Ark 2’s announcement surprised us all at The Game Awards in 2020, but where is it currently in the development process?
The last thing that I expected was for Ark to become the next big thing, especially with top talent like Vin Diesel jumping on board. We still don’t know a whole lot about Ark 2, but we know more than most games that don’t even have a release window yet. At first, I didn’t think there was going to be a real story. Then I dived into the DLC cutscenes of the previous title and discovered Vin Diesel does appear at the very end. I think we’re in for a wild ride for Ark 2.
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Now, here’s everything we know about Ark 2.
Ark 2 release date
Unfortunately, Ark 2 doesn’t have a definitive release date just yet. However, we do know that it’s coming sometime in 2023, so you don’t have to wait too long. In the first trailer, revealed at The Game Awards show in 2020, we learned that Ark 2 would be an Xbox Series X|S console launch exclusive.
Of course, you’ll see it launch on PC, whether it's through the Xbox app, Steam or the Epic Games Store. According to a reported rumor, Ark 2 may be a timed Xbox exclusive but will eventually arrive on PlayStation and the Nintendo Switch.
Ark 2 story
Those who’ve put a crap ton of hours into Ark: Survival Evolved know that it takes a lot of work to find what the hell is going on in the story. It’s not a conventional narrative by any means, and there’s a lot of work to be done to hit those in-game cutscenes. But Ark 2 seems like it might be taking a more user-friendly approach. With the latest trailer of Ark 2, we got a glimpse of a very familiar face: Vin Diesel, who will play the hero character Santiago.
It’s unclear if there’s an overarching story to be had in Ark 2. It could be that Vin Diesel plays an NPC in the open-world, or he might be a playable character. In the first game, you simply create a goofy-looking player-character. Regardless of the narrative, it looks like there are antagonistic humanoids in the game that look like monsters, which wasn’t the case in the first game, at least not when I played it.
If Ark 2 is going to stand out from its predecessor and establish itself as a AAA title, a fully fleshed out narrative with one of the most popular Hollywood actors would certainly do the trick. It’s definitely not the move I was expecting from the small dinosaur game that launched in early access on Xbox back in 2017.
At the very end of Ark: Survival Evolved, we see Vin Diesel's character leaving his pod and landing on a new world, which is presumably where Ark 2 takes place, but that’s all we know so far.
Ark 2 gameplay
Ark has gotten pretty wild since I last played it, with the introduction to aliens, more robot dinosaurs, dragons, space combat, and David Tennant.
It’s unclear what Ark 2 has in store for us, but the trailer made it look rather tame in comparison to the first game. However, the first title started out in a similar fashion, so it’s entirely possible that Ark 2 is hitting the reset button and starting fresh before letting players have full-blown mecha-battles with monsters.
I just hope that Ark 2 chills out with some of the in-game timers. I was traumatized when I came back from a three-day break to find out that all of my dinosaurs had died of starvation after I spent so many hours capturing them.
However, Ark has taken on a completely different tone when I played it, so more than likely the new tone established in the beginning of Ark 2 will vastly deviate from the original. Ideally, there will be a more streamlined introduction to more advanced technology. But we won’t know for sure until the next trailer drops.
We do know that Ark 2 will be powered by Unreal Engine 5.
Ark 2 PC requirements
We don’t know much about Ark 2, let alone what it’ll take to actually run the game, but if Ark: Survival Evolved is any indication, you’ll need a beastly PC to run it at a respectable frame rate.
In Ark: Survival Evolved, the minimum specs required only an Intel Core i5-2400 or AMD FX-8320 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 670 2GB or AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB GPU. But any Ark player can tell you that there’s no way those specs can maintain the chaos that is Ark: Survival Evolved.
There are plenty of videos of people online hitting 60 fps on high settings at 1080p with 10-series GPUs for Ark: Survival Evolved. If I had to guess, I imagine that RTX 20-series CPUs will be necessary to efficiently run Ark 2. But you'll find that even cheap gaming laptops will work for that, boasting 30-series GPUs.
It’s still wild to me that Ark 2 is coming out and Vin Diesel is involved. Obviously, there’s a lot of aspects that are unclear about the game, including the actor’s role and how the gameplay will look. But it seems like the reception of fans is pretty positive so far. I’m excited to see where this sci-fi ride takes us.