To begin with, we address those who do not know the license at all. Ark is a sandbox survival game. You have to create all kinds of things to keep surviving. The adventure allows you to mix first-person and third-person viewpoints. Finally, the third-person view has simply been forgotten in this Nintendo version. Which is a big loss when you know its usefulness. Now only available when riding dinosaurs. Because yes! The most important thing in this game: dinosaurs and other mythical creatures! There is also a unicorn.
If you don’t like dinosaurs, you have nothing to do in this game, but if you don’t like them, you will be able to fulfill a childhood dream, which is to ride a bird of prey or a T-Rex! But that’s not counting the castles and multiple weapons you can build.
But before you get there, you must survive the ferocity of the creatures, the cold, intense heat, hunger and dehydration. You start off nearly naked and have to collect all kinds of resources for crafting purposes. From the little house on the prairie to the big fortress with cannons and assault rifles, anything is possible. In this immense enterprise you will be helped or not by creatures, mostly dinosaurs, after having cajoled them in various ways. Learning takes a long time but here is the principle of the game and we don’t dwell on it. Because it’s not one but probably several dozen articles it would take to explain everything to you.
As we said, the first thing that strikes you in this update is the graphic restyling of the game, we reiterate that those who already own a version can take advantage of this update for free.
The first thing that strikes you is the brightness. The general atmosphere is much brighter, perhaps too much brighter than the previous version. But it allows you to highlight the textures of the environment with a certain relief where previously it was rather flat. It’s much more like the versions in other media. While the visual quality isn’t as good with textures missing or taking time to load, it’s clear that the update is still successful.
Knowing that the Switch is not as powerful as a computer in 2015, we have to admit that this redesign is quite an achievement. Since our words may sound quite abstract, we have unearthed a very objective comparison video from Youtuber Raasclark below. As he and we have seen, loading times have been significantly improved.
ARK Switch from the old to the new update11/24/2022
The menu management system has been completely redesigned for optimal use of the joysticks. So why the menus? If you are new to Ark, you should know that they are of considerable importance. Whether it’s opening the inventory, yours or that of your dinosaurs, managing shortcuts, giving orders, etc., and we forget some. It’s like the operating system of a computer or a telephone. It is best to navigate it with ease and speed to appreciate it.
Your joysticks now move like a computer mouse cursor when you open menus. This totally changes from the old version and its box selector with the directional pad. is it more manageable? Objectively not. The mouse-like cursor moves quite slowly. In full action with hostile dinosaurs on your tail, hard to open and quickly choose the item you need. It’s not like in Breath of the Wild and Skyrim where opening the menu pauses the game.
The same goes for the order menu. You have to long press the B button to open it while this same button is also used to open the inventory with one press. The radial menu then opens and you can select the order. You have to keep the direction for a long time so that the game understands the order to execute. While before it was enough to position yourself on it and press a button. It was a little more responsive. Worse still, the radial menu has trouble stabilizing the direction of the joystick, especially if it’s diagonal. Which can get confusing. Instead of asking a single dinosaur to follow us, we can inadvertently order our entire colony to follow us.
Wanting to copy the operation of a mouse and keyboard too much, the developers forgot that there are not many buttons on a controller. Also, if the basic command configuration doesn’t suit you, you’ll have to settle. Unfortunately, reassigning its buttons is not allowed. Nor is it allowed to adjust other parameters such as the camera for example. You can adjust the vertical axis, it’s the basis in a FPS but then impossible to adjust the sensitivity of the camera. We found it quite slow, it’s subjective but it would have been better to let everyone adjust their settings as they saw fit.
The definitive content?
There’s at least one thing that’s better: shortcut management. From now on, all you have to do is press the L trigger to switch between the different objects placed in quick access on each of the directions of the pad. However, from ten items in quick access, we’re down to just eight.
Overall, the ergonomics are still not intuitive and that’s a shame. Even more so with the work done on the graphic rendering. With the visual update and above all the arrival of all the DLC, we were finally expecting a Switch version worthy of the fame of the console. But the false joy is great. Only the base map: The Island and the first DLC: Scorched Earth are available in this first year-end batch. The other paid DLCs are coming but you will have to be patient. Below is the programme:
Complete acquisition of the Ultimate Survivor edition is required to use it even if the DLCs are not yet available. It is not possible to buy them separately as they are completely independent of each other. It’s all or nothing. And the culmination of all this is the lack of information about free DLCs that are as important in terms of content as the official maps. The cards look good in the interface but impossible to throw them.