ARK: Survival Evolved adds Scorched Earth expansion as part of big update

Developer Studio Wildcard has announced Scorched Earth, a big expansion for its popular PC and Xbox One game ARK: Survival Evolved. The expansion, which adds a new map to the game, costs $19.99 to download and is part of an overall update to the main game.

Studio Wildcard states:

Scorched Earth is an completely new and different experience from The Island. Stranded naked, dehydrated and starving on a fiery, drought-ridden desert world, Survivors must immediately seek water, hunt for food, harvest new flora, craft new items, and build shelter from the extreme heat. Scorched Earth is an entirely new map, composed of seven unique, desert themed biomes – dunes, high desert, mountains, canyons, badlands, oasis and the ever-dangerous dragon trench – each with their own aesthetics, resources & ecosystems, and littered with ruins, geysers, and intricate ancient cave systems.The desert's biomes are filled with fantastical new creatures, many of which can be tamed. Lead a caravan of the camel-like Morellatops, or rain fire down on your enemies from the back of a Wyvern. Just mind your step in the vast desert, or you might attract a Death Worm!

While the expansion costs $19.99, PC and Xbox One players who have yet to purchase ARK: Survival Evolved will be able to do so at a 40% discount for the next several days. The game is also getting an overall free update, which will offer Xbox One owners some extras and improvements:

The update will also include a HD resolution upgrade to fully support 720p gameplay with 1080p UI's. Primitive+ is now an official part of ARK: Survival Evolved on Xbox One, which features over 100 new items, weapons, structures, and survival mechanics oriented towards "primitive" style living -- effectively doubling the amount of content within ARK! Newly available as part of the 'ARK Official Mods Program' today, Primitive+ is a functionality mod playable on official ARK maps, challenging players to use weapons and tools only made of wood and stone, without the benefit of advanced metals to create weapons such as guns. It's a whole new set of items and detailed mechanics focused on 'primitive' survival, which fits snugly in the world of ARK.In addition, the versatile Pelagornis and the pack-minded Allosaurus, along with a new Fishing Rod and fishing mechanic, and a flurry of additional gameplay features have been added!

ARK: Survival Evolved is still listed in Steam Early Access for PC and on Xbox One Game Preview.

John Callaham