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Few people realise that December is when we’re at greatest risk from pirates, likely to mistake their bloodthirsty cries of “Yo ho!” for the merry “Ho ho ho!” of Father Christmas and run towards them rather than away. Capitalising on this behaviour, the creators of Ark: Survival Evolved tonight announced Atlas, an “open-world survival MMO” full of pirates. Word of Atlas leaked months ago but now it’s official – and it’s launching next week. It’ll have us craft things, build ships and bases, sail, battle ships, fight ludicrous creatures, and murder poor newbies, a bit Ark-y but much larger and on the seas. Have a peek. (more…)

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Dinosaurs walk the Earth again in Ark: Survival Evolved‘s third expansion, Extinction, which launched today. After bouncing around biodomes and comets and other strange habitats, the survival sandbox is coming home to Earth, where… oh no. You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah damn you! God damn you all to hell! Unless the T. rex roaming the streets of a futuristic city in that screenshot is just someone’s pet, and the greenery overgrowing the buildings is just stylish planting, in which case I apologise and compliment you on the future you’ve created. (more…)

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Hallo! Me again, filling in (slightly late) while John is handcuffed to a steering wheel for other duties. The Steam Charts were all shook up (mm mm mmh!) last week by the launch of Steam’s summer sale, including propelling a lump of hardware into the top ten for the first time in ages. A number of older games have rocketed back too, boosted by sale discounts, and displaced several games from their near-permanent spots in the hit parade. Let’s stroll down it and see. (more…)

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I do enjoy Ark: Survival Evolved‘s process of turning real-world historical(ish) creatures into video game monsters. The abilities of its reinterpreted dinosaurs and critters seem to stem from one question: what would they do in a cartoon? This logic is delightfully evident as developers Studio Wildcard continue to overhaul older beasties with updated art and abilities, turning crocodiles into stepping stones, making a honking dino into an ambulant alarm system, and of course having raptors pounce to pin prey. Anyone who’s seen dinosaur cartoons or movies knows that’s how they work. (more…)

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Sandbox craft-o-survival mega-hit Ark: Survival Evolved stomps to a full launch next week, after two years in early access. After that long, ah, sure, schedules will get a little jumbled. So here’s the launch trailer a few days early, which I’m told reveals some of the mystery of why loads of folks are thrown onto an island filled with dinosaurs, mythical animals, spaceman technology, and dinosaurs augmented with spaceman technology. The answer, apparently, is not “Because it’s p. dang cool to have a load of dinosaurs stomping around.” (more…)

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The dinosaur island sandbox Ark: Survival Evolved was due to leave early access and launch in full next week, but it won’t. Developers Studio Wildcard announced over the weekend that they’ve delayed the launch from August 8th to the 29th, because things took longer than expected. That’s game-making all right. Over the next few weeks, in the run-up to the actual proper launch for real, Wildcard and chums will be working on performance improvements, fixes for bugs and exploits, and more. (more…)

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