Studio Wildcard isn’t a stranger to controversy. Their previous game, Ark: Survival Evolved, was reviled for releasing a paid expansion pack before launching out of Early Access. The game’s Nintendo Switch port was also a mess.
Wildcard is now under fire for their newest game Atlas, which players are claiming is a reskinned version of Ark.
“You start on a beach with very Ark like graphics, interface an UI, and then punch trees/random mobs/pick up plants to craft and level up almost exactly like Ark,” said one Reddit user on a thread about the game.
Most egregious is a hidden menu on Atlas’ main screen. By continuing to press the down button on the main menu, you’ll unknowingly select a hidden menu option. Pressing ‘A’ or ‘Enter’ will take you into a menu ripped straight from Ark: Survival Evolved.
Twitch streamer Mukkayo discovered the menu during a Twitch stream. Ripped straight from the dinosaur survival game, the options inside the Ark menu allow you to choose from the four different worlds available for Ark, dinosaur damage and custom Arks.
Esports consultant Rod Breslau posted the clip on Twitter saying, “Atlas is basically a re-skinned version of Ark. How is this the number one game on Twitch?”
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) December 23, 2018
Other Atlas players are far from happy. After the amazing trailer shown off during The Game Awards 2018, Atlas looked to be a true evolution of what the studio achieved with Ark. A video showing some of the worst-case examples compared to the original trailer highlights how rough the game is in its Early Access state. (Disclaimer: Strong Language used.)
Lead Community Manager for Atlast put out a statement saying, “I’m not exaggerating, this isn’t coming from a marketing mouth, the game is incredible, and all of the hype is justified– everything you have seen in the trailer and promotional media is real… it was just recorded with UI turned off lol…” Time will tell.
Atlas is available on Steam in Early Access now. It’s currently set to launch in Xbox Game Preview next year.