Ark: Survival Evolved Genesis expansion adding new dinos and a talking robot starting this December

The next big Ark: Survival Evolved expansion is Ark: Genesis, developer Studio Wildcard announced. Genesis will be split into two parts, with part one arriving on PC, PS4, and Xbox One this December, and part two scheduled for winter 2020. Players can pre-purchase the $35 Genesis season pass now to get immediate access to HLN-A (pronounced Helena), a little floating robot companion who acts as a narrator and guide. She'll just kind of hover around you for now, but she'll play a major role in the expansion's story. 

As technical art director and co-creative director Jesse Rapczak told our friends at PC Gamer, "instead of just being a sandbox survival experience, 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." HLN-A, the first speaking character in Ark's history (unless you count the dino grunts), is a key part of this new direction. 

In addition to HLN-A, Genesis will introduce new biomes to explore, exotic creatures to tame - including a giant sea turtle on which you can build a base, a fire-breathing lizard, and a hangry gremlin thing - and yet more items to craft. It will also add new base-building options, and good luck to them because it's going to be hard to follow 'build a base on the back of a giant sea turtle.' I've been wanting to do that in a video game ever since I saw the Lion Turtle in Avatar: The Last Airbender. 

Last year, we took a deep dive into a secret war that's been dominating Ark: Survival Evolved for over two years.