The smash hit Ark: Survival Evolved has a successor, with Studio Wildcard officially launching Ark: Survival Ascended on PC. Sadly, the console version has been delayed until November.
Survival Ascended isn't a direct sequel to the indie smash hit released in 2015 but rather a complete overhaul from top-to-bottom. The biggest difference is that Survival Ascended is being developed on Unreal Engine 5, the top-of-the-line game engine released in April 2022.
Of course, a change of engine comes with more than just a graphical overhaul, with the developers announcing several key features they've been looking to implement but haven't been able to thus far with the limitations of UE4.
A significant new feature for the console version of Ark: Survival Ascended will be that they will get access to mods just like PC players do. Via the in-game CurseForge mod browser, cross-platform modding will make all versions of Survival Ascended feel vastly similar.
Furthermore, the devs teased they're working with other studios to bring unique IPs to the world of Ark as special collaborations.
You can create mods by downloading the new Ark Devkit, with a porting mechanism for old Ark mods, although some adjustments may still be required. The DevKit provides access to Unreal Engine 5 to create new content and gameplay.
The vast graphical upgrades were shown in a very detailed Xbox blog post, including a look at the new foliage interaction systems; however, a key feature beyond that for long-time Ark players is that Ark: Survival Ascended will include all its previously released DLCs and maps in its remade form and will have its own content roadmap. This update will bring new story content, gameplay/QOL changes, seasonal events, and DLC. Additionally, 11 brand-new creatures will be released.
As mentioned, the game will become available on PC first via Steam early access. However, it hasn't gone live at the time of writing.