Ark: Survival Evolved is still in early access, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get an expansion.

Studio Wildcard is launching Ark: Scorched Earth on Xbox One and Steam today for $20. This add-on introduces a desert biome where resources are scarce and the sun beats down on your character without mercy. But while you’ll struggle to stay hydrated and cool, Scorched Earth also introduces a ton of new challenges and adventures for you to partake in. The map introduces 50 new items to craft and it debuts a set of original creatures for you to tame. For Wildcard, this is a big step forward. The company has spent the last year winning over fans by jamming content in Ark: Survival Evolved without charging for in-app purchases. Creating content that has a lot of value is something Studio Wildcard strives to do, as it explained in a recent interview.

By releasing this expansion, the company is setting a precedent of introducing major updates for a premium price that should enable the team to keep working on Ark as long as fans want more. And I think you will want more. I got a chance to see some highlights of Scorched Earth. Some of the developers from Wildcard took me on a tour, and I saw some amazing and horrible parts of this world. Now, I want to share it with you.

Here are 5 things you should know about Ark: Scorched Earth:


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There’s a lot here for $20

This new map amplifies the dangers of the Ark world, but it is also turns up the beauty and design. Studio Wildcard put a lot of effort into making a big, gorgeous map with lots to do. And my first look at the content make it seem worth the price of admission. I came across new items and dinosaurs, and the desert wyverns present a seriously imposing long-term challenge.

Water is everything

Your hydration level depletes fast in the Scorched Earth desert. To survive, your tribe will need to control one of only a precious few sources of fresh water. That includes a central hub as well as a small oasis that resides in the basin of a canyon that was once a river. Maintaining control over those areas will mean the difference between life and death.

Keep your animal friends close

You can tame creatures like a jerboa, which is a desert fox-like mammal. Once you have won over a jerboa, you can run around with it placed on your shoulder. Naturally, it’s going to need a smart-looking hat. But these are more than pets, they can also warn you about environmental changes like incoming lighting storms.

The world is beautiful

As Wildcard showed me around, they took great pride in showing off the design of the world. From the first time you explore the central canyon to exploring the caves, the developer has made some strides in building amazing environments.

The wyvern trench is hell

The dragon-like wyverns are the alpha creatures of Scorched Earth. To tame one, you’ll need to raise it from birth. That might sound easy, but the only way to get an unhatched egg is to sneak into the warzone that is the wyvern’s trench. This is an underground cave with a lava river that is brimming with monsters that want you dead. You’ll need to strategically plan any assault on this place if you want a chance of getting out alive.

Bonus: It’s on sale for a limited time

Scorched Earth typically sells for $20, but Wildcard has it listed for $16 on both Steam and the Xbox Store if you want to save a few bucks.


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