Evolve is one of the most highly anticipated games of the new generation of consoles and has been since it was announced. Alex and Austin had a chance to play it at PAX East and they loved it. With the addition of a few new characters and a new monster, I had to get my hands on the game to see if there have been any improvements or changes to the game in the interim.
There were monitors around the entire Evolve booth and on a looping video, developer Turtle Rock Studios made it abundantly clear that if you are playing as one of the hunters and you run off on your own or don’t work together as a group, you will die. I started the game as the Medic class hunter, Lazarus. He is armed with a sniper rifle that weakens spots on the monster, the titular Lazarus device that revives downed teammates, and the healing burst ability.
The controls were as silky smooth and intuitive as ever. It’s easy to figure out everything your hunter can do and how they can get around the map using their jetpack. Lazarus’ sniper rifle had by far my favorite ability. In theory, I could stand back and weaken the monster’s armor while my teammates, particularly the Assault class, get up close and personal to deal massive damage. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Needless to say our “team” played horribly, like the Miami Heat of video games to be precise, and we lost the match. Everybody drifted away from each other almost immediately and I kept getting killed in the process of reviving fallen teammates. Every character has a Last Stand ability reminiscent of those in Call of Duty games, an ability that keeps you alive for a few extra seconds so that your teammates can come resuscitate you. If they don’t make it, you have to wait to be dropped back into the map via dropship. That was my entire experience, so I can tell you that at least the dropship sequence is cool and doesn’t get boring.
The winner of the match was the new monster, the Kraken. Unlike its water-dwelling legendary inspiration, this Kraken looks Cthulhu-like and travels across the map by either running or levitating to stay out of the reach of the hunters. Instead of playing like the melee-focused Goliath from the PAX demo, Kraken uses its tentacles as whips for a melee attack. However, it attacks mostly using either dark energy in the form of energy mines, a powerful area of effect vortex, or calling down dark lightning on a single target. All of its attacks looked great but seemed extremely overpowered. In fact, watching about seven or eight games, it became clear that no matter how in sync the team or how well they played, they couldn’t take down the tentacled powerhouse. Turtle Rock may have some tweaking to do before the game releases.
Gamers can look forward to working together or dying alone when Evolve releases October 21st on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.