You’re no doubt heard about Ark: Survival Evolved by now. One of the more successful early access titles that has since gone on to positive acclaim well before its proper release, Ark pits you against all manner of Dinosaurs and beasts and tasks you with surviving in any way possible. But the setting, to put it plainly, is beyond realistic. Strange mysteries encompass an island full of unnatural structures and advanced pieces of technology, the weird factor is part of its charm. A new mod for the game, however, aims to take a more realistic approach to using and crafting primitive technology.

The Primitive+ ARK Total Conversion mod, which is free to download for anyone who already has the game on Steam, does away with the advanced pieces of tech you can develop and instead offers new resources, engrams and systems that mimic the real world. You’ll find new weapons like Viking axes, flintlock pistols and muskets along with a host of new buildings based on three new tiers: adobe, lumber and brick.

Essentially you’re taking the pre-existing structure of Ark and altering it to form a believable sense of evolution, through these tools and building sets. There’s also the potential to create your own society with other players, little towns where trading can occur or safe houses can be built. It’s less a survival game about capturing dinosaurs and riding them around and more a game about building an entire eco-system of your own (or with a team, if you so prefer). Sure, maybe not as exciting as riding dino’s, but it’s something new that existing players can challenge themselves with.

Primitive+ was originally conceived through Steam Workshop by Ark user complexminded before becoming an official mod for the game. It’s since launched for both the Steam and Xbox One preview versions of Ark and will hopefully be included on the PS4 edition once that hits the interwebs.

You’ll need a copy of Ark: Survival Evolved in order to play Primitive+, which is still in early access but is constantly updating itself. I do like how developers Studio Wildcard are open to adding content that changes the rules or adds something new to the experience that they may not have originally thought of, and it still amazes me that it’s considered ‘early access’ given how long it’s already been there and how much has been added over time. It’s still a few months away from that official release.

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Mark Isaacson is the editor of PN2. Go say hi @Mark_D_Isaacson

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