Evolve takes on more than what Turtle Rock had in mind when announcing their latest experiment on multiplayer gaming. The concepts put forth into Evolve were a gamble and something unseen before at that. My time spent on the planet Shear hunting these monsters that have every intention of ripping me limb from limb is a rush, what a world we hunt in.
What I’ve enjoyed since the beginning is how welcoming the game has been to the player base, preview after preview, alpha to beta, Turtles Rock has been consistently allowing players to enjoy a taste of the final product. I joined in a handful of times from the Big Alpha to the Beta. These experiences helped shaped my opinion before I could buy it benefiting both myself and the developer.
Evolve is played from a handful of perspectives such as the assault class of the game deals the biggest damage all around and has some of the cooler weapons to do the assaulting. The medic is just that – the person who can heal the wounds and revive those who have fallen by the monster. The support class aids teammates by shielding everyone from view, providing air strikes and turning us into faux predators by making everyone invisible. The trapper is essential to hunting the monster by providing the mobile arena that does just that, provides an arena to strike the monster down.
Each class has three selectable characters available, with more available through DLC. These characters each have their own unique approach to the hunt and offer a variety of tactics that enhance the game’s longevity. This isn’t limited to the humans of the game either, and so far I’ve only been able to unlock two of the four monsters available at launch. Each monster has their own move sets that give a variable playstyle. More will be available as DLC becomes available.
I can’t state this enough, but, when everyone as hunters works together to hunt the monster, this game plays out like a choreographed dance. With each character having a set role within the game and can read what the situation currently calls for, the monster should stand no chance of surviving.
Unfortunately, the story is almost non-existent and relies heavily on the tactical gameplay that Evolve has in spades. Through the character interactions as you hunt these behemoth monsters is witty banter and laughs. Each character has plenty of personality and each adds a piece to an expanding story told through these interactions.
The need for communication is key to success as many times we would split up and lose sight of the goal, mindlessly wandering these large maps to try and find a clue as to where the monster could be. The best chance of succeeding is when the party sticks together playing off each class to put that monster down.
After five or so hours of playtime, it was my turn to take the reins of the Goliath – being the monster of the tale plays out differently than the hunters. Make too much noise and birds will flee alerting your pursuers to your general location. The key is to stealthily move around the map and gaining energy to evolve the monster to level 3 which sends an alert to the hunters to make a move for the power relay. At this point, I had acquired enough energy to get to the needed level to end this game and the frenzy to put me down began. The rush of having to assault this power relay whilst taking on four human hunters was exhilarating – in the end I took down all but the medic who had no backup left and proceeded to destroy that relay to end the round.
It’s these exciting experiences that provide the story for the game and we write our own tales of what happened on Shear each time.