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Divisive remaster Ark Survival Ascended comes to Xbox Game Pass

The remaster of Ark Survival Evolved released late last year, and you can now dive into the dinosaur action for free with Xbox Game Pass.

Studio Wildcard’s Ark: Survival Ascended released last year as an updated remaster to their previous smash hit Ark: Survival Evolved, bringing the game over to Unreal Engine 5.

While Ark: Survival Ascended was criticised for being a paid remaster at launch, it’s now available for free as part of Xbox Game Pass. Being a remaster, Ascended maintains Evolved’s core survival game tropes; it’s set in that familiar open world that’s populated by an ecosystem of dinosaurs, primal beasts, and other survivors, and allows you to form tribes, tame wild animals, and invade other players’ encampments.

Ascended differs itself from Evolved in its use of Unreal Engine 5, greatly improving the game’s graphical fidelity through tech such as global illumination, as well as new physics systems for elements such as dynamic water and more realistic destruction of foliage and buildings.

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A wealth of quality of life improvements also make Ascended the ideal version of Ark to play, and as it includes many of Evolved’s previous DLC expansions for free, you get several years’ worth content from the get-go.

With Ark: Survival Ascended’s biggest issue – its price tag – effectively removed, there’s no better time to give dinosaur hunting a try for yourself.

For more on Game Pass, check out our guide to the best games on Xbox Game Pass for more games you can play right now, as well as our guide to all of the games coming to Xbox Game Pass later this year.

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