After the resounding success recorded by Ark: Survival Evolved on PC and Xbox One, developer Studio Wildcard today revealed and also released a brand new entry into the series. Titled Ark: Survival of the Fittest, it represents a multiplayer online survival arena (MOSA) game that began its life as a fan-made total conversion mod.
It's out today for free on Steam Early Access, and will arrive on consoles later. It provides support for up to 72 players on the game's official servers, while unofficial servers can host up to 200 players.
According to the developer, the game mode "grew rapidly in popularity" among those who wanted a Hunger Games-like last man standing mode.
"This standalone game brings all the features of the mod, with upgrades, and newly integrates dedicated eSports ranking, matchmaking, reward, and tournament features to make it readily accessible to all players," Studio Wildcard explained.
In Survival of the Fittest, teams of players duke it out for supremacy, with a final showdown pitting two teams against each other for all the glory. You can form one- to six-person tribes and choose to take part in matches of varying game lengths.
"Balanced for intense competition, contestants begin in a neutral staging area where they can communicate pre-game, strategize, or talk trash," reads a line from the description. "After a countdown, they dramatically descend from the sky onto the Ark in a circular formation via beams of light.Survival of the Fittest will also feature an eSports element. Every month, the top 10 players (determined by skill ranking for Ranked matches) will be selected for the "Survivor League" for the four modes: 1v1, 2v2, 4v4, and 6v6. The top 10 players will receive the following cash rewards:
"There is a cache of valuable items in the center--do survivors dash for the goods and fight it out, do they run into the forest and hide, search for dinosaurs to rapidly build their army, or do they freeze up from the sheer terror of death? A continually shrinking 'ring of death' forces contestants ever closer together over time."