I am bad at survival games. Very bad. I may have mentioned that in my The Long Dark review. The great thing about how bad I am at surviving is that no matter how much I play, I never get any better at not dying. This was true for The Long Dark, Don’t Starve and Stranded Deep and it’s still true for ARK.
I started my journey of survival with Anne (what’s the point in giving her a unique name when I’m just going to die in two minutes anyway?). In her bra and panties, Anne set out to forage. She picked berries and fiber.
She punched trees for wood and thatch and she collected rocks. Anne needed to get some clothes made so she was a little less exposed to the elements.
Now fully dressed, Anne fashioned herself some tools and set out to explore a bit (and prayed she didn’t get eaten). She happened upon a rather nice house that someone else had built, so she went inside to
see what she could steal check it out. She didn’t find anything up for grabs, but she did find an unconscious person and was given the option to drag her. Intrigued, Anne decided to drag her along for a little walk.
Eventually Anne got tired of dragging her new friend, so she put her in the water.
Anne had some berry snacks and decided to take it easy for a while and observe all of the creatures she was sharing the land with (and again, prayed she didn’t get eaten by them.)
Anne started to get a bit chilly and night was coming, so she decided to build a fire.
Anne sat by the fire to warm up until the sun rose. Impressed that she’s survived an entire day, Anne decided to be a bit more daring and go for a swim.
The swim turned out to be Anne’s downfall, as she tried to catch a fish and ended up being killed by it.
Now on to the game in terms of accessibility. ARK does pretty well with it’s accessible features. Given that there is no purpose to the game other than to survive, visual cues aren’t really necessary, but when you are close to an object you can interact with, a hand or tool icon will show on the side of the screen, above your health/hydration/stamina indicators. I’m not sure how to use it myself on Xbox One, but there were a few instances when other players were chatting and the text chat box showed on the screen, so deaf players aren’t left out of the social aspects of the game. Important events, such as when you can level up and when you die, are clearly shown on the screen in green and red text. On top of everything being accessible, the game itself is quite detailed and nice to look at. ARK is a great game to play and deaf players won’t be missing out on any key features thanks to its high accessibility, even in the game preview form it’s offered in on Xbox One.
ARK: Survival Evolved
Clear visual cues
Social aspect is accessible
Text indicators are easy to read
You can play solo or online multiplayer