Ark: Survival Ascended’s The Center and Scorched Earth expansions remastered in February and April
Studio Wildcard has announced revised release dates for expansion map The Center and Scorched Earth for Ark: Survival Ascending after delaying them last year, confirming their arrival in February and April respectively.
A sleek version of Scorched Earth was originally scheduled to launch alongside Ark: Survival Ascending – the controversial full-price remaster of the 2015 Wildcard dinosaur survival game Ark: Survival Evolved – last year. However, in July, the studio announced that not only was it delaying the launch of the base game to October, but that its expansions would be delayed as well.
According to its revised plans, Scorched Earth is now targeting a December launch, with Ascend’s remastered Ragnarok and Aberration maps in “Q1 2024.” Unfortunately, it became clear that Wildcard’s penchant for delay was on display again when an updated roadmap released in December showed that Scorched Earth was now scheduled for March 2024, with Aberration aiming for July 2024 and Raganarok not expected until September.
Wildcard has now confirmed an additional delay to the desert-themed Scorched Earth map as part of the latest community update; The remastered version of the map Ascending is now scheduled to arrive on April 1, 2024, bringing a complete visual overhaul and a new sand-swimming dinosaur – described as the “ultimate desert horse” – as well as Western-themed customization portions for the bases.
Scorched Earth – and all other world expansions released for the previous version of Ark – will be free to Ascending owners, but are launching alongside the new paid DLC in the form of the Frontier Adventure Pack, which contains a “treasure trove of the desert”. Goodies” including cowboy-inspired clothing and buildable trains.
While Scorched Earth’s return this April may be disappointing for some, its late arrival is offset by the fact that Ascend’s enhanced version of The Center — originally a community-created map that received an official release in 2016 — will now be coming a few weeks later. Months previously What is included in the roadmap for December. According to Wildcard’s latest update, the hub will be available – along with the “feathered giant Gigantoraptor” – at “the end of February.”
Elsewhere in the Wildcard update, the developer says it’s currently focusing on improving server performance, network traffic, and measures against exploits and hacks (it doesn’t mention any additional improvements to the performance and crash issues that have plagued Ark: Survival Ascending) since its launch on PC in October, but Fingers crossed), it notes that it will also release a “huge update to the dev kit” at the end of January.
This, it says, will “put the power of wild game creation directly into your hands,” allowing modders to create “fully custom Unreal Engine games” within Ascending. “Want to build a Mario-like rampage across the Crystal Isles?” he adds, “Do it! Dreaming of a PvP arena where Tek Rexes compete against Spinos? Buckle up.” Promised features include the ability to design custom main menus, host and browse multiplayer gaming sessions from within a mod, and progress seamlessly from one level to the next. She comes with a Mario-inspired platformer to show off her abilities – and there’s no mention of the ‘Metaverse’ in sight either!
As a die-hard Ark: Survival Evolved player, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Ascend’s textured map The Island when I took it for a spin at the end of last year. But the whole thing – from the technical issues to the weird design choices – was a bit of a mess, despite some indisputable improvements, so I’ll be interested to see what Wildcard has to offer in the coming months.