Evolve is a brand new co-op game coming from the team that developed Left 4 Dead at Valve. Turtle Rock Studios is calling this the next generation of shooters, and hopefully this will be a breath of fresh air to many gamers. Evolve is coming to Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC in the later half of 2014. Before we dive in to what we can expect from Evolve, check out the really neat trailer below.
Evolve multiplayer looks like an extension of Left 4 Dead multiplayer, but arguably at a lot faster pace. Players take one of two sides – the hunters or the hunted. The hunters are a group of 4 individual classes with one common goal – kill the beast and prevent it from destroying the objective. While it isn’t quite known what exactly “the objective” will be, it is likely that it will simply be something that the monster will have to destroy before being killed by the hunters, specific to each map. On the other end of the spectrum, a player can play as a giant monster, with the ability to evolve into larger, stronger versions of its past self by eating animal AI scattered around the planet. One of the monsters that players will get to wreak havoc with is a large fire-breathing beast called “Goliath”. There will be more monsters that a player can choose to dominate with, but those will come later. This is confirmed due to the pre-oder bonus being a new monster character.
One interesting thing that Turtle Rock Studios is doing with Evolve is the way that weather changes the gameplay. Adding weather to a game isn’t all that revolutionary, but Turtle Rock actually makes the weather affect the gameplay. One of the prime examples used is rain. Players will need to find the monster and kill it before the monster destroys the objective, so one of the tracking methods is the use of footprints. If it is raining in the environment, however, the monster’s footsteps will wash away making him harder to track. Not only that, but sounds will also be drowned out again making the beast a bit harder to find.
There is potential for more game modes in the future, but this is just what has been revealed. It is also said that there will be a single player mode, but the developer isn’t quite ready to talk about it yet.
Aside from the giant monster destroying everything in its path, players will get to choose from 4 initial classes – Assault, Medic, Trapper and Support.
The assault class seems to be a standard across many games, and in Evolve its purpose is simple – do as much damage to the monster as possible. Markov, a member of the assault class, will utilize both a standard assault rifle, and a powerful lightening gun that will deal massive electric blows at a short range. The assault class will cater to players who like to be right up in the action. With the combination of a large health pool and the ability to take a hit, players using the assault class will never want to be anywhere but up close and personal. Aiding the brute force of the assault class is a personal shield that will allow relief from damage, at least for a short amount of time.
One thing that we know from playing online games is that a lot of players hate being the healer. Usually, this involves staring at health bars, rather than feeling like you’ve actually contributed. Turtle Rock tries to break this stereotype with the Medic in Evolve. Val, member of the medic class, carries a medgun that functions much like the healing in Team Fortress 2 – a beam of healing that slowly and continuously heals whoever it is focused on. That’s not the only way the medic can contribute though. Val also carries an anti-material rifle that allows her to pinpoint weak spots on the monster, and highlight them for her teammates. With the anti-material rifle, if you hit a limb a bullseye will show up and other players who aim for this will do extra damage to the monster. This will aid to the teamwork aspect of Evolve. On top of that, Val also has a tranquilizer rifle that will slow the monster down for a period of time, also aiding to the usefulness of the medic class.
The trapper class in Evolve will be a crucial member on every team. Not only does the trapper have the ability to hunt down the monster, it can also prove to be a real nuisance to the monster. Griffin, a member of the trapper class, uses a harpoon gun to help contain the monster. If hit with this harpoon, the monster will have a much harder time getting away, and will have to shift its offensive focus to Griffin to get rid of this hold. On top of that, the Trapper also aids in attacking the monster with an Gauss SMG. Lastly, and quite frankly one of the most useful things we’ve yet seen, the trapper has the ability to use something called a “mobile arena”. Essentially, this creates a dome shaped force filed for a short period of time that prevents friends and enemies from leaving the area. This can be a game changer if the monster is trying to escape, but will definitely make the trapper a focus for damage.
Last but certainly not least is the support class. The support class in Evolve is used to increase the survivability of the team, and increase the damage done to the monster. Hank, a member of the support class, uses a shield gun to provide a short burst of invulnerability to teammates, making him a crucial part of the team. He can shield the medic from an oncoming attack which in turn could help the medic save someones life. On top of this, Hank has a laser cutter designed specifically for cutting into monster flesh. This will do large amounts of damage to the monster, but will also blatantly give away Hank’s position, making him a focus for attack. Hank also has another powerful offensive attack called “orbital barrage”. This attack is an airstrike that causes massive amounts of damage to anyone caught in the radius. Lastly, Hank has a cloaking device that will make him and nearby allies invisible for a short amount of time. This cloaking device should offer some variability in gameplay, with the chance for surprise attacks or quick escapes.
What Turtle Rock Needs to Watch Out For
While many of these concepts sound new and exciting, Turtle Rock studios could easily ruin this game through one minor concept – balancing. If this game is not balanced perfectly, players are not going to want to play. If the monster can’t possibly benefit from something like a rainy environment, and it is almost an automatic loss, then nobody is going to want to play as the monster. Even further, if they can’t find a good balance between classes and make every class fun, then there will be a surplus of the favored classes, and not many who like to play the least favorite. In a game on this scale, with this many variables, balancing is key.
All in all, we’ll see how Evolve comes along in the next few months as we grow closer to release. Hopefully, it won’t be too much of a clone of Left 4 Dead and will offer a fun, balanced experience. Players who pre-order the game will get an exclusive Goliath skin that actually looks really neat, and a new monster character free.