and ARK Park is able to overcome them in a way that brings it closer to the original game. It accomplishes this by segmenting its core loops into three distinct activities. When you’re out exploring and gathering, you’re basically wandering around a non-combat area. Combat sequences play out like tower defence games where dinos come in ever larger and mightier waves. While this may sound like a heavy compromise, keep in mind that you still get to interact with dinosaurs in VR. That makes it all worth the while.
One of VR’s biggest sticky points, especially on PlayStation VR, is its controls. Thankfully, ARK Park affords us several options when it comes to both choosing our controller and tweaking our control scheme. You can play ARK Park with either a set of VR controllers, such as the PS4’s Move, or with a standard controller like a gamepad or keyboard and mouse.
Using VR motion controls has a few interesting options including the ability to simply aim and click a button in order to pick items up. This is big for people who have limited play areas, like desks, where reaching out and bending isn’t convenient.
The Bottom Line
ARK Park tries to bring the Survival Evolved formula to the immersion scene and achieves its main core aim: to get people to pet dinos in VR. Everything else, especially the combat sequences, quickly becomes boring after a while.
For newcomers to the ARK world, it’s a decent entry point as the story mode does a good job of explaining what’s going on.
- The immersive Jurassic Park-style experience we always wanted.
- Some clever compromises to fit the main game’s core game loops into a VR context.
- Good graphical fidelity even on the more limited PSVR.
- Combat sequences are repetitive and boring, even with all the weapon crafting at your disposal.
- The game’s activities make it feel awkwardly segmented and janky.