Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PAX East 2014 - Evolve

PAX East 2014 showcased a lot of stuff, including Turtle Rock Studio’s new game Evolve. Evolve is a 4v1 co-op team game where four hunters (each a different character type) hunt down the one monster. This is a game for fans of Left 4 Dead, as Evolve fits right into that feel of having to work as a team to accomplish the goal. In Evolve if you wander too far from the group you'll get picked off and killed. Each different player has a certain skill set that compliments the others and working together is the only way to bring down the monster.

In the spirit of four players working together, each player gets to choose from four different classes to play; the Trapper, Support, Assault and Medic. Using one of these four classes, the players get into the match and begin the hunt immediately to find the monster before it grows too big and powerful, which makes taking it down next to impossible. When playing the monster at the beginning of the match you want to avoid the other players as much as you can. The monster needs to eat the local wildlife to gain strength and level up. I had a chance to fight the monster at two different stages and fighting stage three was a real David vs. goliath battle, making each teammate crucial in winning the fight.

Each character has a one feature that is only available to that class. The Trapper has the mobile arena, Support has the area wide blanket cloaking for the team, Assault has a personal shield to get into the thick of the fight and the Medic has an area wide healing blast. These abilities are only available to that class, but what makes Evolve great is everything else for the character that can be changed. The loadouts available at PAX East demonstrated just a few possible ones you can have. This way you can be the Trapper, but change him up a little to suit your play style if you like to get into the fight like an assault.

I had the chance to play as the Trapper and Support during my times with the game and had a fun time playing as both; I can't wait to get my hands on the other two or the monster. Both times playing though you definitely had to talk to your team and work together on keeping the monster contained, shielding and healing each other as it will take all four of you to kill the monster. With each character type you will have skill trees to unlock new bonus that help you out as well.

When one of your teammates die and you wait for them to respawn, it gives the monster more time to eat and get to stage three before really causing some trouble. Finding the monster can at times be troubling, because of the sheer size of the map and high rock outcroppings for it to get up on. The monster leaves glowing footprints that all four players can see, making it necessary to keep your eyes peeled for them or else the monster will be able to eat free of interruption. Take care not to watch the local wildlife though; as most looks harmless they can turn on you pretty quick and make the monster the least of your problems.

When the game ships there's going to be a whole bunch of varied maps and game modes that will keep you playing for a good bit of time. Even though it's a co-op style game you can play this on your own with AI filling in for the other teammates as well as the monster (or you against four AI players). With Titanfall being online only I was worried Evolve would be the same route, but being able to play by yourself offline is great feature that glad some games are keeping it in there. This is one game that should be on your radar come this fall, as it's one that will give you hours of enjoyment.


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