Back in 2018, the Switch obtained certainly one of its worst and most unplayable ports within the console’s historical past, a exceptional distinction given what number of tough video games are on the platform. You would possibly realize it, because it’s known as a reasonably standard first-person open-world survival simulator Ark: Survival Evolved. Now 4 years after its preliminary launch, Ark has a brand new Switch port utilizing a more moderen model of Unreal and it is likely to be one of the crucial spectacular upgrades to a Switch sport I’ve ever seen.
There have been some miracle ports on the Switch. Games like The Witcher 3 and Doom 2016 not solely look good on the growing old transportable hybrid console, but in addition play properly, too. That’s not straightforward to do, thoughts you. The Switch is previous and never very highly effective, so getting trendy, massive, fancy-looking 3D video games operating on it’s difficult. I imply, even Nintendo-published video games like the brand new ones Pokémon wrestle on it. So it is not stunning that for each miracle port there are a dozen bleh ports of huge video games. But then there are the actually abysmal ports, those that make you surprise why they even received made. And maybe the worst of the worst is 2018’s Ark: Survival Evolved.
Ark on Switch in 2018 wasn’t simply dangerous, it was actually, actually horrible. Many web sites and critics have known as it certainly one of, if not the, worst port launched for Switch. It featured extremely low decision and a horribly dangerous framerate, with tons of stuttering and hitching.
Even when it ran properly, it regarded like shit, with numerous blurry objects and fuzzy shapes floating round. Some of those, apparently, had been meant to be dinosaurs or timber. It was laborious to inform. This Digital Foundry video from 2018 is a good have a look at the port and the way poorly it performed. Fast ahead a number of years later and now this month a model new model of the favored survival sport is out on Switch. And of us, it is type of spectacular how significantly better issues are.
Eurogamer and Digital Foundry took a have a look at this new port and talked to the builders behind it. Apparently, your complete sport has been rebuilt from the bottom up in Unreal 4. In truth, based on the devs, nothing from the unique sport stays. Instead, this port relies on a more moderen Xbox construct of the sport. New port developer Grove Street Games (sure, the identical folks behind the hated, wonky GTA Trilogy remasters from final yr…) can be utilizing dynamic decision scaling to assist issues look sharper and run higher on the Switch.
The new port of Ark options nicer-looking shadows and fewer pop-in because of new instruments accessible in UE4. Even higher, the infamously lengthy loading instances have been reduce all the way down to solely round 30 seconds. That’s nonetheless quite a bit, however think about that within the unique port it might take as much as virtually three minutes. So yeah, massive enhancements throughout.
To be clear: This continues to be a tough technique to play Ark: Survival Evolved in comparison with extra succesful platforms. Of course, taking part in the sport on newer extra highly effective consoles or a beefy PC will present a significantly better expertise. But for folk preferring transportable gaming or who solely have a Switch, it is good to see a writer return and spend the time and money to utterly repair and substitute a nasty port with one thing significantly better. This is not one thing you see fairly often and even when the brand new port nonetheless has its personal points, the brand new model is a night-and-day enchancment that ought to be applauded.
Ark: Survival Evolved – Ultimate Survivor Edition is out now on Switch and is on the market to earlier homeowners of the previous port totally free. Maybe The Outer Worlds can get a greater port subsequent?