That secret message on Ark: Survival Evolved teaser page, has now been confirmed. There’s no Ark: Survival Evolved sequel coming yet, but Studio Wildcard has announced two new expansion packs collectively called Ark: Genesis.
The first Genesis pack will arrive this December, and the other is planned for the second half of next year.
In addition to a new map, a new story, and the ability of building a fort on a sea turtle.
“For Genesis, we’re actually introducing our first speaking character to Ark who’s with you throughout the game, in the form of HLN-A,” said Jesse Rapczak, technical art director and co-creative director of Studio Wildcard.
HLN-A (Human Learning Neural Aid) is a fully-voiced floating AI companion who follows you around, gives the player missions and goals, and brings the story of Ark to the forefront of the action.
“So instead of just being a sandbox survival experience,” Rapczak said, “Genesis takes that sandbox heritage that comes from the rest of Ark, but wraps it up with some direction on things that you would want to do to get through the story points, and tackle the final boss, and uncover the next chapters of the story we’re telling.”
According to Rapczak, HLN-A will work on any current Ark map, follow the player around, talk and react to player actions, serve as a hovering flashlight in dark areas, and be able to perform other functions.
Over the months leading up to the release of Genesis, Rapczak said they’ll use HLN-A to deliver little pieces of lore related to the Genesis expansion to players that have obtained her by pre-purchasing the season pass. You can still play Ark with friends who haven’t pre-purchased the expansion and they’ll be able to see HLN-A following you around in the game.