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ARK: Survival Evolved Released For Linux, Here's An Early Look & Thoughts

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We have been waiting with a keen eye for ARK: Survival Evolved to arrive on Linux. It’s a very popular survival game with dinosaurs that is constantly in the top-10 on Steam, so how is it?

About the game (Official)
As a man or woman stranded naked, freezing and starving on the shores of a mysterious island called ARK, you must hunt, harvest resources, craft items, grow crops, research technologies, and build shelters to withstand the elements. Use your cunning and resources to kill or tame the leviathan dinosaurs and other primeval creatures roaming the land, and team up with or prey on hundreds of other players to survive, dominate... and escape!

Warning: This game is Early Access, and the Linux version has only just arrived.

My initial thoughts
Performance
Be aware that I am testing this on an Nvidia 970 and a decent Intel i5 4670K, so your mileage will vary.

It’s...pretty terrible. On High settings it dips below 10FPS at times, and looking around the world is mainly around 20-25FPS, but it will hit ~55FPS when looking at the coastline.

I’ve had to turn the settings to Medium to get even a remotely playable framerate, and it doesn’t look very pleasing on the eyes.

Graphics
They are good when you turn the settings up for sure, but that's only playable for super insane machines right now, so I took a look at Medium to make it somewhat playable.

Medium settings aren't too terrible, but it is ruined by the constant graphics glitching, and general sluggish performance. Medium settings are still better than most indie games around, so I'm not too bothered by how it looks, it just badly needs the glitches sorted.

Gameplay
I’ve never been a massive fan of many survival games, as most are ugly, or boring as hell. It’s also pretty hard to judge the game when it’s in such a state as this, but I tried it as much as I could to report back.

I have to say, I might actually enjoy this one more than other survival games like it. It already gave me a fright (and death) when trying to get some wood. I was minding my own business, casually pooping and gathering wood, and I peered around a tree to see some sort of raptor making a line for me, and death quickly came after I saw it.

Your character randomly poops (really, fart noise and all), and you can pick it up to use it later. That’s highly amusing, and totally gross, but realistic at least.

Later on I sat around my newly crafted campfire to cook up some meat, I was in a nice little rocky cove for safety, but as I looked above I saw a massive tail swinging around... think I might stay here for a while.

Bugs
Character creation is impossible, since the character generated is invisible, you can only see your character when in-game:
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You also fall through the world, a lot, I keep spawning with the legs in the ground too, although in this case my foot seems to be beside my hip:
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I sent it onto the developers, and they tweeted back that it’s being looked into, so maybe a quick patch could solve those issues.

I later found more issues, like seeing through a hill:
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These rocks seem to have never heard of gravity either:
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I kept seeing shadows in mid-air too, so shadows are a little off as well.

And quite a few more, looks like it will take a few patches to get a playable game for Linux gamers.

Final thoughts: You might want to wait quite a while, seriously. I was going to do a livestream of it tonight, but it’s too buggy, too sluggish and just not good right now, but I’m sure it will get quickly patched up.

Check out ARK: Survival Evolved on Steam now if you dare. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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43 comments
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Aryvandaar 5 July 2015 at 11:07 am UTC
Things are working great for me now. No textures missing, but I do get some FPS drops, but that's okay for now (it's not so bad).

It could possible be my CPU getting a bit old though.


Last edited by Aryvandaar on 5 July 2015 at 11:08 am UTC
evergreen 6 July 2015 at 11:29 am UTC
Sometimes I have glitches and 26-50 fps on high details and all effects off. But it's very playable.

Ubuntu 14.04
Nvidia drivers 352.xx
Intel i5 4970k
Nvidia gtx 780
16gb Ram
SSD 256 Samsung pro
jasonm 16 July 2015 at 1:47 pm UTC
I'm running with:

i7 4790k
32 Gigs
GTX 770 4Gb
512Gb Samsung Evo SSD
Edgers 3.52 nvidia drivers
Ubuntu 14.04

I'm able to run all settings on Epic and I'm getting between 19-48 fps @ 2560x1600 resolution. It averages I would say in the upper 20's. I do sometimes get graphic flaws from time to time as others have mentioned but I think that is more engine related than a problem with the game itself. Hopefully Unreal Engine 4.9 will have a lot of the OpenGL problems corrected.

Also if you make any settings changes be sure to save them, exit the game completely, then restart the game. I noticed unpredictable results whenever I would change them on the fly.

/Jason


Last edited by jasonm on 16 July 2015 at 1:48 pm UTC
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