Evolve Review - We Know Gamers

Its 4 vs 1, its monster against hunters, this has been the basic formula when it comes to Turtle Rock Studio's Evolve! A highly anticipated title indeed, however does it have what it takes to keep players engaged for a long time to come?

After a short delay from its initial release date in 2014, earlier this month Turtle Rock Studio's much anticipated title, Evolve was released to the masses. We managed to get a look at what we could expect from the final game through previews, the alpha and the beta, but now that we have the finished product in front of us, does it still keep us excited?

Now if anyone came to you and said "why don't we make a game where it's four against one"? You would obviously think that would be a little unfair... Well Evolve by Turtle Rock Studios looks to challenge that concept and for the most part succeed, however it does have its downsides, something I'll get into a little later.

The gang, the crew, the team... the posse?

As I mentioned before, the general basis of the game is four against one or in this case, the hunters against the monster with each side having access to a unique set of abilities that they can use during gameplay in order to secure victory. This which I believe to be the big selling point of Evolve is called Hunt where the hunters have to kill the monster and the monster has to either kill the hunters or destroy their main source of power. This mode is part of Evolve's somewhat story mode called Evacuation, where you play five missions in a dynamic campaign. All game modes are included and the jist here is that the environment is affected by winning and losing. The five game modes are hunt; which is the hunters against the monsters. Rescue where you the monster has to annihilate the remaining survivors while the hunters protect them. Nest requires the hunters to destroy the monster eggs while the monster protects them and lastly

In terms of monsters, there are 3 in the game and these are the Goliath, Kraken and Wraith with the latter two becoming playable once you've levelled up. Each monster has 3 stages of evolution and this can be reached by consuming the wildlife or dead humans in the surrounding area. The monster itself has the ability to sense what's happening within a certain reach which also includes any hunters that may be on its trail. During the evolution itself you can use a certain amount of points to increase the effectiveness of the abilities you chose before the match began increasing it in strength and range.

The four classes of hunters are Assault, Medic, Trapper and Support with each having three characters for a grand total of 12 hunters! While jobs are pretty much the same, each character does bring with them their own skills that really allows the player to adjust the class to their preference.

Hey wanna play a game?

The monster which I found incredibly fun to play is as mentioned above a solo gig and requires you to bide your time, build your strength and then take it to the hunters. Before the match begins you are given the choice to pick four out of 3 abilities to use and using the Goliath as an example these would be Rock Throw, Fire Breath, Charge and (Stomp Move). It really made me feel powerful and capable of tearing things up.

The hunters can be good or bad depending on the combination you decide to go with, seeing as there are 3 in each class. Myself liking to lead in front obviously preferred the assault and was able to take chunks of armour and health off the monster with the lightning gun.

Playing online has so far been a positive experience and I didn't come across any connection problems during my time with it. One thing I always thought about this game was how the experience would be affected online because during early previews I always had my team sitting beside me and was constantly in contact with them... Interestingly enough my thoughts actually came to fruition as there doesn't seem to be any sort of team. During my first game as a hunter, I was assigned the Support role and therefore kept my distance, looked after my team mates, slowed down the monster and exploited its weak points, this inevitably led to our victory, however when it was my turn to be the monster, things ended a little differently.

I found that there was no teamwork between the hunters and stage two was more than enough to take them down. During the entire time I was waiting and building up my strength, I wasn't engaged even once too. Essentially it came down to the fact that I had a much harder time defeating the CPU then the actual human players. Online for what it's worth is brilliant, however when it comes to being a hunter and working with those you don't know... not so much.

The environments you do battle in really make the game.

Visually Evolve's maps look brilliant and you can get a real sense of the world that the hunters and monster are doing battle in. There are over 12 maps available and each one is pretty unique. The use of sound can really bring the environments to life whether it’s a small branch breaking because of passing wildlife or hearing the monster roaring off in the distance it allows for a deeper sense of immersion that you don’t see in most games nowadays.

As mentioned earlier, what Evolve boils down to is 4 vs 1 or the one monster against the four hunters, so the question really here is, how do you balance that to a point that makes sense? I've had the chance to play as both sides and feel that Turtle Rock Studio's have tuned it pretty fairly at which no point did I feel something was overpowered.

However if there was one instance where I felt that the monster may gave been a bit too overpowered was the moment I was presented with the feed perk which allows me to eat my prey a lot quicker and move on. What does this mean for the monster? Well it means that it can reach stage 3 a lot quicker then normal and once I started using this, I found the matches to be way too much in my control, to the point that the hunters themselves didn't even pose a challenge.

I thought it was pretty clever the way Turtle Rock Studio's designed the campaign mode in the form of Evacuation. To keep things short, the premise behind this is that the planet Shear has been overun by a bunch of monsters that is wiping out the humans and therefore, the hunters have been called in to deal with the problem. This runs over a set amount of missions with the winning side gaining an advantage in the next whether its the hunters having health stands around the map or hazardous plants growing and therefore aiding the monster.

You will have a few close encounters such as this.

Its been pretty fun to play and while I was expecting some full, blown out story when they announced they'll be one, its interesting to see the route they've gone down and one that doesn't seem to take anything away from the essence of Evolve.

For the most part, Turtle Rock Studios succeed with the four vs one concept in Evolve, however with such an idea there will always be flaws that can be made use of. The Monster is incredibly fun to play and being a hunter trying to take down a Goliath which is three times the size of you gives quite the rush. I believe where Evolve may have gone slightly off is in its perks system for which one or two can change the game drastically, more specifically the increased feeding perk which helps the monster reach the next stage a lot quicker then it could. Online gameplay thus far has been pretty smooth and I recommend that for the best experience, its always better to play with friends as hunters rather than random players due to you working as a better unit.

Evolve is a game that challenged an idea and pretty much succeeded! It'll be interesting to see how Turtle Rock Studios looks to further support the game over its lifetime.

What did you think of Evolve? Have a different opinion? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on twitter - @WKG_Liban

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