A brief trailer for the sequel to Ark: Survival Evolved, Ark 2, was shown during the Xbox + Bethesda Games Showcase. But more information can be found in the lengthy press release posted on Xbox Wire by Studio Wildcard co-founders Jeremy Stieglitz and Jesse Rapczak.
Ark 2 takes place on an alien world — but still includes plenty of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures that the series is known for. The main narrative stars a father and daughter, played by Vin Diesel and Auli’i Cravalho, and will be revealed in the game as well as through the upcoming animated series.
Ark 2 is still a persistent, online survival-crafting game, but features a lot of major improvements and overhauls, including using Unreal Engine 5. The clunky movement and combat has been replaced by the elegant parkour and gripping systems from Assassin’s Creed and Breath of the Wild. And the entire game shifts from first-person, to third-person.
The post also cites the Dark Souls series has inspiration for the improved melee combat, including dodges, blocks, and light and heavy attacks. Animations have also been upgraded, especially when big creatures attack and damage each other.
The World Event system ensures dynamic, unpredictable events happening around the world, including stampedes, creature dens, herds, and wounded creatures.
One big addition is full modding support for console players. PC players had a big advantage in their Ark experience with the bevy of mods available. Ark 2 will support fully stackable, user-created mods for the Xbox version, downloadable through mod.io.
The one sobering bit of news: Ark 2 has been delayed to 2023, where it will tentatively launch on PC and Xbox, most likely initially in Early Access. The series is rated T for Teen. Players can download the original Ark: Survival Evolved for free on Steam, through June 19.