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When hefty downloadable updates appear, it normally signals the beginning of something exciting. That is most definitely the case with the latest update for ARK: Survival Evolved on Xbox One.

Studio Wildcard have seemingly tagged themselves as the ‘team that never sleeps’ and today they’ve delivered the goods with their most recent update…one in which they’ve no doubt sweated blood and tears for.

The main news is that the Xbox One version of ARK now comes fully equipped with split-screen multiplayer. What was once a place for those only dealing with the online scene, the inclusion of split-screen ensures that you can go exploring with a friend – all whilst they are sat right next to you on the sofa. It’s exclusive to the Xbox for an extended period of time and if available for both local offline play and Non-Dedicated online play as well.

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Additionally, there have been a few additions in the dino/creatures department too, with the following awesome beasts appearing on a console near you soon…

  • Gallimimus (with Three-Seater Passenger Saddle): While the Gallimimus in real life might have been a large, chicken-like omnivore belonging to the clade Ornithomimosauria (similar to today’s ostrich family and closely related to raptors and modern birds), in ARK: Survival Evolved it’s an herbivore with no natural means to defend itself except for running away. Luckily for the Gallimimus, it may very well be the fastest dinosaur on ARK, and is capable of ferrying up to three Survivors in a specially-designed Saddle!
  • Dimetrodon: Known as everyone’s favorite adaptable carnivore, the Dimetrodon offers players shade during excessive heat and shelter from extreme cold by way of its massive insulating sail running down its back. It is reasonably friendly to Survivors and its favorite place to roam is the swamplands plentiful with small prey.
  • Dung Beetle: The Dung Beetle is a wondrous organic biofactory that eats excrement and other useless waste and then metabolizes it to produce burnable oil that can power generators and fertilize crops. It is the perfect pet for cleaning up around the tribe’s dirty living quarters!

If you thought that was good, then you’ll be shocked to hear that Wildcard haven’t stopped there. The Xbox One version update also includes a battery of items and optimizations that bring content parity with the PC version through v234, including:

  • New Armor: SWAT-style Assault Armor tier
  • New Weapon: Electric Prod stunner weapon capable of rendering even the strongest survivor unconscious
  • New Structures: Greenhouse/Glass structure tileset to aid survivors in growing plants
  • Deep-Sea Loot Crates: Just what it sounds like. Cool stuff underwater.
  • Beer Barrel: These craftable Beer kegs can make tasty brews, with various status enhancing effects, however the subsequent ‘hangover’ effects are not so pleasant!
  • Loads of bug fixes, serious performance update (~15%), fixed memory leak
  • Non-dedicated servers now support up to Eight survivors and 33% larger tether distance

The world of ARK is a constantly evolving playground and already home to thousands of players. It may be in Xbox Game Preview still, with the proper release date of Summer 2016 still some way off, but if you fancy taking in a new wondrous world, either alone or with a friend, then you should be seriously thinking about visiting the ARK.

Feel free to check out our hands-on preview before you make that purchase.

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