Evolve - Game Review
You’re traversing the lush jungles of planet Shear with your teammates and a Goliath is hot on your trail ready to tear you to shreds.
You’re traversing the lush jungles of planet Shear with your teammates and a Goliath is hot on your trail ready to tear you to shreds. Fortunately, you along with three of your teammates who have specific skill sets can fight back and defend yourselves from the ferocity of the various monsters found in the treacherous terrain of Shear. From being one of the four Hunters, you can also embody one of these bloodthirsty monsters and wreak havoc, disintegrating anything or anyone that is in your way. Evolve revolves around this asymmetrical gameplay mechanism where one moment you’re ripping your opponents to pieces and the next, getting ripped to pieces.
Turtle Rock Studios, known for their excellent work on 2008’s Left 4 Dead and it’s sequels, along with reputed publisher 2k Games have set out to achieve an unprecedented experience in the co-operative genre which was severely lacking since the beginning of this generation.
The co-operative gameplay mechanics take the spotlight rather than the story in Evolve. This can be backed up by a very simple backstory: humans have landed on Shear amidst precarious conditions to learn about the planet’s ecosystem when they are attacked by terrifying creatures. To counter this, the humans assemble a team of mercenaries and soldiers and are tasked with rescuing as many human inhabitants as possible.
With a decent enough story to get you started, Evolve lets you play as either the Hunters or the monsters. The Hunters can be other humans or bots and teamwork and strategy are key to taking down a monster. As the Hunters you can choose from the assault class who provide heavy weaponry and explosives that must be used wisely, the support class can protect teammates and even in call in reinforcements.
The other two classes that make up your team are the medic and trapper, while the medics can heal the teammates and even resurrect teammates, the trapper can track down the monsters and slow them down too which makes the task of taking them down much easier.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have the brute force and frightening nature of the monsters. The monsters are divided into three classes: the Goliath, Kraken and Wraith with each having unique ways to eviscerate your opponents. The Goliath employs it’s sheer size and fire breath to kill, Kraken is a nightmare in the sky that spews lightning and finally Wraith is a silent assassin that prefers to outsmart and trick its enemy.
There are quite a few varied modes where even more mayhem takes place. In the basic Hunt mode, the Hunters are assigned to take out any monsters in the area after tracking them down. Nest missions have the monsters protecting their eggs scattered over the world while the Hunters have to find and destroy them. Rescue missions are the opposite, tasking Hunters with finding and rescuing injured colonists from monsters that are hunting them down.
Finally, the Defend mode is a horde mode found in Gears of War, where the colonists are trying to board a ship with monsters and minions on their tail while Hunters are holding them off. But the game shines when it ties all these together in the form of Evacuation mode.
In this mode, players can vote for the game type they’d like to play next with the Hunt mission that starts them off. With environmental and player actions, the map changes dynamically and results in varied outcomes. According to the developers, there are a whopping 800,000 variables that players can experiment with in Evacuation.
Visuals and Audio
Evolve depicts the treacherous jungles of Shear artfully along with the destruction and mayhem of the battles utilizing CryEngine 4. Games like Ryse: Son of Rome and Star Citizen along with Evolve take advantage of the next-gen only engine tailored to render environments and character with tremendous detail.
In Evolve, the visual design is an aspect that has to be applauded. The towering rock formations, character models, creative monster designs and the unique weapons makes this game stand out from other competitive shooters. The audio in this game is sure to creep you out, with faint chatter and squishes emanating from the jungle that put you on high alert.
Evolve is marketed as a co-operative, competitive, 4 vs 1 third person shooter. So players yearning for a gripping story aren’t going to find it here so this can be a deal-breaker for some. As thrilling as the gameplay is with numerous modes and classes to choose from, the gameplay may get banal and repetitve after a number of hours. Another minor complaint is the missing split-screen feature for those gamers looking for couch fun.
As with the current generation norms, a DLC calendar has been planned out. The DLC comprises of extra monsters, maps and modes to play with, but the aggresive pricing for the additional content doesn’t justify the purchase for now which is unfortunate. But at it’s core, Evolve is a competitive shooter that is meant to be played with friends offering a massive amount of replayablility and hours of entertainment.