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Ark: ISO Crystal Isles [Workshop Mod Review]

Absolute beauty… this Workshop Mod provides for you and your crew a map that is absolutely beautiful. It’s a work of art. Considering I’ve found so very much beauty in every official map, it takes a lot for me to say something like that. The various biomes are colorful and full of life and resources. The question is, how many times are you willing to die to finally be able to survive this beauty?

Changes to the Game

The changes to the standard game in Crystal Isles include both additional adventurous landscapes and specialized creatures.  First and foremost are the crystals. Each crystal, and sometimes even the landscape itself (trees, shrubs, plants) provide specialized resources that can be used to help you and your tribe. It’s like the developers added a backdoor “easy button” to the game.  Crystals can be used in place of so many things! And they are a dominant feature of the various biomes and landscapes.

Also present are crystal wyverns. These creatures make your game. They are smaller than regular wyverns (who are also present in the Crystal Isles) however, they are just as useful. They can also be tamed non-violently using crystals. So, once you have a few of these guys around, other tames become easier and travel becomes easier.

You now have options all over the map. And that map holds a lot more than regular biomes. As I stated before, each biome is themed for the colorful crystals found there, so graphically speaking, it’s gorgeous. Add to that floating islands full of normal dinos, crystal wyverns, and rock drakes. Let us not forget the dead-zone, a biome shrouded in perpetual night where “liquified” dinos and reaper kings and queens roam. This area afflicts torpor damage as electrical currents flow here and there through it (and you) and the creatures here, from the lich-like wyvern down to the skeletal jerboa are unique. Those are not the only dangers in this biome – there are random bubbles of water that you can run into to grab treasures – just be ready for the other creatures waiting within!

I cannot say enough about how visually spectacular this map is! I loved it. And the sounds, they flow just like any other Ark map, official and non.  The playability is fine. I died 5 times just trying to make it to the base of operations my tribe had set up. But it was definitely always entertaining. I went into the map without having seen anything but Jukari’s videos, so I barely knew a thing about it other than it was stunning and looked like fun – which it was. However, the replay value once you reach a certain point in this map can be lost. It’s very easy once you get a good foothold – to get bored. I suppose I could have challenged myself with more things to handle and more exploration to do, but our group voted to move to Ragnorak and I was on board.

Suggestions for the Developer

ADD MORE TO THIS!!! Please update this map for us! There are pieces that were left unfinished and I would love to see the developers complete this map. You can really tell they put their hearts into its creation, now to just keep going. I would venture to say that if it were completed, I would pay for it.  

Yes, I would love to come back to it! However, I am a person who likes challenges, so making things so very easy to get on this map is a double-edged sword for people like me. That, I believe would be the one thing that I am critical of on this Mod. The one and only thing.

Summary
For an easier Workshop Mod (sponsored but unofficial) that is also a breathtaking visual experience, ISO Crystal Isles delivers. It works on so many levels and brings out the creativity of the builder while also giving the adventurer some new challenges to face.
Good
  • Visually appealing
  • Worked with every server I’ve had or known through friends
  • unique creatures and creative biomes to enjoy
Bad
  • Very easy for the more challenge-hearted players
  • Last updated July 2018 - needs more love
9
Superb

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