I wasn’t all the excited for Evolve when it was being promoted for the past year or so, I just thought it was a very cool and unique concept but never really had a point to playing it, I’ve never been a big multiplayer gamer. I enjoy engrossing stories and characters with depth and personality. Now Evolve doesn’t have much of a story and, honestly that’s ok as it doesn’t need one to feel like a full-fledged game. As I researched the game more and more I found out that the developers kept the backstory to a minimum on purpose so that the players can make their own ideas of if the hunters are the heroes or if they are truly the enemies only there to ruin another planet for resources and the monsters are trying to hold them off.
Some may call that lazy writing but to me I think its pure gold. Every game I played felt like its own story. The environments have their own look and very distinct alien feel; you can tell humans tried to colonize the planet by the very “Old West” looking shacks around the vast jungles and snowy maps. The planet of Sheer ranges so drastically in the weather too that you can move from one part of the map to another and go from a dense jungle to an arctic wasteland without and visibility.
The Hunters and Monsters are supremely well designed. I found myself falling in love with certain Hunters personalities over and over again. I can’t get enough of the excellent banter between the 4 hunters as you, track, and capture and (hopefully) destroy the monster. To quickly go over how the Hunters are set up for anyone who doesn’t know, there are 4 classes that you can choose from, the odd part about this is in order to get the class you most desire you select from your monster wanted class to leave desired class and then search for a game from that. Its set up rather well I often found myself always getting my top two choices (Support and Assault) but I occasionally got thrown into games as a Medic.
The Hunters all have varied personalities and attitudes and they are all absolutely a blast to listen to and play. The Monsters take a lot of playing to get adjusted too compared to the hunters where it is very simple to pick up and play (but very hard to master your chosen class). The Monster side is very hide-and-seek like, however after enough hiding and eating snacks you can rip into to seekers. You start out only getting to play as the one monster, The Goliath, it controls fantastically and really makes you feel like a massive monster in which it should. Hell it feels more like a Godzilla game when playing as him than ANY Godzilla game I’ve ever seen.
As you play Goliath and rank him up you unlock the Kraken, he’s a bunch of fun too and he’s exactly what you think he is a big squid beast that can demolish everything in his wake. Then there is the Wraith, admittedly he is extremely overpowered even after Turtle Rock nerfed his abilities. It got so bad that by the time everyone chose their Hunter and the player controlling the monster chose Wraith we would instantly know the round was a loss.
The progression system is fantastic as well. You always feel like you’re unlocking something or working your way to the next unlockable Hunter or Monster. There’s only a few game modes one being evacuation which is 5 days (5 matches basically) of different game modes that vary between Hunters protecting a generator to Hunters seeking out scientists to take to a drop ship or even hunting down baby Goliath eggs before the monster can hatch them to have minions to help them kill the hunters. Evacuation is a ton of fun but I wouldn’t recommend it without a few friends to play with so you KNOW you have good communication going throughout the 5 matches uninterrupted.
Now I can’t end this review without talking about what everyone seems to be up in arms about… the in-game store. I don’t think it is a bad thing AT ALL, all that is sold is cosmetic skins for your monsters and classes. With Turtle Rock already stating that all new maps and game modes will be free to players as they release I believe people don’t understand that creating new modes and maps costs money to do. The skins are nothing major but surely seem to push a lot of people away from the game, which Is a damn shame considering Evolve is currently the best multiplayer experience I’ve had in a VERY long time.
The Final Verdict
+ Great Atmosphere in the world and gorgeous graphics
+ Easy to play/hard to master
+ Long term dev support.
– Wraith is wildly over powered
– Games can be frustrating
– Monster takes time to get used to