Valve helped define online multiplayer with its fast-paced co-op zombie blast-a-thon, Left 4 Dead. That said, it’s no surprise the developer behind that mega hit and its sequel, Turtle Rock Studios, is at it again with the forthcoming Evolve.
In this hair-raising action game, four players team up to hunt a huge beast that happens to be controlled by a fifth player. Similar to Left 4 Dead's hunters vs. zombies aspect, this will introduce an interesting twist to its gameplay.
That said, Evolve will change online multiplayer for the better. Here’s why.
Big Maps with Plenty of Food and Distractions
Some players may think hunting a large creature will be simple, but that’s not the case whatsoever. Each of the maps in Evolve will be huge, giving the player controlling the monster lots of room to hide. In addition, the four hunters will deal with dangerous wildlife, which could distract them as the creature makes its next move.
In addition, this wildlife will serve a different purpose as food for the beast, allowing it to grow even stronger, and as the title of the game indicates, evolve. By the same token, hunters may also be able to set traps. The question is whether the monster will go for the food or plot a new course of action. Quite frankly, we’ve never seen anything like this before.
Tracking with Your Team
In some cases with co-op, you can't see where your enemies are, which means you could be in for surprises – for example, Call of Duty: Ghosts' Extinction mode, where aliens literally come out of nowhere.
With Evolve, however, your team can prepare. Not only are they able hunters that know their way around firearms, but they're also efficient trackers. Each humongous level comes with small visual and audio hints to indicate which way the monster went. The game won't give away its location entirely, but it'll set the team on the right track.
By the same token, the player controlling the monster will receive an equal amount of hints, such as bushes rustling in the distance or possibly even chatter. This lets that person prepare for the encounter, or perhaps even set up an ambush point, where it could do major damage to the team.
One thing we can't stand in a co-op multiplayer game is when we run out of ammo, and either have to scramble to a crucial point in the map – away from the battle to collect extra bullets, or ask a friend for some in the craziest situations.
With Evolve, Turtle Rock plans to even the playing field by offering unlimited ammunition for each weapon. However, your team will have to be careful how you use it, as there are times you'll still need to reload. While it won't take too long to refill your weapon, that short window of time is all the monster needs to strike.
Don't forget that firing your weapon can also give away your position, in case the player controlling the beast happens to be on your trail. Even though you've got plenty of firepower, that doesn't mean you should waste it. Think carefully, or you could be on your last hunt.
Unique Classes with Something to Offer
Like most multiplayer games, there are various classes available in Evolve. However, they each provide something detrimental to the team. For instance, the Assault team member will be the main one to call on for attacks; the Medics can heal wounded teammates; Support provides weapon boosts and shields when fellow teammates need them the most; and the Trappers can create opportunities to stall the monster long enough to damage it.
With each evolution, the monster will gain additional abilities as well, including heightened senses and particular strengths. Turtle Rock hasn't revealed these yet, but you can bet they'll be worth tracking down to grow in size and strength.
Experiment with Different Classes in Single Player
Finally, while Evolve sounds like an ideal multiplayer experience, that doesn't necessarily mean you can't play on your own. Like Left 4 Dead before it, Evolve gives you the chance to switch between team members on the fly, so you can see what each has to offer.
For first-time players, this is a vital experience because you can see what each character provides, as well as what you can do with your monster. You'll gain helpful guidance with each role, which will help you out when you finally decide to enjoy multiplayer.
Evolve will launch later this 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.