We went hands-on with Turtle Rock's new multiplayer shooter Evolve the other day, and we were mightily impressed with the tense 4-on-1 gameplay. Evolve sees a team of four hunters, each with their own distinct class-based weaponry and abilities, fighting to take down a marauding beast. In our case, the beast in question was basically the lovechild a rancor and the Hulk.
It's a surprisingly tactical affair: Hunters have to stick together, and the monster must know when to stand and fight and when to run and feed. So we've put together a couple of survival guides and beginners' tips based on our time with the Hunt mode earlier this week.
First up... let's talk about Hunters.
1. Protect your Medic
The Medic is the most important class in the game. When someone dies, there's a countdown of a couple of minutes until the dropship will arrive to bring them back to the fight. If your Medic is the first to go down, that's a full two minutes to wait without any health regeneration, and there's no other way to rekindle that precious bar. It's imperative that whoever's playing as the Medic stays off of the ground as much as possible and remains a moving target, leveraging the ranged capabilities of their Medigun to stay out of trouble.
2. Harpoons are your best friend
Bearing #1 in mind, restricting the movement of monster is vital. Having played as the monster, I can say that the Trapper's harpoon is an incredibly frustrating annoyance. The tethering rope is easily broken, but it sometimes takes a few seconds to realise that you're stuck, which can provide an essential few moments of respite for the poor souls you were previously smashing up. From a hunter perspective, anything that slows the monster down is incredibly useful, making it more of a target and rendering its supreme speed and strength and impressive jump useless for a few crucial beats.
3. ...Along with the Dart Rifle
Coming back to the medic again, it's important to remember that you have a Dart Rifle. The anti-matter sniper rifle is a bit rubbish, but the Dart Rifle not only renders the monster sluggish and stunned for a few useful seconds, but it makes the beast glow green, rendering it easily visible to the rest of your team, which can be rather nifty for when the drugs wear off and the monster tries to leg it. This does, in effect, make the Medic the team's scout, given that she can tag the monster. However, under no circumstances let your Medic engage the monster first (see #1).
4. Containment tactics can be a mixed bag
The Trapper's Mobile Arena is an essential piece of it. It creates a shield bubble that contains the monster and effectively seal it into a confined combat zone for a minute or two. However, timing can be everything, and effectively forcing your team into close-quarters combat with a super-evolved Goliath can be a nightmare. You're making the monster stand and fight, so you want the conditions to be perfect when you do -- make sure you're all topped up with health, make sure the Medic's regen burst and the Assult's energy are loaded and available. Picking your spot is crucial too: ideal you want somewhere with a certain amount of verticality, laying mines and using the harpoon and tranquilisers to get the monster to stay still enough to let the Support player bring the rain with an airstrike. Don't just immediately trap it either -- attack first and if it runs, it's because you've hurt it, and that's the time to seal it in and press your advantage.
5. The tables will turn and knowing when to run is crucial
There will come a point when the monster will start hunting the hunters. If it manages to pick off two characters, the best thing that you can do is run away and wait for the dropship. If all four players fall then it's game over and the monster wins, but if you can survive long enough for you teammates to rejoin the game. The Support class' cloaking ability comes in very handy here, and sometimes the best course of action is to run, regroup, and then relocate the trail. There's very little you can do against a level-3 Goliath if your team is down to two players and you've already lost your Medic. The game turns on its head, and the aim becomes less about hunting and more about survival.
6. Work together
Finally, this is absolutely essential. You won't come close to taking down the monster unless you work together. The class are all balanced incredibly well, and all can prove pleasingly rewarding, but there's no real scope for mavericks in this game, and a headstrong independent player can ruin everything for the rest of the team. Your teammates will need you, and you will need them, as all four classes compliment one another so well that together you stand a chance, but divided you're basically marking time.
So there are a few early little tips for would-be hunters. You can catch up with our Evolve preview here, and do stay tuned to the site for our Goliath survival guide later this week.