Evolve, one of next year’s most anticipated games, and with sound reason. During this year’s PAX Prime, I had the opportunity to sit down and play the game, and let me just say: this game is absolutely astounding from what I can tell.
Evolve is the highly anticipated 4 vs 1 competitive/cooperative game (depending on if you’re the monster or hunters) from Turtle Rock Studios, the same studio that brought us the highly successful Left 4 Dead games. The game pits four player controlled humans against one human controlled monster. There are four different classes for the hunters: medic, assault, support, and trapper. The medic is tasked with keeping their companions alive, at the same time, staying out of the monster’s range because of their vulnerability. Assault on the other hand, is suppose to be in the monster’s face at all times and deal a large quantity of damage upon the monster; the assault is going to be the main damage dealer. The trapper’s job is to track and pin the monster in one location, so the other hunter’s can unleash insurmountable pressure unto the unsuspecting creature. Support is a versatile hunter, laying down cover fire, and protecting their companions from danger. Each class has multiple character that you can chose from — the class abilities is dependant on which character is chosen , which in turns adds strategic value in the character select screen. Every class has an essential role in hunting the monster down and defeating it, so teamwork is imperative.
Evolve‘s monster is reminiscent of fighting the final boss in a videogame. The monster is going to be entirely alone, relying on no help fro other players. Some may find this role intimidating or empowering (like myself). The objective of the monster is to seek sustenance to level up, and escape the hunter’s gaze until it reaches its final stage, all at the same time. With each passing level, the monster becomes stronger, allowing the player to upgrade its abilities how they see fit; the monster also gains more armour to protect its health, because once the monster loses health, it cannot regain it back. Once the monster reaches its final stage, it has two options, to either kill all of the hunters or to destroy the level’s vault. There are 2 monsters to choose from ( so far): the mobile cthulhu like creature, the Kraken, and the behemoth, Goliath. These two monsters come equipped with separate abilities and playstyles — the Goliath likes to do all of its combat from up close and hits hard, the Kraken on the other hand, is going to be more technical with its long ranged abilities and attacks. The monster’s success is heavily reliant on the player’s cunningness, and whether or not they are able to utilize the environment to their advantage.
Evolve‘s environment is a character in itself, concealing various wildlife and plantlife that can be a help to the monster, while its a hinderance to the hunters. The various levels that the game drops the players within come littered with animals hidden within the environment that can be used to deter the hunters from their goal. The environment can be the monster’s most reliable weapon against the hunters — for example: the monster could deliberately lead its footprints next to a monster that lies dormant in a lake, and can sneak away and watch the hunters fall for its trap. Having an environment this treacherous means that the hunters have to be cautious, and aware of their surroundings at all times, for they are now in the monster’s domain.
This is an aesthetically pleasing game. The graphical style of Evolve, breathes life within the level’s environment. Everything in this game looks beautiful, the lighting, shadows and particle effects, wowed me while I was in the midst of combat. When traversing the level as either the monster or hunters, I was taken aback from how seamlessly the game ran, with so much detail and wildlife that was on screen all at once.
Ultimately, Evolve deserves all the attention it’s receiving. The game is endless fun that will never become stale, because of the variety the game has to offer. I have a feeling that this game is the next big thing for the competitive scene, because of the strategy and teamwork that is needed to be employed to become successful at the game. This game is not for the faint of heart — it requires an abundance of skill to play, and nothing happens by chance. After having the opportunity to play this game I was disappointed that it was delayed, but I soon realize that this game is worth the wait and surely the final product will be an immaculate masterpiece. From what I saw and played from the game at PAX Prime, this game is going to be a frontrunner for game of the year in 2015. Once this game releases, the competitive gaming scene will never be the same.
Evolve is set to release on February 10th of 2015.