Xbox Game Pass just added a game that will consume your free time – I love it

Pre-historically good fun

Ark: Survival Ascended
(Image credit: Ark: Survival Ascended)

There's a time in every child's life when they become obsessed with dinosaurs. Most people grow out of that phase, but some of us never grow up. If you know your Dimorphodons from your Diplodocus then have I got the game for you. 

Xbox Game Pass has just added the ultimate dinosaur game, Ark: Survival Ascended. That name might sound familiar to you because this is actually a turbocharged remake of Ark: Survival Evolved.  

In the game you play as a lone survivor (until you find some friends to play multiplayer with) who washes up on a mysterious island, crawling with dinosaurs and other ancient creatures! The aim is not only to survive but to thrive as you make a base, develop new technology and even tame the creatures for yourself - and yes you can give them annoyingly cute names. 

You'll want to name your dinosaurs too because with this new game, everything has been given a stunning new look. This is one that those with one of the best gaming laptops will really appreciate as the Unreal 5 engine lets them crank settings to the max. 

Ark: Survival Ascended

(Image credit: Studio Wildcard)

The world of ARK is massive, and this edition comes with both the iconic Island map as well as the Scorched Earth expansion (with the other expansions to be included later this year). Survival Ascended is more than just a new lick of paint however, there are new structures, a new camera mode, a new tracking system and most important of all - new creatures. 

I can't tell you the amount of time I've lost to this game, online servers feature up to 70 players in a persistent shared world with tribe wars, base building and an epic fight for survival. I've equally enjoyed playing the game at a more chilled pace. In single-player mode, you are the sole human on the map, and the game becomes less of a PVP dream/nightmare and more reminiscent of a Minecraft or Stardew Valley as you craft your perfect homestead. 

Honestly, I love this game, and if you have any interest in dinosaurs you will too. If you already have a Game Pass subscription, you've got nothing to lose. It's the only game that lets you fire a rocket launcher from the back of a Velociraptor and if that doesn't excite you, nothing will. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.