Why Ark is my game of the year
ARK: Survival Evolved popped onto my radar thanks to my housemate.
The early access period on PC was just about to start and he invited me to play with his mates.
My review from the time gives a tongue-in-cheek look at how we spent our first few days in game, but it's fair to say it felt like the five of us really did wake up on separate beaches, scattered by some unknown antagonist and beset by unknown dangers.
It felt as though we were tribemates on a tropical island, our hands focussed on lashing together the most basic tools needed for survival and our minds busy filling in the gaps of what little we knew about our new environment.
The premise was simple, but it was the right premise. Dinosaurs! We wouldn't need much more than that, but the island gave them such an amazing context.
It helped that Ark came out right the same time as Jurassic World, so everyone was already in dino-mode.
So the immersion was a winner from the outset, but the commitment from the developers to fix and improve the game is the best I've seen.
I have no hesitation in saying Ark: Survival Evolved was the best game released this year.