2K Games’s new asymmetrical cooperative/competitive online shooter Evolve, is a grand new leap into the online shooter realm. Because of its steadily immersive gameplay experience, Evolve manages to create a world that blends together both tried and true ideas of other asymmetrical concepts with new and unexplored gameplay elements unseen in a lot of co-op shooters. I feel that Evolve is a lot like an MMO in regards to player progression and relying on others in battle to defeat the monster, while experiencing it all through tightly knitted first person shooter mechanics. It’s an amalgamation of what really works in an online shooter, an MMO, and an asymmetrical multiplayer game. Unlike other online shooters that promise a connected experience, Evolve delivers because without your team, you simply can’t win. Here is everything you need to get ready for this unique online experience coming February 10 to Xbox One, Ps4, and PC.
What is Evolve?
Evolve is a true next-gen experience that features a 5 player multiplayer campaign that pits 4 against 1. 4 players control a team of humans working cooperatively to hunt down the 5th player which controls the monster. The human team focuses on surviving the onslaught of the monster and working cooperatively to take it down. The monster must hunt for food and hide from the humans to eventually evolve to stage 3, making it unstoppable. As a member of the human class, you must work cooperatively with your teammates and know the role that you have been given because in a moment’s notice a novice team can be killed off with ease. Your team is everything. If you start out with a player unfamiliar with the Medic role, then it is very likely that your team will fall in battle. To survive, you must use the environment to your advantage.
Evolve’s pace changes rapidly. One minute you’re either hunting or being hunted, and stalking around to either be freed from the Mobile Arena or imprison the monster within it. The next minute, an all out war breaks out and it’s you vs. them. Each monster requires you to change up your gameplay because the Wraith is more deadly than a Goliath simply because of its invisibility and decoy abilities. Kraken are airborne creatures so you are more likely to be scaling over tall mountains and down waterfalls to seek out the monster. Other Asymmetrical experiences have pitted players in a 4 on 1 match before, but Evolve does it in a way that really requires your best skills by hunting, tracking, trapping, reviving, and killing the monster before it kills you.
Hunting down the enemy is only part of the problem. The Hunt becomes increasingly more difficult depending on the class you have chosen, and the character that you use within that role. For example, hunting with the trapper Maggie and her pet dinosaur Daisy provides physical tracks that Daisy sniffs out so you can follow the tracks leading you right to the creature. While the trapper Griffin uses motion sensors that the monster can trip, gives you an idea of what direction the monster may be in. Weapons differ as do the strategies needed to survive.
Once you’ve trapped the monster you have to kill it. This is when your team really matters because if your medic isn’t healing, reviving, and laying critical hit points on the creature, and your support isn’t rebuffing damage protection, then you are likely to be slain. The monster’s main goal is to defeat the trapper so that the Mobile Arena falls and you can escape to continue to hunt until you evolve to stage 3. All the while inflicting as much damage on the human team as possible.
The 4 Hunter Classes
Each role is different and each character within that role has different perks. For example Markov and Hyde, both from the Assault class, are equally heavy hitters. However Hyde uses a flamethrower and Markov uses a lighting gun. The medics all have some sort of healing weapon, yet Lazarus can instantly revive teammates with his powerful Lazarus gun, and Val cannot.
The Assault’s main role is to injure the monster. Equipped with flame throwers, proximity mines, and assault rifles, this class focuses on dealing damage while taking it. The three main members of the Assault team that the player can chose from are Parnell, Hyde, and Markov.
Without the trapper, the monster will continue to hunt until it Evolves to stage 3 creating a difficult time for your team. When the monster is within range, the Trapper role can throw a Mobile Arena which is basically a force-field that the monster cannot leave once trapped inside. If the trapper goes down, so does the Arena. The three members of the Trapper role are Griffin, Maggie & Daisy, and Abe.
The Medic keeps the team alive. This role mainly heals and revives. Once the player feels confident in the team’s health status, they can take aim at the monster and place damage increased hit point areas with sniper rifles or silenced rifles. If the party focuses on these areas then the monster will receive more damage. Also, the Medic comes equipped with a tranquilizer which both slows and reveals the monster’s location for a limited amount of time, so that the rest of the team can follow it. The three members of the Medic role are Val, Caira and Lazarus.
The support class basically acts as a buffer that adds additional defense and even invisibility to the team. The support member’s job is to keep a force field around the player taking the most damage so that the monster’s blows are significantly decreased. They also come equipped with plasma rifles, and can call in air support from above. The three members of the Support Role are Bucket, Cabot, and Hank.
Playing the monster role is totally unique from the hunter role. Now using a third person view instead of a first person, the monster’s main objective is to hunt wild animals to become stronger while evading the hunters at all costs. The monster starts out at level 1 and is small and weak with only a few skills allowed. A level 1 monster can be killed quickly by the hunters as its shield and life bar are easily whittle away by the monster’s low defense at this level. Once the Monster feasts on the flesh of the animals it has stalked and killed, it can then evolve to level 2, which provides more skills, and is harder to kill.
The skill upgrades featured in each stage, grow stronger as you feast and hide from the hunters. During stage 1 it is imperative to stay as far away from the hunters as possible while feeding. Stage 2 gives the Monster more leeway as now they are evenly matched with the hunters. Damage is increased and through the various upgraded attacks, the player can choose which attacks benefit them more than others to take out certain members of the hunter team to give you an advantage to evolve to stage 3.
Each monster plays differently. The Goliath is a ground creature that must scale walls and use long jumps to gain ground. The creature uses fists and its fire breath whereas the Kraken uses electric mines and long range attacks from above. Understanding the monster that you play, will determine if you can survive long enough to evolve to stage 3. Once you grow to the maximum, the mission adds another way to end the round and it becomes less focused on hunting and killing to destroying the hunter’s main energy reactor, in which they have to defend. At Stage 3, you can choose to kill the hunters, or destroy their home to get more experience.
Whatever side wins will gain more experience, characters, skills and weapon upgrades. Winning is imperative and however you do it, you must decide what side you will chose. Evolve offers players new and interesting way to play with friends across the globe in a constantly evolving online experience that’s dependent on the monsters you hunt, the stages you traverse, and the members in your party.
Evacuation Mode Offers Different Modes of Play
Evolve offers different ways to test your capabilities in the classes you have chosen or the monsters you’ve become familiar with which keeps the game from ever feeling old. 4 modes will be available at launch including Hunt, Nest, Rescue, and Defend which can either be experienced in quick play matches or through a gauntlet of challenges in the Evacuation mode. Evacuation mode is where players will compete in five consecutive battles that offer an array of gameplay modes and dozens of possibilities to play around. One round will have players killing eggs before more monsters hatch, the next will have them protecting captured monsters so that they won’t escape and cause havoc in the next round. Certain rounds will have you even saving civilians to aide you with new weapons like mounted turrets and new abilities.
Evacuation Mode’s consequences are the real meat of Evolve’s gameplay. If you fail to destroy a nest in the first round, then new flying creatures will hatch and work against you in the 2nd round. If you fail to protect the imprisoned Kraken in round 3, then it will escape and then you will have multiple monsters to deal with in round 4. More points are awarded for wining and the story will change depending on what rounds you manage to win, and which ones you fail to complete.
Evolve is available this week on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.