The name of the game in Evolve is survival. Players are put in charge of either a monstrous creature of chaos or a member of a hunting extravaganza. The result is an edge of your seat action title that kept my interest piqued and my heart racing.
The visuals in the game are wonderful, pristine even. The best example of this is the way the characters look and interact with the environment. Some monsters are made lively with simmering steam. Such is the case of Goliath (shown above), while hunters are made lifelike with smoke from cigars and more than believable textures. Wildlife feels….wild, for lack of a better word. Scars can be seen all over the more aggressive wildlife’s hide. These are just a few examples of an insane amount of detail that make the game that much more immersive.
Evolve is also characterized by invigorating sounds. Growls can be heard as hunters close in on Goliath, while shrieks echo as the evasive wraith stalks the four hunters who grumble nervous remarks as they attempt to track down the countless monsters. Overall the sounds of Evolve present a very believable hunt or be hunted essence.
Four hunters against one monstrous gamer-controlled boss proved to be risky for developer Turtle Rock studios, however Evolve pulls it off beautifully! This is mainly due to the beautifully-implemented gameplay. Hunters begin the game with certain strengths and abilities which remain roughly the same throughout. Each monster, on the other hand, has three stages of evolution. During stage one of its evolution the monster is a predator near the top of the food chain. Consuming some wildlife will help your monster reach stage two. This is a stage of decisions, attack or flee, eat or kill. Choose wisely, because the answers to these questions mean life or death in Evolve. Stage three marks the peak of the monsters power and by this stage some monsters can breath fire and others can create lifelike decoys of themselves. The base strategy for a hunter is to hold out until stage three but my strategy was to find the monster before it could get to stage three. The cool thing is that the game encourages you to discover your own game play style.
A normal Evolve match starts with four hunters skydiving into a hunt. In each environment one of various monsters roam the territory. The success of a team of hunters depends on successful communication as well as effective maneuverability. Maneuverability is defined by jetpacks and skillful hands (or paws). Hunters can use their jetpacks to reach high vantage points and dodge monster attacks. Monsters can use enlarged muscles to launch themselves to safety or battle. Microphones are a must for a competitive group of hunters, however a gamer can still succeed as a monster without a microphone. Evolve utilizes a basic formula, with a few well placed optimizations, to deliver an amazing game experience.
Options are a main component of Evolve, helping to increase the replay value of this title. There are numerous hunters to choose from. Categorically there are assault, trapper, medic, and support hunters. Each group has their own specialties. Assaults are meant to deal damage, Trappers attempt to slow down the monsters, Medics must keep the team alive, Supports must provide shields and debuffs. This breakdown works very well in Evolve. This is because one monster can best any hunter, but can the monster best four hunters who utilize their strengths as a team? Each hunter sub-class has multiple playable characters and many weapon choices. Monsters, on the other hand are separated by strengths. Goliath is a creature of behemoth-like might, Wraith is a elegant apex predator, and Kraken is a swamp stalker. The wealth of options in Evolve helps to make it one of the best games of this generation.