I think that to truly understand how excited I was to play Evolve you need a little background. Being what some people would call an Elitist and what other, less kind people would call an obsessive perfectionist, when the rare event happens that I find a game I really enjoy, I tend to lose huge chunks of my life to it. So when I saw there was a new game in the pipeline “from the makers of Left 4 Dead,” one of my all-time favourite games ever (my friends call me Coach) you can imagine I was understandably intrigued. Further investigation revealed a rough idea of the content of the game and some teaser trailers which only fed my interest and backed up the growing sense that this was going to be the next Left 4 Dead. So, was I excited to play Evolve? Maybe a little. Did my excitement lead me to have unreasonably high expectations of the game? Probably. But did Evolve deliver? Yes it did.
The first thing I have to mention is the atmosphere. The world you hunt the monster through has so much atmosphere, it feels like you’re swimming in it. Even the plants want to kill you. The realistic visual style makes every nook and cranny look sinister and you can’t turn a corner without wondering whether there’s something sinister waiting on the other side of it. Every shadow looks monster shaped and there’s a definite Cloverfield feeling when you catch something huge moving out of the corner of your eye. One of my favourite moments was hearing one of my team mates on the mic; “Fuck… did that boulder just move?!”
The classes are well-balanced and hold enough variety that you never really get bored. My favourite classes to play are the Medic and the Support characters but I had a really good time playing the others as well. Oddly, my two favourite characters to play become my two least favourite party members when I’m playing the Monster. Especially the Support role who has a shield ability which, when directed at another player, blocks all damage the Monster would do to them. I sort of ended up having a Jekyll and Hyde moment, going from loving the shield to hating the shield and everyone who ever used it to loving it again all in about an hour of gameplay.
The very best thing about Evolve are the moments where the team come together and combine their skills in some really brilliant and funny ways. So I suppose one thing that could be a negative about Evolve is that your enjoyment of the game is almost totally dependent on the other people playing it. The classes are balanced enough to make most games fairly close but if you have a veteran playing as the Monster and a group of new people or players who aren’t really into the game as the hunters then it’s going to be a fairly quick match. Then again on the flip side there will always be those moments where you just seem to click with a party and matches are won by the skin of your teeth, or lost by the skin of the Monsters.
Hours after I started playing Evolve, I went online and pre-ordered it and I highly recommend you do the same. This is a game that will no one will want to miss out on for the sheer fun factor and variety of it. Evolve is genuinely really entertaining to play and is perfect if you’re looking for something you can pick up and engage with right away.
February 13th is the release date, my PSN Gamer ID is UpmostToaster. Add me and let’s tear shit up!