Lone wolves need not apply says MyM magazine’s Jennifer Allen, as she tackles a game that’s big on teamwork but makes Titanfall’s plot seem convoluted!
Much like Turtle Rock Studios’ previous big hit, the Left 4 Dead series, Evolve is an online multiplayer game made up of great moments. It’s highly dependent on teamwork but it’s also dependent on the memories you create as you play alongside your friends. Without those, it risks turning far too repetitive all too soon.
The choice, initially, is monster or hunter, with the latter favouring teamwork. Heavily focused on classes, each hunter has a different set of skills and weaponry – use each sufficiently and you unlock the next hunter in the class. You’d expect improvements in these new classes, but mostly they provide subtle differences in how to play effectively.
Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses, highlighting the importance of working together. The Medic fares better by keeping a distance from battle, using its healing ability to keep others safe. The Trapper can provide an early advantage in the fight against the monster, temporarily cornering it in a Mobile Arena, before players unleash Harpoon lines to slow it down. The Assault class is self-explanatory, while the Support member can shield the team or cloak them in times of need. Teamwork can never be underestimated, with one weak player in the bunch easily causing disaster for the rest.
Playing the monster is pretty fun, too, switching the action to a third-person perspective and requiring some frantic melee skills as you attack just about everything that moves. Appropriately, you can ‘evolve’ your skills by eating the local wildlife, while the hunters’ try to stop you from reaching Stage 3 of Evolution – a near unstoppable position.
Long matchmaking and loading times, plus the level of practice required to get anywhere, mean this is far from a casual game. Evolve does offer up a one-off Skirmish mode, but the nearest to anything meaty here is Evacuation, which is its form of campaign mode. It’s far from deep in terms of storytelling (making Titanfall’s plot seem convoluted!) but it is at least reasonably structured. Across five matches, you tackle different game types, usually involving rescuing survivors or destroying monster eggs before they have time to hatch. While the outcome of each match can affect later events, succeeding in the final match is the only thing that crowns an overall winner.
There’s also plenty to unlock, but the most fun is gleaned from who you’re playing with, rather than what Evolve has to offer. Gathering together an effective unit covers up a multitude of sins and those shining moments when you succeed as a team are truly memorable.
DEVELOPER: Turtle Rock Studios
PUBLISHER: 2K Games
RELEASE: 10 February 2015
FORMATS: PC, PS4, Xbox One
RATING: PEGI 16
PRICE (RRP): £49.99