ARK 2 Trailer Confirms New Location, 2023 Release Date

Studio Wildcard says that ARK 2 won't just have a T-Rex load of improvements over the original, but that it will redefine the survival genre.
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It’s been about a year since we’ve seen anything for ARK 2, the upcoming sequel to ARK: Survival Evolved. The game was first teased during Summer Game Fest 2021. Now, as part of Summer Games Fest 2022, there’s a new in-engine trailer teasing ARK 2‘s 2023 release for PC in Steam Early Access and Xbox Series X|S and PC with Game Pass Game Preview. 

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Admittedly less involved than the first teaser released by developer Studio Wildcard, this new look still gives fans a little more backstory on the setting of ARK 2. The game takes place on Arat, where humans have fled to “start over” following a cataclysmic war. Unwittingly or not, it’s unclear, but they also brought dinosaurs along from an “extinct Earth.”

Studio Wildcard says that it originally intended to release ARK 2 in 2022 but decided to push the game to 2023 to fully realize its vision, saying via a blog post regarding the sequel:

We are currently working on our expansive sequel with all our might! But we have postponed the release date to 2023 in order to create an adventure that will be unforgettable for everyone, respectful of our team’s health, realize the potential of upgrading to Unreal 5, and to introduce revolutionary full mod support for console players! We believe that ARK 2 will be the ultimate primal survival experience and want to devote the resources needed to bring that to fruition. 

Most noticeable in the game’s two trailers is that ARK 2 features Vin Diesel as Santiago riding a rather large T-Rex, accompanied by his daughter Meeka, voiced by Auli’i Cravalho (Moana). But ARK 2 will have more changes than simply adding a set of protagonists. The official blog post linked above goes into much greater detail, claiming that the game will revolutionize the survival genre (and there’s a lot of ambition behind the project), but some of the key points are: 

  • New mechanics for traversal, parkour, sliding, swinging, and free climbing. 
  • Cross-platform modding for a variety of things, from creatures to items. 
  • Souls-like melee combat with the ability to target-lock, dodge, block, perform combos and staggers, and more. 

There will also be the native Aratai, “an opposing PvE force” that will “hunt and attack” players (though do we really need the natives to be the bad guys?). Aside from that, there will be modular, component-based crafting, dynamic world events, a massive world to explore, player progression via XP and knowledge points, and “sensory-based creature AI” that can “now track and hunt by sight sound, and smell.”

ARK 2 can now be wishlisted on Steam, and ARK: Survival Evolved is free-to-own for anyone who picks it up by June 19, 2022. All of this comes alongside the announcement of ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition launching for Nintendo Switch in September 2022, and that ARK: The Animated Series has 14 episodes of 30 minutes in post-production. 

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Jonathan Moore
Jonathan Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of GameSkinny and has been writing about games since 2010. With over 1,200 published articles, he's written about almost every genre, from city builders and ARPGs to third-person shooters and sports titles. While patiently awaiting anything Dino Crisis, he consumes all things Star Wars. He has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing focused on games writing and narrative design. He's previously been a newspaper copy editor, ad writer, and book editor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, watching football, and walking his three dogs. He lives on Earth and believes in aliens, thanks to Fox Mulder.