2015 looks incredible when it comes to video games, thanks in part to Evolve, 2K Games' competitive shoot-em-up. Developed by Turtle Rock Studios (think Left 4 Dead), this title pits a team of four hunters against a large creature, with players filling each of the roles. The goal is for one side to destroy the other, either with the hunters bringing down the beast or the monster tearing apart generators and stomping its adversaries.
We covered this game extensively in the past, but here’s everything you need to know about this intense shoot-em-up.
It's Four Versus One
Evolve works a bit differently when it comes to multiplayer. On one side you have the hunters, of which, there are four classes. Each character comes with his or her own special weapons and abilities, divided into four general classes:
Assault: Probably the most damaging of the four hunters, the Assault's role is to lay down suppressing fire.
Trapper : The Trapper's role is to slow down the beast, either by confining it within a digital net or using other traps that let others get the jump on it
Medic: The main role of the Medic is to keep other members of the team alive. They can use a ray to medicate them while on the run, as well as revive downed members – provided they reach them in time
Support: This member of the group provides gunfire from a distance. This character specializes in setting up traps as well as using weapons like a sniper rifle and activating drones.
Meanwhile, there are two different types of monsters, although a third is expected to be introduced before the game ships early next year.
Goliath: This ground-based behemoth is a force to be reckoned with. It can pounce from above, throw rocks at enemies and strike with lunges and fire breath. Read more about the Goliath with our in-depth guide.
Kraken: An aerial monster that shouldn't be underestimated, the Kraken specializes in lightning strikes, as well as ground-based trap attacks that can hurt anyone that gets close to it. Read our Kraken guide to learn more.
The newly released Evolve story trailer also provides more detail on how battles play out.
Tracking Down, Dangers and Leveling Up
When it comes to how each side works to win the round, there are different tactics available.
For the Hunters, it's a matter of searhing for the monster and eventually damaging it enough so it succumbs to its wounds. When it comes to tracking, there are various items that can be used, like paying attention to what's happening in the environment (startled birds, footsteps, etc.) or using devices that can help track it down, such as firing a homing bullet into it or using an animal, like Maggie's Trapjaw, Daisy, to hunt it down.
In most cases, finding a beast is rather easy, but keeping up with the creature can be challenging, especially if the player controlling it knows how to make a quick getaway. This can be done by taking higher ground, or using distractions long enough to escape in a different direction.
However, hunters will sometimes have to deal with little dangers in the level themselves, as it can be strewn with dangerous creatures and man-eating plants. These won't pop up on the radar so easily, as they'll pop out and chase after the player – sometimes from hiding, and sometimes in packs. Your crew will have to take them down quickly to avoid taking additional damage, and then have the Medic heal them up. After all, facing an Evolved nemesis with missing strength is not a good idea.
Monsters can level up by eating other creatures in the level. A monster can be leveled up twice in a stage, first going up to level two and eventually reaching level three. By level two, it gains increased strength with its attacks, making it more effective against hunters in pursuit. However, once it achieves level three, all bets are off, as generators open up. If the monster successfully takes out these generators, the round is over. Hunters may need to go on the defensive at this point, protecting the generators from the leveled up monster.
Team Tactics for Ultimate Domination
Finally, how you approach Evolve really depends on what side you're on.
If you're playing on the team of four hunters, for example, you'll want to make sure you know your role. For instance, if you're Assault or Support, you need to make sure your focus is kept on the monster, laying down suppressive fire while keeping a distance so you don't get pummeled.
The Trapper works in a timelier fashion, using the mobile netting to keep the monster from escaping and allowing others to focus their fire on it. They'll also need to set down traps in the right spots, such as rocky hills where there's only a small passage to get through.
Medic is probably the most vital role of the group. Even though they're not able to lay down the most gunfire, their job is to keep the rest of the squad alive. Without them, the Medic can't do much against the monster. You'll want to make sure you have a healing ray on hand, as well as keeping tabs on the other three members, should one go down.
Those playing on the side of the monster should focus on two key abilities – leveling up and balancing between attacking and running. Going on the offensive isn't always the smartest move, as you'll be left wide open for traps. Instead, fight when it's absolutely necessary, then run off and gain higher ground so when the hunters return, you're prepared.
Leveling up is vital, as you'll become a more powerful creature later on and open up the opportunity to win the round. Stop and snack every chance you get, even if you may be on the run from hunters. Eventually you'll get to level three, and the tide may turn in your favor.
Evolve will release on February 10th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.