There's a good chance the price will plummet further in the near future, but as it stands GAME's current reductions are the best prices around for Turtle Rock's asymmetrical multiplayer shooter. In our review we felt that, despite the gameplay capable of being very fun, Evolve is ultimate a shallow experience. Still, if you have a group of friends looking for a new shooter experience, this might be worth a look. Possibly. Thanks to Xtrartx & Gooner for the heads-up!
Evolve is a genuinely great idea.
The core concept of four humans tracking down a murderous monster before it becomes powerful enough to eat them was too compelling to die with THQ. Asymmetrical multiplayer has powered some fantastic budget downloads over the last few years, catering for a passionate niche audience with unique and innovative gameplay.
Unfortunately Turtle Rock's great idea has been stretched into a full-priced AAA title. It's a crying shame, because despite some hectic moments and sensational production values, its gameplay and content have been spread far too thin.
We find ourselves on Shear, a planet facing a full-scale evacuation in the face of a monster infestation. It's a moody and graphically gorgeous environment, boasting multi-levelled maps teeming with hostile wildlife and lush vegetation. The Hunters have arrived as a rear guard for the last escape ship, with orders to protect the colonists by doing what they do best: tracking down and killing their quarry before it eats enough wildlife to evolve and return the favour.Click here to read more...
Evolve can be utterly fantastic.
Alongside a trustworthy team of communicating players who are familiar with the maps and their roles, hunting monsters is superb. You'll stalk your prey and make careful plans, working together with deadly precision, setting traps and battling fierce native wildlife before everything goes to hell in one brutal ambush. On the other side of the coin, however, there's a unique satisfaction that comes from playing as the horrific fiend itself, as nervy evasion gradually shifts into cruel opportunistic slaughter. Prey into predator.
The 4 vs 1 idea was too brilliant to die with THQ, so at its best Evolve is capable of some truly exceptional multiplayer matches.
I just wish this happened more than 50% of the time. Half of the games I've played were an absolute blast, but more often than not it's frustrating, unsatisfying or worse boring.
Our full review will be coming later this week (even if some of our peers couldn't wait to slap on a score straight away), but after several days' play online and off, I have to report that Evolve is a tough sell at full price.Click here to read more...
2K announced that Evolve's Big Alpha has been extended through Thursday this week after the delayed launch on PS4. We've been jumping in the game a fair bit over the past few days, and aside from a slew of technical issues (it's an alpha, we rather expect that), there are a number of concerns and question marks that we still feel are hovering over Turtle Rock's asymmetrical shooter.
I just don't get it.
To be clear, I understand the concept well enough. Four hunters working together, using their enhanced mobility, unique class skills and an awesome pet Skag (good girl, Daisy!) to take down a single powerful player-controlled monster. Cool. This would have been a seriously neat idea for a cut-price PC download à la Natural Selection 2, but even after interviewing Denby Grace and playing multiple builds over the last few months, I still don't get exactly how Evolve can ask for £44.99 on PS4 and Xbox One with a straight face.
Most matches tend to follow a familiar template. If playing as the Hunters: follow Daisy around for 15 minutes, run in circles and kill a Reaver or twenty while waiting for the Monster to get to Level 3. Then get eaten and repeat in a set of geometrically and visually similar maps. Indigenous wildlife adds some welcome Left 4 Dead-esque flavour, but all too often matches just get boring and repetitive rather than tense. And that's all there is. That's your lot, unless the Monster player is inexperienced, in which case you quickly track down and kill them with no fun or sport whatsoever. I admit that I'm grossly oversimplifying things, but that really is the size of it.Click here to read more...
Chances are that everyone who wants Left 4 Dead 2 already owns it, unless you happen to be Australian. Thankfully the ban on the uncut full version has now been lifted down under, so Steam are throwing a deal for everyone to celebrate. Thanks to ferreirm @ HUKD!
Can Evolve truly make 4 v 1 multiplayer fun? Why the delay? What are the DLC plans? How tough was it to balance? What features were cut? Why can't we play it yet?!
Evolve has attracted a huge number of questions over the last few months, and thankfully, we've now got plenty of answers thanks to Turtle Rock producer Denby Grace. If you're excited, concerned or just suitably intrigued by the upcoming new-gen shooter, this is the interview you need.
Yet another game has fallen prey to a major delay, pulling it out of a holiday season release and shunting back into Spring 2015. Evolve, Turtle Rock's intriguing shooter that pits four humans against one nightmarish player-controlled monster, will now miss its October launch in favour of releasing next February.
2K claims that the game will benefit from four months of extra polish, citing an "overwhelmingly positive response from press and fans," but should we be worried that the asymmetrical multiplayer experience isn't shaping up properly at this late stage?Click here to read more...
