Evolve Steals Game of the Show at PAX East 2014
It’s been almost 5 years since the last time Turtle Rock Studios released the critically acclaimed Left 4 Dead 2 on PC and Xbox 360. At PAX East 2014, the team finally unveiled their new asymmetrical cooperative/competitive shooter, Evolve, to the public. PAX media got a first hand look at the game and also saw a small demo that gave those attending a brief run-down. I must say for a person like myself who has never played any of the Left 4 Dead series, I was extremely impressed.
Characters, Classes, and Abilities
Evolve gives the gamer a choice that I don’t think we have ever seen before in a video game. In this game you can play as “the villain,” or Goliath, which will not be the only monster in the finale build. In Evolve, 5 players play in a 4 vs 1 co-op match with 4 players hunting down 1 monster before he evolves to “level 3”. There are 4 types of hunters, all having their own abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. The 4 hunters are: trapper, support, medic, and assault. The trapper uses the harpoon to slow down the monster’s movement. The assault hunter deals a lot of damage to the monster with his lightning gun and arc mines, that take a few seconds to detonate – adding strategy and management. The support hunter uses offensive and defensive weapons, which make him the ultimate threat. Offensively, support uses a laser cutter to injure the monster and a well-timed orbital barrage to strike the final blow. Defensively, he has the ability to shield his teammates while in cloak mode to keep the squad alive. The medic uses a sniper rifle to deal damage to Goliath and heals fellow hunters that have been hurt in battle with the healing ray gun.
Now, let’s talk about the monster in Evolve. Defeating the monster is the main objective in the co-op game, but players can also choose NOT to play as the HUNT-ERS and take on the roll as the HUNT-ED. Goliath is one of the many main monsters that will be playable in Evolve. Just as the hunters have skills and abilities, the monster does as well. Throughout the game, Goliath must eat wildlife to become stronger and “evolve” into 3 different stages. The monster can throw rocks, breath fire, has leaping and charging attacks, and can perform a combo called the savage killer combo. We did not get to see the three evolutions of Goliath during the demonstration, but hopefully in the near future we will get to see more stages, monsters and maps.
My Impressions With Playable Demo
After getting my hands on the PC version of the game, running on Alienware hardware, I must say that the game moved and played amazingly. I chose to play as the assault character just to get a feel of him. The controls are pretty basic and similar to many shooters, but where tight, precise, and the players moved flawlessly around the map using jet packs to traverse upwards and downward again. The level design was also really well done. The trees, lakes, and animals throughout the area looked great. There were a lot of high and low grounds that break up the repetition, giving you a true feeling of exploration when searching for Goliath. One problem with the hunting system, in my opinion, is the footprint recognition system that allows the hunters to track the monster easily. I feel it is a huge disadvantage for those playing as the monster. It may have just been a guide or special mode for the demo version created to speed up the match for time’s sake – I’m not sure. The character models and art style resemble Left 4 Dead, which may make fans of the series feel right at home with this new IP. The sound effects in the game really drew me into the world. Sounds such as Goliath charging at myself and the others, the different gun sounds, and the wild life roaming freely within the arena, made the experience feel very believable.
I had high hopes for Evolve after it was revealed earlier this year and my expectations have been exceeded. Ever since Borderlands 1 and 2, I have been enjoying cooperative games more so this seems right up my ally. I still want to see how the games will perform and look on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One when it comes out this fall. Evolve just may have been my game-of-the-show and that’s saying a lot going up against games like The Evil Within, Watch_Dogs, The Crew, and Borderlands Pre-Sequel.
Evolve will be hitting stores this fall coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Having learned more about Evolve, how do you feel about the game? Does it sound like something that you’d take interest in?
Sound off in the comments below!