Work as a Team or Suffer a Grisly Death in Evolve

Naming your game “Evolve” is a bold move, especially when you’re claiming that you’re changing a well-loved game formula so significantly that your new release becomes “the next stage of gaming.” But man, “Evolve” may do exactly that, and it’s going to be awesome.

The game brands itself as an asymmetrical multiplayer game, meaning it’s four versus one: a team of four Hunters trying to take down one monster. Unlike in Turtle Rock Studios’ previous series “Left 4 Dead,” the character choices in “Evolve” are significant. The demo included four individuals with their own abilities: Maggie, the Trapper, could slow down the monster, or prevent it from fleeing. Hyde, the Assault guy, was heavy on firepower. Lazarus, the Medic, kept everyone alive. And Bucket, the Support robot, helped track the monster and keep the team hidden. (Of course every character also has a unique weapon for fighting, even if its not their primary skill. So Medics can kick giant monster butt too.)

“Evolve” clicked for us because it became immediately clear how important it was to work as a team – and the game makes working together simple. The demo did an excellent job of teaching us not only our own skills, but also those of the other players. So we all had an idea right off the bat of how to work together. And there’s an intense amount of satisfaction when you tram up with strangers and do something awesome. Bucket laid down some turrets to scare the massive monster away from the group, while Maggie set up a shield to keep it from going too far, boxing it in for a full barrage of firepower from Lazarus. This is a game where you’re going to
need a headset, because communication is the difference between life and death.

On the other side of the coin is the monster. In this E3 demo, that monster was a Kraken, a flying, energy blast-shooting behemoth, which played very differently from the Hunters. While the Hunters are played in first-person mode, Kraken players see the action in a third-person view. The Kraken’s goal is to run around the environment, eating wildlife so it can grow stronger and evolve (hence the game’s name!). If you evolve enough you become too strong for the Hunters to defeat. In turn, Hunters have to stay on top of the monster – while trying to stay alive. And it’s not just the main monster that’s dangerous; you can be attacked by other wildlife as well. This is a living, dangerous world where wandering off alone means certain death.

Turtle Rock Studios mentioned that there are additional character classes and playable monsters, so you can expect a lot of interesting combinations of mayhem. It’s a definite shift from the locked-in cast of “Left 4 Dead,” which really makes the game that much more exciting. Whether you choose to hunt a huge, scary monster or
be the huge, scary monster, “Evolve” is a total blast. It lands Oct. 21 on Xbox One.