Turtle Rock’s upcoming game puts a team of four players against one player-controlled monster in an intense online skirmish that will require teamwork, bravery and just enough humility to know when to retreat for a while. Earlier this week, I detailed my experience playing as the Kraken monster in Evolve. Today, it’s time to hear what playing on the hunter team is like, specifically in the Medic role. Playing as the monster is a solitary experience, but on the hunter’s team, co-ordination is key to success or at least survival.
Before getting into the details of my medic playthrough though, a little introduction of some general match details. As I detailed in my Kraken hands-on report, the hunter team are dropped into the stage a minute or so after the monster meaning they have to track it down, hopefully before it manages to evolve into later forms.
Maggie, the team’s trapper has a pet Trapjaw, an ‘alien dogbeast’ that can be used to track the monster, providing glowing images of footprints on the ground for the team to follow. Unless, the monster ran up the river like I did.
There’s more to worry about than the monster though as each map is filled with local wildlife that can be just as dangerous. Large creatures like the Megamouth like to lurk in bushes and will pounce upon and trap hunters in their mouth until a teammate shoots them free or they’re devoured. There are meeker creatures that won’t attack you and others that will if provoked. Generally though, you won’t want to kill much of the local wildlife because you’re simply providing ready-made meals for the monster, allowing it to reach its next form even faster as they beef up for the finale.Click here to read more...
Yesterday we took a look at a handful of tips that would serve would-be hunters well in Turtle Rock's upcoming multiplayer FPS -- Evolve. But what about the one player not on that team? What about the lone wolf playing the part of monster? Well, we thought we'd deliver a few pointers to those of you who are going to look to take down the fearsome foursome as the monster, based on our hands-on time with Evolve.
Therefore, without further ado, here's the Evolve Survival Guide: Goliath Edition.
1. Choose your powers wisely
You start the round by choosing two out of four powers on offer: a rock throw, fire breath, charge, and an aerial slam. We were advised that the rock throw and the fire breath are often the best choice for the early game (you can unlock the other abilities as you evolve), because you're not enormously powerful to the begin with, and therefore ranged powers can give you something of an advantage. The fire breath in particular is handy for chasing down creatures to feed upon.Click here to read more...
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.Click here to read more...
Evolve is like playing hide-and-seek with big fat guns and a super-sized , super-agile, fire-breathing Rancor.
You'd look at a game that touted 4-v-1 multiplayer and perhaps scoff at the seeming imbalance. You'd wonder why anyone would possibly want to be the "1" -- after all, wouldn't everyone else be having a good time, laughing and joking around together, bonded by this virtual camaraderie and the spirit of teamwork, and you're just kicking your heels in the corner and weeping once more into a damp rag at the unfair loneliness of it all and... wait... I just clawed a guy out of the sky, toasted his support unit by vomiting fire everywhere, threw a rock at his head and now I'm pounding his lifeless corpse into the ground and I'm eating his face.
We got a chance to go hands-on with Evolve's Hunt mode recently, and Turtle Rock's latest multiplayer extravaganza is shaping up very nicely indeed. The game is set on the planet Shear -- a lush sphere home to a large variety of wildlife, some more dangerous than other -- and four hunters team up to take down one player controlling an enormous leviathan of a monster.Click here to read more...
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.Click here to read more...
The vultures have had their fill. THQ lies bleaching in the cold winter sun, its juicy assets, studios and properties stripped from the carcass during yesterday's feeding frenzy that saw over $100 million change hands. All that remains is a final 'Chapter 11' sell-off before THQ dies completely.
How the mighty have fallen. Starting life in 1990, Toy Head Quarters swelled into a publishing titan worth a billion dollars in revenue, but their lust to grow as fast as possible left them with too many studios, too many licenses, and so rarely the massive mega-hits they so desperately needed. After dealing themselves a raw hand with the Udraw tablet, the last few years saw them continually shedding and shelving projects in a bid to keep afloat. It wasn't enough, and their desperate last-ditch effort to sell themselves wholesale to a stalking horse investor spectacularly backfired what now seems like a lifetime ago.
But while many IPs and studios have been left out in the cold (Vigil Games, Red Faction and Homeworld among them), many more have found new homes, new publishers and potentially new opportunities to keep doing what they do best: creating great games for us to play. To this end, we're going to take a close look at where THQ's assets have ended up, and what their new owners plan to do with them.Click here to read more...
