Evolve – Pre Play Thoughts

If you pay attention to gaming news, Evolve is likely to be a title you’ve been hearing about lately. Turtle Rock Studios, the guys and gals behind this project, were also responsible for the, for lack of a better term, amazing Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 games, and are back at it in this 4v1 hunt or be hunted game.

In this post, I’d like to address some issues that pose some concern BEFORE I’ve played the game. Obviously I loved the Left 4 Dead series and I would really like to see a 3rd one produced or the addition of characters/mutations in the second, but that’s for another time. The 4v4 aspect was interesting and it allowed even bad teammates to be carried by three good ones in many cases.

This brings up my first question, why revert to a 4v1 team rotation rather than a 4v4? What if the player of the monster is just awful, doesn’t that mean a blown game right away? Some of the more satisfying moments in Left 4 Dead one and two occurred when the perfect combination of mutated zombie attacks went off in rapid succession to drive the survivors to their doom, and I just don’t see the solo monster play being nearly as satisfying because of the lack of required coordination, given that it’s only one player.

Another concern I have that has risen after watching a short amount of gameplay is how the 4 hunters work in tandem. They seem REALLY specialized, to the point where the healer should only heal, the trapper should only track and trap, etc. This could be fun and requires a high degree of coordination but also seems to be limiting to the party should one of the members either die in action or just be a shitty player. Again, I must stress that these thoughts are being presented before I’ve had any actual playtime, so maybe the classes aren’t as specialized as they seem.

Something else I’ve seen is how the monster can evolve into three stages, hence the clever title. While I like the idea of an in game evolution to produce a tougher foe, the way that most players were leveling the monster seemed to be less than thrilling. It appeared to me that many players were just killing off wildlife and eating the corpses to gain energy which in turn leads to more power. Like I’ve mentioned, I HAVE not played the game yet and will provide further insight after I have, but it seems almost boring to spend the first ten minutes eating the wildlife around you to gain power.

As I’ve hopefully made clear by now, these are pre-play thoughts, and just concerns that have arisen after reading about the game and watching brief playing sessions on Twitch. Some of the ideas I do like are the use of wildlife to localize the monster, the leveling system (if it’s not too crazy) and the in-session power tiers that can be accomplished by good monster players. I have access to the Big Alpha and will be playing it tonight and streaming it on my Twitch page later today. Stay tuned for my post play thoughts on these issues and any that arise, and if you follow me on Twitter you may be lucky enough to grab one of the codes for the Big Alpha I recently posted.

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