Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Digital Foundry: Ark Survival Evolved On Switch ‘It’s Playable, But Visual Compromises Extraordinary’

Digital Foundry’s latest project has seen them put the Nintendo Switch version of Ark: Survival Evolved through its paces. Sadly, they have ultimately come away very unimpressed with what they have been presented with. The game is a full priced eShop release on the system and while they say that the game is playable, it has been “cut back to the bare bone”. Here is a few choice quotes about Ark: Survival Evolved:

“Perhaps the most egregious issue is the low resolution and the attempts to work around it. This game is so blurry and so low resolution that it’s difficult to even understand what techniques are in use here. Standard pixel-counting techniques indicate resolutions around 360p and 432p in docked mode but if you pause during motion, the whole screen breaks apart and huge pixel edges become evident. In these instances, we’ve counted as low as 304×170. With the presentation breaking apart, confirming this is difficult but suffice to say, this is easily the blurriest image we’ve seen on a console this generation. It may be the case that the game is using Unreal’s temporal upsampling feature to smooth out pixel edges but the base resolution is just too low, you’re left with a blurry mess.”

“Ark: Survival Evolved is an interesting port, but not exactly a successful one. The low pixel count, massively downgraded visuals and low frame-rate all subtract greatly from the experience. It is playable, but only just when so many compromises are in effect. That said, I suspect that we’re not the target audience here and those that are really into Ark will probably enjoy it anyway. From a technical perspective though, one of the most ambitious conversion attempts falls flat – there’s the sense that Studio Wildcard was so preoccupied with whether or not they could port the game to Switch, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Digital Foundry

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  1. The moment I heard this game announced for the Switch, I knew it wouldn’t end well. They didn’t even get the game right on other platforms including PC. I don’t know who thought it was okay to release it on consoles in the state it was.

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