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Review: Evolve

Hunt or be hunted! Kill or be killed! These two quotes are 2 things you should keep in mind if you want to be successful in one of the most anticipated games of the year: Evolve. Gamers have been following this game for weeks if not for months and we finally get our hands on it! First impression: beastly fun!

The main concept of the game is very simple and still competitive. The madness is set on an alien planet called “ Shear”. This planet is the home of a diversity of alien animals living in “perfect” harmony with each other, until one of the higher species escapes human captivation and terrorizes the whole neighborhood. It’s up to the hunters to search and kill this beast before it gets too powerful! The beast can use this environment to its advantage, as well as the hunters. Who survives? It can go either way.

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Let us take a closer look at the hunters. This team consists of different specialized soldiers that completes a certain role: assault, medic, trapper and support. The assault has to damage the beast as much as it can, the medic tries to keep the team alive, the trapper has to trap the monster and keep it limited in his movement , while the support boosts the team with shields and invisibility if things get too rough. These are the 4 main classes with their own primary skill that can’t be changed. The assault has a personal shield, the medic has a big healing skill that improves your health gauge, the support can make the whole team invisible and the trapper can create a huge dome to trap the beast for a couple of seconds. These skills are prior to the role you play during the game but the game lets you choose between different characters that has a unique loadout to your disposal.

 

Prepare to hunt down other players!

 

These 12 hunters you can choose from aren’t available for you at first. You start off with a basic hunter and while playing this kind of hunter, you earn experience points in your player progression system. What you did in the game earns experience points, with each gun or tool you use, you earn experience points for that kind of weapon or tool ( it can get stronger, the more you use it) but it also counts for your whole character progression. If you’ve earned enough experience points in your character progression, it will unlock your next hunter.

In my opinion it’s a double edged sword. It’s good to have a kind of progression system but what if the loadout of your first hunter doesn’t appeal you that much? You get bored of that class and you don’t want to play it anymore. It’s also the other way around: what if the first hunter isn’t your cup of tea and you really want to play this certain class but you think the third hunter will suit you more… You’ll have to grind your way to unlock that hunter before you can even play it.

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Let’s say something about our big ass monsters! You might think, I’ll choose the monster so I can “Rambo” my way into the hunters and massacre them! Well it’s actually not that simple! But not to worry, you’ll get there… eventually. In the beginning of the game, you’ll have a couple of seconds to get away from the hunters as fast and far as possible without leaving too much tracks that leads the hunters to you and get an ass kicking. The best way is to keep a low profile, so your tracks aren’t too big to get noticed by the trapper. If you rush off, the chances are high you’ll get a quick “Game over” since you can’t handle the hunters yet.

You have 3 playable monsters: Wraith, Kraken and Goliath. You start off with Goliath and as you play, you’ll earn experience points that will unlock the other monsters. Each monster has its own set of 4 abilities and as you start the game you’ll get 3 ability points to spend out. With each evolve phase, you’ll get another 3 ability points to power up or unlock a new ability. The choice is up to you. Goliath is the big tank and deals a decent amount of damage. Next up, is the Kraken. The Kraken can use the ground as well as the air. It gives you a lot more possibilities to get where you want and how you want to attack. The last one is the Wraith and she’s a beast! She can definitely take the hunters head on and deal a big amount of damage.

You start off with a decent health bar that can’t be regenerated so you’ll have to get armor as fast as possible. Armor can be (re)gained by eating the wildlife on the planet “Shear”. It also fills up your “evolve”- bar, so eating has two big purposes. Once the bar is full, you’ll have to find a spot to evolve. This takes some thoughts about when and where to evolve, since you’re vulnerable during the process and it takes some time to complete your evolution.

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The game gives you 12 maps and different game modes to make it a lot more interesting. The maps are well designed and they do look gorgeous. You have different environments with their own heights, places to hide and animals to feed off. The different modes are: hunt, nest, rescue and defend. The hunt is all about who gets killed first. The hunters hunt the beast and the beast tries to do the same thing. Nest is a bit different: the monster has to defend his eggs from the hunters while the monster tries to hatch the eggs. If these eggs hatch, the monster gets a couple of helpful babies to help your fight with the hunters. Evacuate is all about getting colonists of the planet, they have to get from A to B while the monster tries to kill them before they reach the finish. Defend says it all, it’s about defending a certain point. These different game modes gives you a good variation but it quickly becomes repetitive since it’s actually about kill or be killed.

You can play the game offline and online but I must say the matchmaking has been good. It always seems like I’m playing with persons around the same level and if a person goes offline, an AI will replace him/her. The AI is pretty descent to work with. Each person can enter any time he wants. If everyone plays the role he should play, then you’ll always have a big blast to play. Communicating is very important in this game. Teamwork is everything.

Conclusion:

If you like playing cooperative games, this is a must own game. The game is very polished, looks beautiful and doesn’t seem to have a lot of bugs. If you’re looking for a single player action game, this won’t be it. The game is focused on working together as a team to kill the monster. You can play offline but it’s a lot more fun when you’re online with the real boys and girls. One thing I do like to mention is the fact of future DLC. There’s a season pass that will grant you access to more monsters, probably more hunters and skins but I feel like we’re getting into a pay-extra- to-enjoy- a- full-game-experience kind of situation and I really don’t like that idea. Why pay extra money to get an extra monster or hunter since I payed for the whole deal. However, 2K did deliver what they said they would, so the game is worth its price!

8/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.