After Left 4 Dead 2, many gamers were expecting a third episode to happen. It did not come to fruition as Turtle Rock Studios took Cryengine and built a game around killing monsters. Basically, Evolve does have its high points, but most of the time it just drops back to the „okay” levels. It has its issues, but I’d still call it a great title…
When launching the game – whether it be digital which takes 22 gigabytes, or disc-based, which needs 50… how is this even possible? -, we immediately get a taste of what’s to come in the form of the Goliath monster. This is the tutorial, and the title of the game actually relates to the main thing in the game: evolving your monster.
But back to the tutorial, it’s actually good to have, because playing as a Goliath/Wraith/Kraken will need a different style of gameplay than as a Hunter. It’s a must to eat the wildlife around you to gain levels – it doesn’t just make you much more badass in terms of looks, but it also gives you more health and your skills get a boost as well.
Learn to kill
As a monster, there’s definitely a chance to survive and defeat the Hunters at the same time, because let’s face it, it’s a 1v4 match! With a nicely timed and positioned jump, you can get the bowels of that enemy (and then promptly at it as well), or you can bite a few burnt humanoids for lunch. Of course, there’s also the Kraken and the Wraith that you can control, but you gotta play some to get them… hopefully it won’t be much of a problem!
I still can’t leave this unmentioned though: why does Turtle Rock limit me to use only the Goliath at the beginning of the game? Sure, it can be an inspiration to dump more hours into the game, but this ice cream can lick back as well…
In my opinion, the biggest problem of the game in its current state is the must-grind factor. You definitely HAVE to put time into the game to get that new skills. Spend some time to get that park. No-no-no, you have to gain that certain level to unlock the other monsters. It seems to have a weird contrast in comparison to Left 4 Dead – as that game was made by the same team, comparing the two seems unavoidable and makes sense -, in that game, already in the beginning I had many of the tools to succeed and survive, yet here, I have to spend a little too much time to get everything.
Don’t fly solo, boys
Really. Playing alone is a bit boring, it just lacks the fun factor when you play with three of your friends to knock that monster down to its knees. Teamwork is actually paying off, because it can make the team virtually unstoppable if everyone is on beat. The Assault class is obviously meant to be the frontline for the Hunters, for those who prefer to be tanking, I’d recommend Hyde over Markov, but Team Fortress 2 fans might see something in Parnell.
The Medic needs no description – here, my favourite would be Val with that nice sniper rifle, but Lazarus with his short time buff and Caira’s speed boost can also be a good choice. The Support is another class that doesn’t rely on mainly attacking, but it can help support the plans by cloaking the entire team. Hank’s shield, Bucket simply being a robot and Cabot with the damage multiplier all have good points to go for. The Trapper can bog the monster down effectively, you can pick from Maggie/Daisy (oooh, a pet), Griffin or Abe. For long rangers I’d recommend Abe, but if you prefer harpoons, go for Griffin… 🙂
Selling my skin
What made me really disturbed was none other than finding skins for sale in the Store… let me repeat that: skins, being sold, for money… on day one. What the hell? Really, is it that necessary to grab more money instead of inspiring the players to play more by giving them these skins for free on certain levels?
I think this is a ripoff: if I was the developer, I’d rather give them the skins on certain levels (or completing certain challenges), because there’s space for this until you reach the current maximum level, which is 40 at the moment (who wants to bet that it will be eventually raised to 50, than to 60?).
This game is not bad, but it seems to lack a bit. Sure, there’s going to be new maps and also a fourth monster was announced, but I think the amount of content is lagging behind. The fact that skins are sold from the get-go is sad.
The gameplay is a bit on the grindy side, and while it has the potential to be successful, it’s being dragged down as you will need to learn the game. The lack of almost immediate success seen in Left 4 Dead. Not enough monsters, but nicely made Hunters. Do I recommend it? Definitely, but in its current form, Evolve is not going to be a long-time success. Will you be able to play enough to get to level 40?
+ Sometimes the ambiance is spot on
+ The gameplay is alright
+ Different gameplay with monsters
– Pay-to-get items, skins day one?!
– Three monsters, one at the start?
– Requires grinding
Editor: Turtle Rock Studios
Developer: 2K Games
Genres: action, TPS, teampaly, “left4dead”
Publication: 9 February 2015