ARK: Survival Ascended (the remake of Survival Evolved) is now out on PC, having hit Steam early on today, but already many gamers are venting their frustrations about issues with the open world survival remix.
As you can see in the launch announcement thread on X (formerly Twitter), there's no shortage of complaints, and on Steam, there's a good deal of negative feedback in early reviews.
Most of the flak being fired at Studio Wildcard is around serious performance problems on PC - the revamped game now uses Unreal Engine 5, as you may be aware - and issues around joining servers.
Of course, ARK: Survival Ascended is still in early access, so we can't exactly expect a smooth ride - but the problem is players are encountering some nasty drawbacks, ones that have led to accusations of a release happening too soon.
Practically the first reply on X is a gamer with an RTX 3070 Ti who is only getting 30 fps, up to 40 fps at best, and someone else with an RTX 3080 Ti is only reportedly getting 35 fps - and the kicker is that's with low graphics settings. Ouch indeed.
Switch over to Steam reviews, and we're told the graphics are awesome but performance is 'ass' by one disgruntled player, and another reports a familiar story - getting 30-45 fps, as noted by others above, but this time with an RTX 4090 GPU (yes, a 4090) running at 1440p with a Core i9-13900K CPU.
A witty sort called it a slideshow and dubbed the game ARK: PowerPoint Ascended.
Other gamers complain of stuttering and crashes, and then there's the issue with the servers and not being able to get in, with it taking ages to connect to the game (like an hour or so). And when in-game some players are facing high pings and serious lag according to reports.
Studio Wildcard just provided an update on server issues which stated: "The team is currently working on server stability at the moment. They are fixing a few server crashes and making sure servers are restarting properly. More to come!"
All in all, it looks like a pretty rough and ragged launch, sadly. But maybe that isn't too much of a surprise when you consider that on the console side of the equation, Studio Wildcard made the decision to delay the release of ARK: Survival Ascended due to internal quality assurance issues, specifically critical problems in the multiplayer.
As a result, the launch of the Xbox and PlayStation versions of the game isn't happening until November, so we'll be waiting a little while yet.
With the console release being held up, there are certainly folks out there who are arguing that by the looks of the PC version, it should have had the brakes applied and similarly been worked on to polish it more before going live.
As we said before, though, this is an early access release, but the teething flaws seem to be some pretty major and widespread thorns in the sides of those trying to enjoy the survival game.