Update: The livestream is over and the dinosaurs most decidedly won. You can watch the full VOD here.
I was far more impressed with Ark: Survival Evolved than I was expecting to be. The early access survival genre seems to get a new contender every other week, so my enthusiasm for them isn't very high anymore. But Ark takes an interesting stab at the formula—namely taming and riding dinosaurs—and doesn't feel like the woefully unfinished product most early access games launch as. That being said, it's still very clearly in early access and very unoptimized. The game ran with a dismally low frame rate that I don't think held at a solid 30 fps the entire time I played, and the computer I was using has a Titan Black GPU, which is especially unfortunate considering the game is otherwise very attractive to look at.
Original: If you frequent the front page of Twitch, you may have noticed the sudden and overwhelming emergence of Ark: Survival Evolved among streamers, an online survival crafting game currently on Steam Early Access. But unlike all those other silly Early Access survival games, this one has rideable dinosaurs! Despite entering into a well-saturated genre, the game has pretty much stayed in the top five most viewed games on Twitch since its streaming embargo lifted on June 1st—an impressive feat, especially considering it's been above League of Legends, CS:GO, and other consistently popular games for portions of that time.
This is the first time we've played Ark, so watch from the embed above or on our Twitch channel as we livestream our first impressions of the game and figure out why so many people are watching it.
Our resident Early Access survival game expert Chris Livingston would usually be the go-to guy to cover this sort of game, but apparently Ark and his computer had a few disagreements. Every time he tried to login to a server, the game would load for a very long time before crashing and locking up his computer. As is the case with many Early Access titles, there will be bugs and unexpected problems, but clearly other people have been able to play the game. Regardless, we'll be sure to keep a close eye on the performance while we stream.
We livestream three days a week—Mondays and Fridays from 3-5 pm PDT and Wednesdays from 10 am-12 pm PDT—and often give first looks at unreleased games and do key giveaways in the chat. This will also be the channel where the PC Gaming Show, our E3 show exclusively for PC gaming, will be broadcast next Tuesday, the 16th from 5-8 pm PDT. Be sure to follow our channel on Twitch to know exactly when we go live.