Dinosaurs have always been fascinating. The size of them to the sounds they can make. Did some travel in herds? Are some relatives of birds? So much history we can learn from. Dinosaurs have been in everything from TV shows to movies to toys to games. When we first saw Jurassic Park and saw them out in the open for the first time to going through the gates and seeing that sign. I for one, like many others, have been waiting for our own type of park where we could be in control or at least think we were in control and have that same exciting feeling as getting to the park as it was in entering Jurassic Park for the first time. Now Snail Games may have just brought all our hopes and brought that feeling to life with Ark Park for the PlayStation VR.
When I first played Ark Park there was something so special about getting on this tram that I really enjoyed my journey of getting to the park from the narration to seeing the dinosaur just swim and jump out of the water, I really had a smile on my face. I would have loved to ride to be longer and perhaps have an option of just traveling around Ark Park. So Snail Games, thank you for this smile…thank you.
Once you have arrived you feel like this is a place where you would want to visit. I want to live here. You are able to see the dinosaurs and learn about the different species. Yes, they are holograms, but would you really want a T-Rex inside after what happened on Isla Nublar now would you? Once you move around (more about this in a minute) deeper inside the building, you will then be teleported outside where if you were going to make a park with dinosaurs and have not developed this part of the land, this is what it would look like. I really appreciate the separation from Tourist area to the “behind” the scenes “this can get dangerous” area of the park.
I mentioned moving and I want to talk about this now. You can use the two Move controllers or Dualshock 4 controller to move around. I tried this with the Move controllers first. This may throw some people off a bit because you have to be able to look with the headset and then use the move button to then teleport. Sometimes the way my arrow would be facing was not the viewpoint I wanted. I then switched to the Dualshock 4 controller and for me, it felt a more natural way to move around Ark Park.
Now once you have your movement controller of choice, let’s see what there is to do. In Ark Park, you will find lots to do. Some of the sections of the park you will encounter a beacon of sorts called the Brainwave Towers. The Brainwave Towers should be the highest importance as they actually serve a big purpose by not allowing the dinosaurs to see humans as a threat. But like things in life, these may break down and when they do, your job is to defend against the waves of the brainwashed dinosaurs whos instincts now see you as a threat. So grab your weapon and defend that Brainwave Tower and more importantly, you.
Now with any undeveloped land that someone wants to build a park on in a dinosaur’s home will tell you, that due to the cost of holograms and Brainwave Towers, you will need to go out there and collect resources. Now yes we know this was not mentioned in the application, but just get out there and collect trees, mine rocks and scan those dinosaurs. The more resources you collect, the more things you can craft and thus making your job here at Ark Park a little easier to as you explore hungry dinosaurs who just might want to eat you.
Now along with all the resource collecting, you will be doing (and it’s a lot), there is something else that surprised me and something I never thought about and that is riding on a dinosaur. I was actually in my own park was the ability to hatch dinosaur eggs and being able to ride on the dinosaur after it grew. Yes, riding on dinosaurs sure beats having to walk and in fact, from this point on, being able to ride on dinosaurs should be the next expectation.
Graphically speaking I am at a torn. When you see the environments it does make you appreciate everything around you and the amount of time and detail that was put in. Seeing like the mountains when you ride in on the tram and seeing the waterfalls really give a sense how big Ark Park can be. But sometimes it seems that what is around you vs the environments are like two different teams working on this. I am not saying it’s a bad thing, but something is just a little off. I am just hoping a patch comes out that will take advantage of the PS4 PRO features and make some of the things nearer have that balance with the environments.
Ark Park may not be for everyone, but it does have options. There is a multiplayer mode option, but no matter how many times I tried, there was never anyone playing for me to dwell on that part of this place. Ark Park does have a lot going for it. If you are looking for a story based game, you will not find it here. Some might not appreciate what the movement, some may think that there is just too much going with no real direction and that Ark Park is somehow holding itself back from what could have been.
But if you just think for a minute. What if you actually worked here? What if you are looking for a place which feels like it could be a world all of its own and you are able to explore over 50 different ancient species, day and night cycles (with the day, evening, night and dawn cycles), able to breed, feed and to learn about dinosaurs along with ride on some of them, vehicles, crafting and wave shooting? Then the real question could be, did Snail Games do what it set out to do in a way? To create a park for you to explore all while trying to take on the dangers of trying to inhabit a place where time forgot about the extension of these beautiful and amazing dinosaurs to still give them a fighting chance of survival? Maybe in a way Snail Games did get something right here with Ark Park.
Ark Park is out now. A review copy was provided. To learn more about Ark Park, please visit the site and make sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Snail Games, please visit their site and make sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some more dinosaurs to scan.