ARK Aberration DLC – Review
Follow Genre: Action Survival
Developer: Studio Wildcard
Publisher: Studio Wildcard
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Mac OSX, Linux
Tested On: PC

ARK Aberration DLC – Review

Site Score
Good: Fresh interesting map with lots of fun new tames
Bad: It may be difficult to navigate maze-like map
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Better late then never, ARK’s latest expansion has been released some time ago. Originally slated to release in October, Aberration keeps true to its name in that it is a significant departure from previous settings in the game. Set in an ark with a cave system teeming with life from giant crabs and spiky basilisks to hallucinogenic mushrooms and cute little shoulder sheep. Put on your gliders, find yourself a bulbdog for company, and let’s dig into; ARK Aberration.

ARK Aberration 3

The first thing you need to know about the new map is don’t get too comfortable. Being mostly underground it’ll be dark in a large portion of the map, and you’ll need to work around having little visibility. Most of the spawn areas are reasonably well lit, but going  deeper into the caves and valleys means you’ll be losing light fast. Luckily All of the tamed shoulder dinos have a way to emit light, but you’ll have to time your exploration around the amount of charge they hold. This means you can never get to comfortable exploring because not only do you have to watch out for aggressive dinosaurs, but the stage hazards are a significant threat as well. The mushrooms we mentioned can really make the game feel like a horror game at times when the lights go out and you’re jumped by something lurking in the dark or you walk through a minefield of hallucinogens and your vision blurs and starts swirling without a warning.

ARK Aberration 1

Besides the cute little shoulder pets, Aberration offers an array of new tamable and mountable dinosaurs supplemented by some familiar faces from previous maps. Among the new creatures you’ll find on the map some of the more notable are the Karkinos, giant crustaceans that can pick up smaller enemies with their claws. The Rock Drakes are extremely useful on this map, as they can scale walls, making traversing throughout the large open areas and sheer cliff faces a lot easier. They also allow the player to glide, and dash to walls near them effectively making movement trivial. Throughout the map you’ll find that you’ll occasionally encounter aberrant varieties of creatures that have mutated to provide some benefits regular dinos don’t get.

Quite quickly after spawning and starting to collect resources you’ll notice something you’re not used to, every so often the whole map starts shaking, making resources drop from the sky. The resources are usually nothing more than some stone or bundles of wood, but occasionally, gems will drop, and even more rare are the equipment pieces that drop. These gems will later be used to craft the Tek gear players are used to, but before you pick it up; be prepared to fight your way back home as it will make wild creatures more aggressive than you are used to.

ARK Aberration 2

When players settle and grow stronger they will discover that a lot of the features of the map are similar to other places they are used to. The obelisks are returning, and Tek is again the top tier of item. Players will also still find the explorer’s notes, but this time they will tell the story of Rockwell, one of the original explorers, and writer of the notes you’ll find. Rockwell’s story is one of gradual descent into madness, culminating into him taking over control of the ARK and becoming the final boss of the map. His fight progresses in stages where he’ll go through phases of invulnerability, growing in strength to form one last epic display of power before you get the kill. Rounding off a player’s experience is the usual cutscene of the player flying back to their spawn point, but not before some cool little hints towards what future environments we could be seeing next.


Altogether, ARK Aberration is an experience that keeps the game fresh and interesting. The beautiful scenes throughout the new map show the diversity of what the ARK team is capable of creating, and what the future of the game could have in store. Returning players have a lot to look forward to in the hidden backstory through the explorer’s notes, and new players will have a lot of fun challenges learning to traverse the caves and tunnels. We can’t wait to see where the next and final DLC will be set.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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ARK Aberration DLC - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Bryan, Dutch, gamer, metalhead. 26, and been playing games for as long as I can remember. Pokemon gold for life!

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