The new trailer for ARK 2 shows Vin Diesel as the main character, but is his inclusion in the franchise a positive or negative development?
The much-anticipated trailer for ARK 2 debuted to mixed reactions from fans. The game itself looks spectacular, a worthy sequel to ARK: Survival Evolved. Filled with the same fan-favorite dinosaurs and gameplay, the game will also be more detailed and have an expanded plot. However, the most discussed aspect of the new trailer has been the presence of Vin Diesel, the actor most famous for the Fast & Furious franchise. Vin Diesel plays as Santiago, with Auli’i Cravalho, the breakout star of Disney’s Moana, playing as his daughter Meeka. ARK fans were surprised by the inclusion of the popular action movie star and have had mixed opinions on his involvement in the game.
Vin Diesel himself spoke of his excitement on his personal Instagram page and mentioned that his son got him interested in ARK: Survival Evolved, saying “Any real gamer is excited for Ark 2!!!” His enthusiasm for the game and his self-declared identity as a gamer have led to many fans of the series warming to Diesel. However, other fans are skeptical of his involvement, calling his inclusion a cash grab for the franchise and an ego booster for him.
In the trailer, Vin Diesel rides atop a heavily armored carnivorous theropod, likely the fan-favorite Tyrannosaurus Rex. Some fans have found it strange to see the action star in a video game rather than on the movie screen. However, Diesel has actually appeared in a handful of video games prior to ARK 2, including The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, Wheelman and more recently Fast & Furious Crossroads. While the games he starred in received mixed receptions from gamers and critics alike, Diesel brought a bold and unique dynamic to these games that managed to win over many fans. Although his experience with video game acting is limited, his past titles give some fans hope that he has the experience needed to bring an energetic presence to ARK 2.
Many fans of the original ARK: Survival Evolved are concerned that the survival elements of the first game will not translate over and that the sequel will be more action- and adventure-focused, especially with the main character being a well-known action actor famous for exciting, high-octane movies. Other gamers have welcomed these potential changes and are excited to see a more intense, action-filled gameplay experience. Fans are divided over the inclusion of Vin Diesel, with many gamers voicing support for his presence and even calling it a dream come true. Fans of Diesel’s films and characters are particularly enthusiastic, insisting that he’ll bring an intense and vibrant presence to the game. His fans claim he’s a perfect fit for the game’s themes of survival, determination and family bonds, as Santiago will no doubt be his daughter Meeka’s protector and guide through the game’s dangerous dinosaur-filled world.
More skeptical fans have voiced concerns over Diesel’s suitability for the game and his intentions of joining the production. With his celebrity status and the nature of his past roles, some wonder if he’s simply starring in the game to boost his ego. Many remain unsure if Diesel himself is a good fit for any video game acting opportunities, let alone a game heavily focused on surviving in harsh environments without the support of others. His acting in his movies has also come under fire from some fans, who have claimed that he could potentially ruin the entire game and even the franchise with his style and quality of acting. However, some fans have remained positive, claiming his inclusion could encourage more people to try out the game and join the community built around the franchise. His presence could even encourage more people to try out video games in general.
ARK fans remain divided on his involvement, but until more gameplay is released, it remains to be seen if Vin Diesel’s appearance in ARK 2 is a positive occurrence. While fans are being very vocal with their opinions, there does seem to be a lean in the direction of support for his new role in the sequel.
Vicki is a disabled gaming writer for cbr.com. Her interests include tabletop and video games, anime and manga, cooking and baking, dinosaurs and birds, vintage fashion and writing fiction. She lives in the UK with her two cats Blue and Echo.