“Evolve” is the newest First Person Shooter from ‘Left 4 Dead” developers Turtle Rock Studios, available right now for XBOX ONE, Playstation 4 and PC. “Evolve” sells itself as the newest innovator of the FPS genre by throwing out the generic “Player Vs Player death match” formula and opts out to introduce what they are calling “4V1” asymmetric shooter. It stars 4 hunters, each controlled by human players, and pits them up against a monster who is also controlled by a human. Basically it has the hunters hunting the monster and killing it or the monster evolving to stage three and have it kill the hunters. Very cool idea but what the final product was disappointing.
Now let me explain it a bit. The game is set on the planet “Sheer”, a small colonized planet currently be destroyed by an indigenous race of monsters. With Sheer’s defense force dwindling, they are forced to call in hunters to hunt down and slay these monsters. Now who are the hunters? Well they range from secret spies, to bounty hunters, to Veteran soldiers, to scientists and natural born killers. They’re 12 hunters, categorized into 4 different classes; Medics, the ones who are in charged in making sure the entire team is always healed and is basically the most important hunter to take care of, The Trapper, who is gifted with the task of hunting down the monster and making it as vulnerable as possible, The Support, who’s job is to basically support everyone defensibly or offensively and The Assault, who has the easier job and just has to rain down as much damage to the monster as they can. Each of these classes have unique abilities that alter game play in significant ways. For example, one trapper, named Maggie, has a pet dog-like monster named Daisy that can sniff out the monster, but not too well. Abe, the other trapper, has tracking darts that can easily keep track of where the monster is upon shooting one into said monster. All these characters created for the game are very unique and likable and bring something to the table, but the biggest flaw with it, is that people can easily determine which are the best and which are the worst, resulting in seeing the same hunters over and over again and adding to the dullness that drags with this game.
So there are the hunters, they’re lots of them and they seemed fully stocked to the teeth with weapons. So what are they exactly hunting? Well, that’s probably the coolest part of the game, the monsters. The monsters are huge, vicious beasts, with their own unique play styles as well. The first one you unlock is called the “Goliath”, he is your generic movie monster Kaiju, with flame breath, charge and rock throw attacks. The second and third monster though are the most creative. The “Kraken” is a H.G Wells inspired squid-like creature that can fly and shoot lighting in bolt, force field and ball variations and the creepy stealthy “Wraith” monster that can create decoys and abduct hunters, that’s right, it can steal a hunter away from their teammates and totally isolate them for the kill. It’s really fun playing as these monsters because they require strategy especially with the “Wraith”, since it has the weakest amount of armor and health. There is a fourth monster but you have to pay money for it, but I’ll talk about that later. The monsters basically have 3 things to do in order to win; Feed off of Wildlife in the map, Evolve to it’s strongest stage “Stage 3” and then kill the hunters, real simple stuff but if you practice and get good enough you can skip steps 1 and 2 and just go straight for the kill!
So, now that you know what this game has, let me go into detail on what it delivers, a minimum amount of fun and a lot of frustration. The game play for this is very fun, the multiple hunters and monsters always affect how the game is played and if you are patient with this game you can get hours of fun out of it, but eventually though this wheres off due to four huge flaws in the game. Firstly, there are few game modes. The main game mode hunt is the only actual game mode in it, the other modes; Nest, Rescue, Evacuation and Arena are all just variations of hunt, where you do the same thing over and over again and since the maps very in quality, this will become very tedious. Secondly are all the glitches and bugs, this game is not very smooth. I’ve ran into extremely annoying bugs while playing “Evolve” from invisible walls I’d get stuck on, to killer frame rate drops that totally ruined the experience and the one thing I dread so much that most video games seem to do now-a-days is the constant game crashing. I’d be in the middle of an intense match, but then all of a sudden “poof” I’m out of the game and back to my XBOX ONE dashboard now, stuff like that is ridiculous and should not be happening on next-gen consoles. Various patches have been released but I still encounter glitches on a daily basis, don’t even get me started on people with bad internet! Thirdly, is the fact that there is no story mode and that it is multiplayer only, which kinda sucks since each character has a really cool background and the universe that has been made for “Evolve” sounds so interesting. The hunters are always having interesting banter about a “Mutogen War” and this other planet called “Faction” that all sounds really cool to learn about, but unfortunately is not delivered. The final thing that really grinds my gears about this game is the copious amounts of DLC shoved into this game! All the skins put together in this game alone will cost you up to $75! That’s not including the DLC hunters or DLC monster(s). Turtle Rock has just announced at the time of writing this article a 5th downloadable monster. I personally find this amount of DLC ridiculous and unfair to us gamers as seeing we already paid $60 just for the main game itself and now the argument can be made that this DLC option is used to keep game costs down but as seeing how the developers can send this DLC out immediately, but even then if it’s such a cost convenience to produce the DLC then don’t even bother with it in the first place! It’s extremely annoying and disappointing to see a promising game idea being built with such an excessive amount of DLC weighing down the fun that could be had. It’s also annoying seeing that people can just pay to be good at this game, seeing how you can just pay cash to unlock new hunters and because these are premium hunters that people paid for the developers have to make them unbalanced and powerful all the while “nerfing” the other hunters and monsters to give you more incentive to give more money to “Evolve” (R.I.P Wraith).
In the end though, “Evolve” does offer some amounts of fun, but even then those are varying degrees and unfortunately the cons outweigh the pros. I personally was very excited for this game, I wanted it to be perfect I knew it was gong to be perfect, but it seems my confidence in this game was overtaken and resulted in a huge dent in my bank account. I still play “Evolve” a lot, I don’t know why though, it’s making me look hypocritical. Maybe I hope one day this game will become good, but obviously it’s not going to, but can you blame me after watching an amazing trailer like this? I give “Evolve” a 6 out of 10, disappointing.