Tired of shooting at boring things like other people? Why not shoot at a giant shape-shifting monster instead, or better yet, be a giant shape-shifting monster and eat people! Sounds way more fun, right? Turtle Rock Studios happens to agree with you wholeheartedly. After all, why should the shooter genre stick to blasting bullets back and forth when there is so much room to invent new things to kill?
Evolve is the latest and greatest game full of just those new things to kill, like people with jetpacks and monsters that breathe fire. Set in the distant planet of Shear, it’s your job to investigate and eliminate the threat of extremely powerful monsters that have been wiping out colonists and creating havoc.
Well, either that or it’s your job to be that big giant powerful monster and wipe out the hunters before they can wipe you out. It’s a solo job being the monster. Think of juggernaut style rounds of Halo where one person is much more powerful than the rest, and that’s about what you have in this situation as well.
So how does it all come together? Here’s a breakdown of how the game works.
Playing as the Humans – Let’s Hunt the Big Monster!
In Evolve, playing as humans means you’re a jetpack jumping, awesome weapon wielding psychopath mercenary war veteran who’s got it in for some angry monsters. You and 3 teammates are responsible for bringing that bad boy down. Fortunately, you get some pretty awesome gear and abilities to do the job.
The humans are built off of a class system. Each class is essential and plays a vital role in tracking and eliminating the monster, and each class has a few different characters to choose from that play their roles in a unique way. Here are the classes and their roles:
Assault is your basic damage dealing badass of the team. If you enjoy a run and gun, action oriented shoot first and ask questions later play style, assault is the way you want to go. You get all kinds of fun things like assault rifles, rocket launchers, flame throwers and miniguns to unleash a badass amount of firepower on any monsters that might need killing.
Trappers specialize in tracking down and trapping the monster so that you and your team can kill it. Without trappers, most monsters would be too fast, powerful or just generally dangerous to get under control long enough to level the monster with firepower. This makes a trapper’s role vital. Keep tabs on the monster and get him under control so your team can take him out!
The medic is, well, a medic. Do you really need someone to explain the role of medic? You heal your teammates so that they don’t die. Certain medic characters also have useful abilities such as firing a tranquilizer dart at the monster so it is slower and easier to kill or shooting it with a sniper rifle. Other medics can revive teammates after death. This makes them quite handy.
Support is everything the other classes cannot provide, particularly things that aid the other classes in combat. There are things like cloaking, damage amplification and tracking the monster more effectively that make it amazingly more effective. Having a good support on your team can make life a lot easier.
So What About the Monsters?
The monsters make the game pretty fun. If you prefer not to work as a team and like to smash and eat people’s faces, the monster life might be just what you’re looking for. After all, shooting stuff is for squares. Here’s a quick rundown of the monster types and abilities:
Your basic smash and breath fire monster, this guy resembles a dragon, but with bigger biceps and no wings. He can smash into enemies, jump long distances, breathe fire in your face and hurl giant chunks of rock at you and your teammates. Goliath is a well-rounded monster ideal for a variety of encounters and team battles.
Kraken is the long ranged electrocution master. He can reach out and strike you with lightning, lay proximity mines that blast players in the face, create a huge vortex that pushes enemies back and send out chain lightning blasts that arc from player to player. He is a badass and almost like the monster equivalent of a wizard.
Wraith is the stealth monster of Evolve. She relies on deception, speed and shadows to keep players confused and unable to fight effectively. She can dash forward and abduct a target player, teleport in and do massive damage, become invisible while creating a decoy of herself and release a massive burst of energy that damages players and increases her damage. Overall, she’s a beast and a very tricky monster to play against.
If a mountain could eat your face, it would look something like Behemoth. This is the biggest, baddest and beefiest of them all. Behemoth cannot even jump but can roll around and grab you with his tongue, spit lava, trap you in a rock wall or unleash a huge burst of directional energy that deals a ton of damage. While he’s slow, he can take a punch and dish one out.
What I Like About Evolve
Evolve is conceptually one of the most original games in existence. In a world where shooters are dull and repetitive and the latest Call of Duty is as predictable as the sun coming up tomorrow, Evolve gives us a fresh start. There are some drawbacks in the balance of the game, but those are pretty well outweighed by how awesome it is to take down a big, badass monster.
What I Don’t Like About Evolve
The gameplay at times does not feel balanced and the matchmaking is pretty terrible. You never know if you are going to get a good teammate or a complete wackjob. You would think that team games would attract team players. Apparently not!
The DLC is also a bit excessive. Call me old fashioned but I thought paying 60 dollars for a game meant you own it. Not if you’re Turtle Rock Studios! Seriously though, we need to quit it with this DLC silliness.
Overall it’s a solid pick. I was always a fan of class-based, team shooters like Team Fortress and monster killing, asymmetrical shooters like Left 4 Dead. Evolve gives us a brand new look at this type of game and brings a lot of good to the table. It’s definitely worth a try for anyone that enjoys this type of game like I do!