One of the next generation games to be released in 2015 is 2K’s EVOLVE, a world full of monsters, hunters, and fresh vivid environments that are beautiful and terrifying all in one glance. There are an abundance of creatures within the world of EVOLVE and the player actually gets the chance to play as these monsters! That’s like playing as a zombie in any number of apocalypse games and getting to eat the faces off the remaining survivors. Only in EVOLVE you get to face the hunters head on and can tear them limb from limb, just like you always wanted to do. Now let’s check out some of the unbelievable content that will be included in this game.
EVOLVE was developed by Turtle Rock Studios, the same team who brought you Left 4 Dead, and published by 2K Games who are known for their brilliant underwater adventure BioShock. It was built using the CryEngine technology provided by the Crytek community. Being a next gen game, EVOLVE will be released for the PlayStation 4 and XBOX One. But even though it’s a next generation installment, PC gamers will get their chance to experience the EVOLVE environment first hand. It will also be available on Steam for download, but it isn’t clear if it will be released on a separate date or on the same day as the next gen editions. Speaking of due dates, EVOLVE is scheduled to be released for the next generation consoles and PC on February 10, 2015, so gamers definitely have that to look forward to as we go into the new year.
Hunters and the World of EVOLVE
EVOLVE is set up as a 4v1 dynamic, where four hunters take on one monster and as I said before, players can actually play as the monsters in these battles. Since this is a shoot ‘em up monster hunter style game, there are two modes of play: single player and multi-player. So you and your friends can kill one another and eat each others innards, or whatever body part takes your fancy. But on the planet Shear, the world within EVOLVE, you don’t just fight off monsters and hunters, the planet itself is alive. The plants can attack you just as quickly as any of the creatures or people that inhabit the planet. So basically, everything can kill you, so kill everything!
In order to kill everything that tries to, in-turn, kill you, you must either choose a monster or pick from one of the four classes. You can choose from Assault, Trapper, Medic, and Support. Each class comes with their own sets of skills and drawbacks that the other members of the four man squad make up for with their own abilities.
We’ll begin with the Assault members.
Assault party members deal the best punches when it comes to damage ratings. They also are equipped with shields and special abilities that enhance their attacks.
Parnell is a pellet-shooting, shotgun toting bad ass who brings a nice essence to the hunting party, as it’s called. At first glance, though, Parnell looks the part of a medic with his shiny goggles and packed suit but when he fires his rocket launcher, there is not medical awareness in this character what so ever. He is especially brutal in closed quarter combat and offers a special advantage when his suit is in overdrive but it damages Parnell every time the ability is used. So the best thing would be to use it sparingly and only when necessary.
Markov is the pyro of the Assault group. His arc mines are a good go to when the need arrives to protect an objective or when shit hits the fan, the mines can be dropped in the midst of battle to blow your enemies to tiny bits. Markov is also supplied with an assault rifle (of course) and a lightning gun when all else fails, but surely this guy never fails.
Hyde is another member of the Assault class that sports a bad ass flamethrower and a mini gun that is excellent for mid-range attacks. This hunter can also launch toxic grenades that cause damage over a certain amount of time, making the target weaker as long as the effect lasts.
A Trapper is an individual who specializes in tracking and, of course, trapping monsters. They also initiate the battles between the Hunters and the Monsters by trapping the Monster inside a dome called the Mobile Arena.
The first Trapper is Abe. This Tom Selleck look-a-like can tag smaller creatures with tracking devices so that in the event that they are eaten by much larger monsters, the team can be alerted to the beast’s location. Once the monster is located, Abe can slow the creature down by either blasting it a good time with his shotgun or tossing a few stasis grenades in its direction.
Griffin is a Trapper that takes his time with the hunt. He can set sound spikes so that he and his hunting party companions can be alerted if a monster ventures too close into their territory. Even though Griffin tracks his monsters slower than the other two Trappers, he is essential in a formation of a hunting party due to his awesomely effective harpoon gun that demolishes any chance of the Monster escaping.
Maggie is the third and final Trapper in the class. Although it’s really cool that EVOLVE gives a woman a chance to be amongst the men when it comes to monster hunting, she is the most ineffective Trapper in the group. She does, however, have something that none of the other hunters can offer. A pet. Her pet trapjaw, Daisy, can track any slippery monster all over planet Shear. Maggie’s harpoon traps are also a decent asset but as said, her abilities are a bit lacking when she is compared to the other Trapper members of the class.
A Supporter is someone who aids the group in a variety of ways, but the most common is that they can shield themselves, as well as other party members from enemies for a period of time.
Cabot is an excellent edition to any hunting party. His abilities range from orbital dust strikes to some rail rifle action. The most important ability that Cabot possesses is his damage amplifier. This allows him to enhance the strength of other hunters’ attacks against a monster. This increases the amount of damage that the creature takes from the hunting party and is extremely helpful.
Hank deals out damage with his orbital barrage, but the drawback is that the attack is stationary. This means that if the barrage is launched, you better hope the monster doesn’t move, otherwise you’ll have wasted your time. But Hank does come in handy when his laser cutter is in use. This used with his ability to shield the other party members from a distance gives him a small advantage.
As the name insinuates, Bucket is a Support robot that offers a strange, but useful way of helping the group. Bucket can detach his head and send it up into the sky to monitor the nearby area for monsters. Once he has spotted said monster, he can then set up sentry guns that will distract the monster while the hunting party takes advantage of its vulnerable state. If this doesn’t work, then Bucket makes up for it with his guided-missile launcher, and his adorable appeal as a cheerfully yellow robot hunter.
Medics are the final class in the EVOLVE world. Their name is pretty much explanatory, but these members do so much more than heal their wounded fellow hunters.
Although she is a Medic, Caira is a wild one. When she’s not saving her teammates she’s showering enemies with her grenade launcher, which can either shoot toxic Napalm or healing grenades that heal any party member in the line of fire.
Val offers a great deal of fire power considering her rank as a Medic. Don’t be fooled by her beaming medgun either. This Medical babe comes fully equipped with an armor-piercing sniper rifle and tranquilizer gun that will slow any monster in it’s tracks.
Lazarus is peculiarly unique when added to a hunting party. Unlike most Medics that simply heal a wounded party member, Lazarus can actually bring dead hunters back to life! Apart from this interesting ability, Lazarus doesn’t have much else to offer the group. He can conceal himself in order to sneak about, but this only affects him and not the entire group.
This is all the information that is available about EVOLVE at this point in time. But since February is just a month or so away, we won’t have to wait too awful long to enjoy this amazingly robust world of monsters. One final interesting thing that the developers decided to do for this game, is that instead of releasing a flood of downloadable content that you have to pay $20 bucks or more for, will be absolutely free for EVOLVE. This is surprising because most developers love to suck their fans dry when it comes to downloadable content following a game release or patch. But obviously Turtle Rock and 2K are not interested in this concept at the moment, and hopefully it will stay that way.
~Usagi (Kristen Willis)
Walmart Game Center Magazine; Issue 26; Josh Harmon