The auction has come and gone, and THQ's properties were sold off overnight. As rumoured, SEGA snapped up Warhammer 40K developer Relic; Koch Media and Deep Silver bought Saints Row devs Volition and the rights to the Metro franchise; Crytek have purchased the Homefront IP; Take-Two bought Evolve; and Ubisoft bought THQ Montreal and the rights to South Park: The Stick of Truth.Click here to read more...
Together we are strong. We get by with a little help from our friends. Let’s get together and feel alright. Teamwork and cooperation are integral parts of everyday life, yet recent gaming trends have shafted cooperative mechanics. Most games throw in a 2-player mode as an afterthought… yet by embracing teamwork as a core tenet of the action, Turtle Rock has created a shooter that feels completely different from every other game on the market.
Like many of the best Zombie films, Left 4 Dead offers little in the way of context. A virulent strain of rabies has turned the vast majority of the population into slavering flesh-hungry monsters, and small groups of immune survivors have to keep moving from town to town in order to stay alive. Whilst the game dwells on the grindhouse action rather than any forced exposition, witty graffiti and heartbreaking messages serve to reward curious players with a little extra backstory.
The objective of each level is simple and similar. The four survivors have to fight their way through expansive maps to reach safe rooms: impregnable closets filled with ammo, guns and goodies. However, their way is blocked by (as you’d expect) hordes of rabid infected monstrosities. Left 4 Dead subscribes to the 28 Days Later school of zombie behavior, exhibiting fast and relentless enemies that attack in huge numbers (especially when alerted by setting off car alarms or other equally stupid mistakes). Special undead frequently provide mini-boss fights or catch unwary players off guard; exhibiting special abilities that can incapacitate stragglers. Hunters, Smokers and Boomers all provide a unique challenge... and the monstrous Tank has enough raw strength to heft enormous boulders and send survivors flying. Just to shake up the formula even more, the fragile yet dangerous Witch can be completely avoided by using stealth and keeping a safe distance, but will rip survivors to shreds if disturbed. Hear crying? Approach with caution.
The premise, therefore, is incredibly simple- but the vein of cooperation and teamwork runs through every aspect of the gameplay. On a very basic level, downed players need to be revived a la Gears Of War, and can voluntarily sacrifice their single first aid kit to heal another wounded teammate if the situation calls for it. The weapon selection spans a grab bag of close range shotguns and versatile, ammo-intensive rifles that ensure the team needs to designate specific combat roles (i.e. point man vs support). As mentioned above, the special zombies demand close contact and cooperation to take down. For example, the agile Hunter pins a survivor to the ground and will maul them to death without assistance. Oh, and all four players will need to focus their firepower to take down a tank.
Each selection of four short levels is bundled into a short non-canonical campaign which is themed around classic grindhouse films. Each campaign starts with a humorous fake movie poster- and when completed, displays the ‘credits’ that lists each player’s kills and dedicates the ‘movie’ to the survivors who didn’t make it. However, there aren’t actually that many levels- and each map essentially consists of the same dark forest or grim city environments. This might sound like essentially poor value… but Left 4 Dead has an incredible ace up its sleeve. Everything from the number of zombies, their spawn points, their frequency and even the types of special undead are governed by an invisible yet omnipotent AI director that pulls every string from behind the scenes. Every single match is completely different despite being played on the same map, with completely different set pieces and spawn points that are tailored to complement the party's stress levels. Getting a bit complacent? A tank and horde might spawn behind you. Low on health after a relentless horde? Maybe the director will dispatch a few skirmishing Hunters to stalk you in the shadows. Each match is perfectly-paced, entirely unpredictable and frantically exciting. The concept of the AI director works perfectly, and we can see it being able to segue into practically any FPS. It's the future of shooters- and especially horror games.
Up to four players can cooperate in the campaign, and Left 4 Dead makes no bones about the fact that this is the meat of the experience. A maximum of two players can also participate in splitscreen matches, which is taken into account by the director who will go easier on duos. Unfortunately solo players will likely find it difficult to complete the crescendo finale events that lie at the end of each story, and should seriously consider staying away from Left 4 Dead in favour of more singleplayer-oriented titles. Competitive multiplayer allows a team of survivors to take on player-controlled special undead, but the balance is completely biased towards the gun-toting foursome. We hope that subsequent updates will restore some semblance of power to the infected hordes!
The Short Version: Left 4 Dead is a refreshing and frantic take on the hackneyed Zombie Shooter; delivering its own unique blend of desperate mayhem and cooperative tactics. It also happens to be an exceptional FPS. PC gamers and Xbox Live Gold members will discover a fantastic new addiction, but the experience may leave solo players cold. We hope that the concept of the AI director will start to appear more prominently in future titles as we’re convinced that it represents the future of FPS gaming.