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An FPS during the Dinosaur age; ARK: Survival Evolved comes to Steam Early Access in June

An open-world dinosaur survival game is soon coming to major platforms. ARK: Survival Evolved gives players an MMO first person shooter in a natural Jurassic environment with lush forests and dark, murky caves.

Players can work together to survive through hunting, harvesting, growing crops, and/or building shelter to fend off the deadly creatures. ARK’s stand-out feature is the ability to tame and ride dinosaurs to benefit the small civilization you and the hundreds of other players can work to create.

Though the multiplayer experience certainly won’t be benign between players. The survivors can also turn and form groups against each other adding an element of survival beyond avoiding the dinosaurs.

Craft weapons and take advantage of guns to survive.
Craft weapons and take advantage of guns to survive.

ARK will begin to first roll out on Steam Early Access June 2. The game comes during a time where there’s a notable lack of Dinosaur based games on the market relative to the general popularity of the subject.

The most memorable and successful run with the series came from Turok — a game that released nearly two decades ago on the N64. The only contemporary game to gain significant traction is Primal Carnage when it released on Steam in 2012.

No retail price has been confirmed for ARK as of yet, but the developers at Studio Wildcard promise to give “200%” to the project with future plans involving expanding to the Xbox One and the PS4.

“The next 3.5 weeks to Early Access release will continue to be tireless development for us, but we’re also going to be here reading what you have to say, letting you know what’s going on with our side of the project, and polishing every single system we possibly can to make sure when this hits Early Access, it’s already everything that we’ve described on our Steam page.” – Studio Wildcard (Steam Community Announcement)

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New MMO, Crowfall, releasing soon | “A game where decisions matter”

Coming from the minds of some very experienced developers and gamers, Crowfall, a new upcoming MMO has been unveiled.

The creative director of Shadowbane, J. Todd Coleman, and the executive producer of Ultima Online and Star Wars: the Old Republic, Gordon Walton, are breaking off from these popular projects in order to focus on creating their own unique game along with the support of various others that have experience with “practically every MMO that you’ve ever played and loved.”

Together they have formed Artcraft Entertainment Inc. and look to forge their own path with Crowfall. “Something deeper than a virtual amusement park. More impactful than a virtual sandbox. More immersive. More real. A game where decisions matter.”

Not much is known as of yet, but over the next two months the devs will be dropping hints and teasers of what their finished product will actually be.

Check out for Artcraft’s weekly updates.

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Complexity will make or break Frontier Development’s ‘Elite: Dangerous’

Elite Dangerous, a PC exclusive mmo title, is releasing their standard beta later this week.
Elite Dangerous, a PC exclusive MMO title, lets players utilize flight sticks to maneuver your ship.

Expansive worlds and open exploration are as popular as ever, and Frontier Development’s Elite: Dangerous takes it to the next level with over 400 billion star systems for players to explore in a massive-multiplayer online world.

Taking place over 1000 years in the future, Elite: Dangerous brings a period of rapid growth for humanity as well as a cold-war on the brink of igniting galactic destruction and it throws you right in the middle of it all.

With an array of weapon choices, ship enhancements, and gameplay styles, Frontier Development will be giving players a vast amount of choices and their variety of gameplay approaches is exciting. There is a clear emphasis from Frontier Development to immerse their players as much as they possibly can in the game.

“Some may call you a friend, a pirate, a bounty-hunter, a smuggler, an assassin, a mercenary, but you are the pilot of your own starship, and that is what matters.”

A co-operative multiplayer experience is at the forefront of the game as it encourages players to team up for missions and for players to join sides within the cold war between the Federation and the Empire.

The MMO’s greatest concern may be how much depth the world has. The space travel looks incredible but the game outside of that has yet to be extensively detailed. Frontier has stated that they will implement on-foot exploration soon after launch, but the ambition may be too great for it to execute at a high-quality level. Their balance between exciting gameplay and immersion will need to be precise.

The gameplay is clearly complex from its core out. Even a seemingly menial task in other games can be a very in-depth experience in Elite: Dangerous.

To dock in-game you must not only precisely maneuver your ship to and within a docking-station, but also release your landing gear manually, and proceed to correctly center your ship over the landing platform. Frontier clearly tries to get players as invested in the game world as best they can with their gameplay style.

It’s up for debate whether the in-depth features will be enjoyable additions to the game at the final release. Regardless, Elite: Dangerous’ intricacy and comprehensiveness certainly make it stand out among the rest, but those focus points may end up being its downfall when expanding their community. It will be interesting to see how the average gamer reacts to the style that Frontier is after and if their balance of complexity and player engagement is well-received on a grand scale.

A good in-game introduction will be certainly needed to help players understand the game and immediately jump straight into the immersive experience. Along with a solid community to support new players, Elite: Dangerous could flourish if executed well.

Get an early look at the MMO July 29th as Frontier Development will be giving beta access to those who pre-order a $75 package available on their official website.