Ark: Survival Evolved is famous for its ferocious bestiary. This is a game that literally has dinosaurs with frickin' lasers attached to their heads, after all. The latest creature to be added to the game is quite a bit different from all of that, however, because instead of being huge and fierce (or even just kind of big, but still fierce), this new creature is a straight-up cuddler. It's an otter.
Technically it's the "Lutra peloso," which as near as I can figure means "hairy otter" or something to that effect, but the point is that this isn't some giant, faux-prehistoric take on the beast that you can ride or feed your enemies to. It's just an otter, as we know and love them. You can even let it ride up on your shoulder.
"Found along the Island’s many inland waterways, Lutra Peloso have become exceptionally adept at hunting and foraging. This species of Otter has to be particularly cunning because of its diminutive size, and fierce competition for its preferred food source: fish. It is not a creature that excels at combat, and would not naturally pose an intimidating threat to any predators," the Dino Dossier explains.
"There are few creatures which provide the companionship that Lutra Peloso does. Rather than traveling beside you, it would prefer to comfortably rest on your back, providing insulation."
They may not the most effective fighters ever, but as Marc Singer discovered when he fell into quicksand that one time, they can come in handy now and then. (Yes, those were ferrets, but the principle is the same.) Aside from providing warmth in crappy weather, tamed otters can be sent to forage for fish or silica pearls, and can even have a slight chance of digging up black pearls. And they're so cute! Which is really what it's all about, right?
The latest Ark Digest also includes a promise from Studio Wildcard to continue the development of Ark: Survival Evolved once it goes into full release on August 29. "There has been a lot of questions regarding what will happen to the development of ARK. Whether there will be additional content added to the base game, in the vein of; new friends to tame, new engrams to learn, items to craft, QOL, gameplay, and optimization improvements... the answer to all that is yes!" the studio wrote. "We will be continuing to work on the base game, as well as plans for future content in the form of free updates, and DLC (paid and free)."
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.