This past weekend at PAX Prime in Seattle, 2K Games had a big presence on the show floor, mostly due to its forthcoming multiplayer shooter, Evolve. Even though the game isn't due until early 2015, it's still one of the more promising games of this generation, thanks to its unique four versus one set-up.
It's rather simple – you have a group of four hunters, each with their own special abilities, and you have the creature they're after, either a large beast capable of smashing anything in its path or a winged creature with the ability to get around quickly. Both can evolve depending on what they eat within the level, and once it reaches level three, all bets are off, as it's likely to squash the hunters flat. It's up to the group to bring it down before that happens.
Here are the four classes you'll be able to use in the game on the human side. Study each one carefully, as they provide their own benefits to the team.
This is the general grunt of the game, where you simply enter guns blazing and leave strategy out the window as you try to stop the large beast at all costs. This soldier usually comes armed with good weapons, such as the laser-shooting lightning gun, the assault rifle and arc mines that can easily leave an explosive mark if the creature walks into them.
In addition, the assault soldier also has a shield capable of absorbing a few hits, but you probably shouldn't lean too heavily on it, as you're bound to be damaged and forced to wait for it to recharge. That will leave you vulnerable.
The Trapper's main job is simple – to contain the creature. Although their weapons can do damage, they're more about impeding the creature so it can't escape.
The primary piece of equipment to keep an eye on is the Mobile Arena. By activating this, you create an enclosed space that keeps the monster from running off. It'll only last a short while, so take advantage of the time given to you.
The Harpoon Traps are also excellent, as they can immobilize the target.
As far as weapons go, the main one is a machine pistol, and while it's not as powerful as the ones the Assault class carries, it's useful in doing a bit of damage.
Finally, if you must choose between soldiers, Maggie has the best advantage of the two, as she has a pet named Trapjaw that can actually sniff out the beast and display its tracks on the ground.
While not the most offensive-based character in the squad, the Medic still plays a vital role. Along with shooting the monster from a distance with a sniper rifle, it has a number of tools that can aid and assist fellow soldiers.
The Medigun, for example, can fire a regenerative ray that can heal fallen allies from a distance and give them extra energy when they need it most. This is good to have on hand if your team is down and out, although it does no damage to the beast.
The Healing Burst is handy as well, as it shoots a short burst of rejuvenating energy in a group with one simple drop. Think of it as a health grenade.
Finally, the Tranquilizer Gun isn't as lethal as a rifle, but you can use it to not only slow down the monster, but also tag its location temporarily.
Finally, if you're looking for a balance between tactics and shooting, Support may be the soldier for you. Utilizing a number of weapons and tools for strategic approach, it's an ideal choice for the squad.
Perhaps Support's greatest ability is the Cloaking Field, which actually renders all nearby members invisible for a short amount of time. This is handy when the monster is coming in, ready to pound its adversaries.
Next up, the UAV performs recon in the area, and tracks any of the monster's movements to the team. It's useful if the Medic is busy doing something else.
As for shooting, the guided missile launcher is a superb weapon for doing major damage to an enemy, even though it takes some time to reload. The Sentry Guns are also useful, as you can activate them from the Support soldier Bucket and fire away at enemies on the run.
Finally, the monsters themselves, the Goliath and the Kraken, are superb hunters. Their super size gives them an advantage over smaller adversaries, and they have abilities that prove useful.
Perhaps our favorite, though, is the Goliath. He can breathe fire, perform a ground slam from above, throw rocks and even charge opponents. For first time players stepping into the shoes of a monster, he's an ideal choice.
The Kraken isn't a bad second place pick. It attacks from the air with a devastating Lightning Strike, and drops charged Banshee Mines that explode near enemies, dealing significant damage. The Aftershock is a terrific move as well, with an energetic burst that affects everything within range.
Finally, the Vortex provides a moving wall of elemental energy that knocks enemies around. If hit hard enough, it can leave them open for a secondary attack.
No matter which side you choose, Evolve has plenty to offer on the battlefield. In fact, it's best to try and play in each role, so you can develop strategies and eventually pick a favorite.
Evolve will release early next year for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Want more survival tactics? Turn your hunters into your prey with the Evolve Official Strategy Guide from BradyGames!
The official guide and eGuide offer comprehensive coverage of the entire game, including the groundbreaking multiplayer mode that combines the very best aspects of competitive and cooperative gameplay, and game-winning tactics and analysis of all four Hunter classes: Trapper, Medic, Support, and Assault. Plus, lethally effective strategies to turn the tables and eviscerate the Hunters while playing as the Monster.