You ever wanted to hunt down dinosaurs with primitive weapons from a first-person view? Well, great news, because that's exactly what ARK: Survival Evolved is bringing to the PlayStation 4 along with PC and Xbox One. And guess what? It's Project Morpheus compatible.
Yes, you read that right, there's a game coming out that lets you track and kill dinosaurs from the first-person perspective, all with a Morpheus strapped to your head. I'm having a hard time finding the words to explain just how hyped I am for an experience like that.
Studio Wildcard founder and technical art director Jesse Rapczak recently dropped by the PlayStation Blog to discuss ARK: Survival Evolved, a game that basically takes all of my childhood fantasies and crams them into a VR headset.
Take a quick glance at several of ARK's screenshots and I wouldn't fault you for thinking you were looking at a scene from a Far Cry or Elder Scrolls game. What sets this title apart, though, is the fact that you'll be hunting dinosaurs on a mysterious tropical island.
“We're shooting for the moon with this one, a fully persistent game world, tens of thousands of AI entities, totally destructible foilage and environment, and multiplayer on a huge scale,” Rapczak said. “And yeah, we've got dinosaurs. Dinosaurs that you can ride!”
Rapczak goes on to explain that the 60 species available at launch won't just be standing around, waiting to get stabbed, either. They're designed with a predator/prey ecosystem in mind and, yes, your tiny, delicious human avatar will fall into that hierarchy as well. Honestly, in black and white, this sounds like a blast to me.
I've only had the opportunity to play a couple of VR games so far, including EVE: Valkyrie and War Thunder at E3 2014. Following those two demos, though, I became an absolute believer in the technology. All I want to do now is fly around in space or tucked in the cockpit of a WWII war bird and shoot things. I have the ability to do that in games right now, of course, but there's something utterly new and wonderful about tackling those exact same experiences in a way that makes you feel like you've literally stepped into the video game.
In other words, and not to give Studio Wildcard a free pass here, but ARK is going to have to work very, very hard not to win me over. As a regular video game, Survival Evolved seems nifty enough. But once you throw in the ability to look around what appears to be a rather lovely 3D world in real time, I could occupy myself for hours on end with the most basic of actual “gameplay” features. If they manage to make the dino hunting fun, I can see myself disappearing for days into a game like this.