Turtle Rock Studios, the creators of Left 4 Dead, have finally revealed their new project for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Evolve takes the four-player cooperative shenanigans of their classic zombie-killing series and takes it into a Sci-Fi setting, pitting the team against a terrifying alien who grows and adapts over the course of a single match in terrifying ways.
The twist? This time, the alien is directly controlled by another player, who'll likely be cackling insanely to themselves as they hunt down the puny humans with extreme slimy fangorious prejudice.
Gameinformer delivered the news via their February issue, which stars Evolve as the cover story. Four human players assume the role of alien hunters equipped with unique weaponry and abilities, tasked with taking down their quarry throughout some twisting maps with plenty of dark corners. The extraterrestrial, however, will have all manner of evolution options at their disposal, growing larger in size as they stalk their quarry. Much like Left 4 Dead, Evolve is being designed with "variety and replayabilty in mind," suggesting that there'll be plenty of ways to use stealth, tactics and brute force on either side.
As with any asymmetrical multiplayer game, balance will be the key - or more appropriately imbalance. With luck, both sides will feel equally viable and enjoyable to play as, while the alien player won't feel too lonely and isolated as they watch a bunch of friends having fun and chatting from the outside. This could be tremendously depressing... or hopefully inspire some jealousy-fuelled acts of virtual carnage.
If you're interested, 2K are set to publish, having bought Evolve from THQ's twitching carcass in last year's auction.
Personally, I'm ever-so-slightly disappointed that Turtle Rock aren't pushing their AI director into more projects. The adaptive puppet master pulling the strings behind Left 4 Dead is one of the most exciting gameplay innovations we've seen in recent years, and could revolutionise survival horror games and even licensed projects. Just imagine an AI Director-powered Aliens game. Go on. Imagine it. Yes. [Fingers and toes crossed for Isolation - Ed] It's unclear whether bots or AI can fill out empty slots in Evolve, but we'll keep you posted.
Evolve is slated to release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One this Autumn. Who's excited - and who would prefer a firm reveal for Left 4 Dead 3?