Studio Wildcard unveiled today the single biggest update in its 14-month development cycle with the first ARK: Survival Evolved expansion pack entitled Scorched Earth. Available starting today on Steam Early Access and Xbox One Game Preview, Scorched Earth is an entirely new desert-themed ARK filled with new biomes, creatures, gameplay mechanics, and challenges that will push players’ survival skills to the limit.
Stranded naked, dehydrated and starving on a fiery, drought-ridden desert world, players must immediately seek water, hunt for food, harvest new flora, craft new items, and build shelter from the extreme heat. Players who survive the harsh arid conditions can travel back and forth from the Scorched Earth map to the ARK: Survival Evolved main game, taking with them newly collected tools, weapons, and their new tamed creatures to impress their friends and dazzle their combatants.
ARK: Scorched Earth is a completely finished, polished new expansion pack, which retails for $19.99 on Steam PC/Mac/Linux/SteamOS and Xbox One. To play Scorched Earth, players already must own ARK: Survival Evolved, on sale this week at 40% off the retail price for both Steam and Xbox One.
“All of us at Wildcard are tremendously excited to see how these new features alter the dynamics of the long-term ARK ‘metagame,’ while we’ve had Scorched Earth and future ARKs in the planning stages since the project’s inception, establishing its inter-ARK travel technology was the essential reason for making this content available to players right now. We encourage everyone to grab some trustworthy tribemates, don your safari hats, layer on the SPF-1000 sunscreen, and head into the great blazing desert!” – Studio Wildcard lead designer and co-founder, Jeremy Stieglitz.
ARK: Survival Evolved and its Scorched Earth Expansion Pack now include support for NVIDIA Ansel — a revolutionary new way to capture in-game shots. Compose a shot from any position, adjust with post-process filters, capture HDR images in high fidelity formats, and share the screenshots in 360 via a smartphone, PC or VR headset. Learn more about these features in the Ansel Technology page and the NVIDIA blog.
Scorched Earth Key Features:
- Where’s the Water?: Players must re-learn what it means to survive and thrive in a harsh desert environment depleted of water resources.
- Explore a New World: Scorched Earth is an entirely new map, composed of seven unique, desert themed biomes – dunes, high desert, mountains, canyons, badlands, oasis and the ever-dangerous dragon trench – each with their own aesthetics, resources and ecosystems, and littered with ruins, geysers, and intricate ancient cave systems.
- Craft More Than 50 New Items: Discover new outfits and structures to protect from the heat, and new tools to help survive in the harsh environment. Carry temporary shelter with you using tents, employ whips, boomerangs and flamethrowers for ‘defense,’ wind turbines to generate clean power, and water wells and oil refineries to harvest scarce resources, among many new mechanics!
- Tame New Creatures: The desert’s biomes are filled with fantastical new creatures, many of which can be tamed. Lead a caravan of the camel-like Morellatops, or rain fire down on your enemies from the back of a Wyvern. Just mind your step in the vast desert, or you might attract a Death Worm!
- Conquer New Challenges: Prepare yourself for dangerous electrical storms, blinding sand storms, befuddling heat stroke, and unleash the power of the Obelisks to come face-to-face with ARK’s deadliest boss creature to date – the ferocious Manticore!
- Travel Back to the Island: Take characters, favorite creatures and items from Scorched Earth back to the Island, standing out from the crowd and making your Island-dwelling friends jealous with all of the amazing new goodies and secrets you find in the Desert.
Xbox One Players Also Get Update v739…
Xbox One owners will also receive today a content-rich update which PC gamers received last month, as well as an HD resolution upgrade to fully support 720p gameplay with 1080p UI’s. The player-created Mod entitled ‘Primitive+’ is now an official part of ARK: Survival Evolved on Xbox One, which features more than 100 new items, weapons, structures, and survival mechanics oriented towards “primitive” style living — effectively doubling the amount of content within ARK! In addition, as part of the v739 update, Studio Wildcard also has brought to life two new creatures, the versatile Pelagornis and the pack-minded Allosaurus, along with a new Fishing Rod and fishing mechanic, and a flurry of additional gameplay features!
ARK Official Mods
Newly available as part of the ‘ARK Official Mods Program’ today on Xbox One, Primitive+ is a functionality mod playable on official ARK maps, challenging players to use weapons and tools only made of wood and stone, without the benefit of advanced metals to create weapons such as guns. It’s a whole new set of items and detailed mechanics focused on ‘primitive’ survival, which fits snugly in the world of ARK.
Two New Creatures
- Pelagornis (Species Pelagornis miocaenus): This creature is instantly recognizable from the more common Icthyornis by its size. With a wingspan rivaling Argentavis, it also possesses a beak filled with tooth-like projections for snagging fish and webbed feet for paddling upon the ocean surface. Because of its ability to fly, walk, and surface-swim, a tamed Pelagornis is one of the island’s most versatile mounts, though this comes at a cost. The same webbed feet that allow Pelagornis to serenely maneuver along the ocean’s surface prevent it from snatching prey from the ground, which may limit its appeal to some survivors.
- Allosaurus (Species Allosaurus therotribus): Smaller but faster than Tyrannosaurus, larger but slower than Carnotaurus, Allosaurus is the island’s resident pack-hunting theropod. While most aggressive theropods are relatively solitary creatures, Allosaurus lives in groups of three. One Allosaurus is the Pack Leader, while the others are its mates or a beta male. The Allosaurus has evolved to hunt in packs. Its saw-shaped teeth leave its prey bleeding and maimed, making escape difficult. Once an Allosaurus slows a creature with its cutting bite, the rest of its pack quickly close in for the kill…
Additional Update v739 Content Includes:
- New Item: Fishing Rod and Fishing Mechanic! Be a pro fisherman as you apply varied bait, cast the line, wait for a fish to become ensnared, and then succeed at a mini-game to reel the fish and claim copious rewards!
- New Structure: Industrial Grinder that grinds items into a portion of their crafting resources, then converts resources into simpler resources
- New Structure: Spiral Staircase (Stone/Wood/Metal)
- New Mechanic: Optional Hitmarkers for ranged attacks (server can toggle them, as well as client if the server allows it)
- Building Attack/Destruction TribeLogs
ARK: Survival Evolved is in development for Xbox One via the ID@Xbox program, PlayStation®4 with VR support, and Steam PC. The game is currently playable in Microsoft’s Game Preview on Xbox One and Steam’s Early Access program, which includes Oculus Rift VR support and an integration of Steam community features such as Steam Economy and Steam Workshop for custom maps and mods. Players can host private/LAN servers and have access to a custom-built version of the Unreal Engine 4 Editor for creating mods. The world of ARK is designed to be modder-friendly and ever-expanding!
About Studio Wildcard
Studio Wildcard was co-founded in 2014 by Jesse Rapczak, former Technical Art Director at Microsoft Game Studios, and industry veteran Jeremy Stieglitz with the mission of bringing AAA quality to ambitious indie productions that are designed for core gamers. With combined 25 years of industry experience across multiple independent and studio-backed titles, Jeremy and Jesse have teamed up with other veteran developers for Seattle, WA-based and Gainesville, FL-based development studios that also include distributed team members across multiple continents. Wherever talented, driven developers may reside, Studio Wildcard intends to seek out and work with them!
About Instinct Games
Instinct Games is Egypt’s leading game development studio. Started in 2011 by former Timeline Interactive co-founders, the Instinct Games team develops and produces video games on all major platforms utilizing its competent technical team. Its mission is to collaborate with world class partners to foster Egypt’s video game development ecosystem and set a precedent of high quality, low cost, entertaining indie games with worldwide appeal.