Slowly, but surely, there seems to be a new trend of primarily multiplayer based video games, which makes a lot of sense in a time in which the multiplayer modes of games like Call of Duty are so popular. As a full title release, though, I’m still not sold on it. Evolve’s another one of these games. However, it has quite a few differences which make it a great game to the right audience – or should I say, audiences.
Evolve’s a multiplayer based FPS set sometime in the future in a distant galaxy on the planet Shear, pitting human hunters against giant, evolving monsters for survival. Each hunter’s a unique class: Assault, Trapper, Medic, and Support, with skills needed to help one another and to track, trap, and kill the monster. There are four game modes, Hunt, Nest, Rescue and Defend and a small five mission campaign that includes all of them. Every mode in the game CAN be played solo, whereas a game like Titanfall’s multiplayer only. Is Evolve good enough to keep players playing where Titanfall couldn’t? I’m not too sure.
The thing that Evolve can do and certainly should do is become a hit in the competitive scene, whether it’s professional or stick to live streaming, but again, this’ll only work if enough people are interested in it. Another thing I’ve noticed is there does seem to be quite a lot of lag in the game, which is certainly not good for a multiplayer based game.
Developed by the same team who made Left 4 Dead 2, you’d think that Evolve‘s co-op gameplay would be spot-on. It is. Evolve’s an absolutely fantastic game in which you need to work with your entire team or things will get very difficult very fast. It’s all about speed – the faster you can find the monster, trap it, and kill it before it can evolve and become ridiculously strong, the better. Each class has a role in the team: the Assault causes the most damage; the Trapper, who not only traps the monster in a huge bubble shield, but also has a pet of his own; Daisy, who can track the monster; the Medic who’s the only character who can heal others and also provide weak spots on the monster; and finally, the Support, who can protect other players with shields or a cloak.
There are also three characters per class, offering unique abilities, making each match-up different. Each class plays very differently and it might surprise you which one suits you best. I actually have the most fun playing the medic, as she’s armed with a sniper making her play a pretty awesome mix between twitch shooting and healing teammates. That’s Val for you, but other medics use different weapons.
Not to mention there are currently four monsters, the Goliath, a huge fire breathing beast, the Kraken, an electric flying monster, the Wraith, a stealth focused creature, and the Behemoth, the biggest monster with the ability to roll into a ball; with more being added to the game in the future. In Hunt, the standard game mode, the monster begins with a head-start on the hunters, allowing you to feed on wildlife in order to evolve to the next stage. The monster has 3 stages, becoming much stronger each time, and upon reaching stage 3 the monster can destroy the relay, or kill everyone to achieve victory. Both the monster and the hunters can be hurt or evil killed by dangerous wildlife, and killing the larger animals can be prosperous, gaining a buff.
Evolve also features a leveling system where completing challenges unlocks abilities and characters, as you only start with one character per class. So despite there not being a ton of content compared to games with a full campaign and multiplayer, you will need to keep playing to experience everything the game has to offer. I cannot complain about the game mechanics at all, it’s fun, competitive but can be extremely challenging if your opponent manages to evolve to Stage 3. The monster is definitely a unique role to play in a video game. Being a one man team and being in control of so much power’s a very thrillingly intense experience. You can also play your role in one of two ways, either full on attack trying to kill every hunter, or stealthily to attempt to evolve and take out the relay. Sneaking and hiding as a giant monster’s tricky business let me tell you…The single player mode may be considered as practice, but it’s actually very challenging as the difficulty wavers depending on how easily you beat the previous mission.
Evolve’s also quite a beautiful game, with polished smooth-looking graphics. This is to be expected as the game isn’t as big as others, but it’s definitely worthy of being a “next-gen” title in terms of visuals. Some of the wildlife models could of had some extra work put into them, but they still look good, just a clear difference between the wildlife and the players. The fire looks absolutely stunning and really stands out among the common greens and browns of the environment.
Although the game’s unmemorable music is really just background music, the sound effects make the game quite feel cinematic and pretty important to listen out for when tracking the monster. Also, when a plant you didn’t notice chomps you up it’s a pretty shocking experience, and quite annoying and getting killed by the scenery rather than the huge boss is…embarrassing, to say the least.
Before I end this review, I’d also like to mention the mobile app: Evolve: Hunters Quest. When Turtle Rock Studios announced it, I, like many others, were just like ‘wut’ – a Bejeweled Evolve mobile game? What madness… when in fact, it’s actually pretty fun.
Each class has its own tokens to match, creating special tokens when matching 4 or 5, but they also fill up the classes meter which can be used to perform an action. The actions are used in the scene above, where the hunters take on wildlife or the monster, making this not only a Bejeweled-style game, but a tactical turn based shooter too. It’s very challenging and will require you to play previous levels to gain XP and you can also transfer XP to your console or PC version of the game, giving you another, free way of leveling up your characters.
The only thing that really bothered me is that I noticed a kickstarter for the game Ironcast, created back in October 2014, for a very similar looking game. Just take a look at the screenshots below. I know copying other people’s work is sometimes coincidental but come on…this seems like a stolen concept if you ask me.
Evolve‘s ultimately an engaging, fun game to play, but I feel at the current stage with a lack of content, players might get bored of it pretty quickly. The good news is that the PC version’s pretty cheap on Amazon or Steam, making the game worth buying. The full price (or the price for the console versions) is too steep for what you get, but Evolve‘s got a great direction. I’d love to see it in eSports or become a staple in the industry of annualized FPS shooters we’ve been getting lately.