|Genre:||First Person Shooter||Players:||1 to 4|
|Developer:||Turtle Rock Studios|
It’s always hard to leave one of our games behind. Left4Dead was no different and now it’s Evolve’s turn. There will always be a special place in our hearts for our past projects. No matter what happens with Evolve in the future, we’ll know it was born in this studio and developed by this team alongside this beautiful community.
This is the life of AAA game developers who aren’t self-funded and don’t own their own IP. We don’t get to make the call. We all know that going in but we still sign the dotted line because we love what we do. We are happy to have gotten the opportunity to do something risky, something new and innovative. We created a brand new Sci-Fi world. We got to go to planet Shear and interact with alien flora and fauna. We got to hunt down, trap and kill giant monsters together. We got to BE the monster. What an awesome experience.
The last five and a half years represents so much. We are so proud of Evolve, the Turtle Rock team and the Evolve community. Getting on the forums, Reddit, Facebook and Twitch and talking directly to you has been a highlight of many of our careers. On no other project have we ever been able to interact so directly. The Evolve community is the best we could have hoped for and we hope you come with us and become a part of the Turtle Rock community.
When people first started playing Evolve at those and other conferences, it was magical. Sure, there was the AAA videogame hype surrounding our title. Yeah, we also had the flashy displays, the giant Goliath statue, and all the other things AAA games do to get people excited. And that stuff was cool. Really cool. But, what we lived for -- what was cooler by far -- was just seeing people play Evolve for the first time. We worked on it for years and then, suddenly, people got to experience our game, controller in-hand. There was genuine excitement -- real joy -- when people played. It was like nothing they’d ever played before and watching it happen was like no high we ever felt.
Then, when Evolve launched, the reception wasn’t what we expected. Sure, there were some good reviews. There were also bad reviews. Yes, there was excitement. There was also disappointment – for players and for us. The DLC shitstorm hit full force and washed away people’s enthusiasm, dragging us further and further from that first magical pick-up-and-play experience.
We want that magic back and we aim to make it happen. We’ve made a lot of changes, improvements and additions to Evolve over the past year and we’ve got a lot more coming. In short, we’re giving this game a vigorous overhaul!
Those who currently own Evolve are also encouraged to participate in the free weekend to experience Meteor Goliath and the recently released Hunt 2.0. Released on August 11, 2015, Hunt 2.0 is an update providing significant improvements to the popular Hunt mode experience with improved matchmaking, revamped leaderboards, and more. In Hunt 2.0, players can choose to play exclusively as a Monster or Hunter, while never having to join a match already in progress.There are, obviously, caveats to retaining your progress over the weekend, the most alarming of which is that "retained progress does not include DLC characters unlocked during free weekend". Moreover, there's also no word on whether the broken up initially-released content will be packaged in or discounted, meaning more than likely this is a move to entice you to play a game that is actually very good, in its entirety, in a hope the product speaks for itself. Personally, the price of admission for the whole package is what needs to be addressed first and foremost. Here's the rest of the press release:
This coming weekend†, new players are invited to experience the wealth of content in Evolve, ranging from four playable Monsters and 18 playable Hunters across four unique classes, to five game modes and 19 maps at no cost. Following the free weekend, players can purchase the full game to retain their progress‡.In case you missed it, here's our full Evolve review.
In addition to the free weekend of Evolve, Meteor Goliath, a free adaptation of the iconic Goliath Monster, will also be available permanently for all Evolve players on September 3, 2015. As Evolve’s first adaptation, Meteor Goliath features an alternate character variant that combines new looks, effects, audio and gameplay into a stunning, blue-fire wrapped package. Whereas the original Goliath excels at focusing on one Hunter at a time, Meteor Goliath spreads his attacks using increased range and residual fire damage, while showcasing the following rebalanced abilities:
For complete details on Meteor Goliath, visit the Evolve blog: right here.
- Rock Throw now travels faster and lights enemies on fire;
- Leap Smash has increased range and lights enemies on fire;
- Fire Breath has increased range and emits blue flames;
- Charge has a longer duration and lights enemies on fire.
This weekend, all Evolve players can experience the currently available DLC characters for free on Xbox One, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system§ and Windows PC. Starting at 5:01 PM AEST on September 4, 2015 all Evolve players will gain access to the playable characters included in Evolve Hunting Season 1|| and the playable Behemoth Monster for 24 hours. Starting at 5:01 PM AEST on September 5, 2015, all Evolve players will gain access to the available playable characters from Evolve Hunting Season 2# for 24 hours.
The short version: The Monster and the Hunter squad all get dropped into a dome. No escape, no excuses – this ain’t over until someone goes down!
- The new Arena Mode places five fixed domes on each of the 14 maps in Evolve. For those not up on your math, that’s 70 locked-down venues, ready for brawling.
- At the start, you select a map, then you’re in for a best-of-three series of hardcore firefights. The Monster and Hunters are locked in that dome until one side is eliminated. After that match, you immediately jump to another dome on the same map for round two – that continues until there’s a victor.
Evolve’s premise is pure and good and games. Its roots go as far back as boss battles against Bowser, only in the interest of fairness, we get to be Bowser trying to stomp out Mario. The only problem is we need to learn to be the King of the Koopas before we can do that and that means a lot of dying, and with a field of players that isn’t, at the very least, growing (enough), you’re stuck fighting players who are levels and levels above you if you’ve just jumped in. The unfortunate side to this is the progression system, much like the premise itself, is wonderful on paper. Lose and you’re still rewarded. Win and you’re rewarded more. Focus on specific abilities in said win, and boom, it’s go-time. But the reality of actually playing, using matchmaking as the basis for everything already mentioned, means it’s not as forthcoming or rewarding as that, and a hard slog at best.Click here for our full Evolve review.
Evolve’s new Monster and Hunters are unique in appearance and abilities. Behemoth is a tank of a Monster that becomes a giant, destructive boulder and rolls through the environment for quick traversal. Behemoth is free for those who pre-ordered Evolve from participating retailers as part of the Monster Expansion Pack, and is available separately for $22.95. For complete details on Behemoth, visit: this link here.Getting the new maps for free is obviously a nice bonus and also doesn't lock anyone out of the base game, but you're effectively paying more than $50 for content for a game that's only been out a short while, though a lot of work has clearly gone into the add-on, it's definitely a talking point.
Four new Hunters also join the Evolve lineup: Torvald, a cyborg Assault character with a mortar cannon for an arm; Crow, a Trapper with a pet Batray for tracking Monsters; Slim, a genetically modified combat Medic; and Sunny, a Support character equipped with a mininuke grenade launcher. Each new Hunter expands the Evolve experience with new weapons, equipment, and abilities. The four Hunters are available as part of the Evolve Hunting Season Pass along with three Monster skins** for $33.45. Each Hunter can also be purchased separately for $11.25. For complete details on these four new Hunters, visit: this link here.
Two new maps bring additional depth and replayability to the entire Evolve community free of charge. The Broken Hill Mine and Broken Hill Foundry maps introduce two distinct environments and add exciting new campaign effects to Evacuation, a unique experience that combines the full array of maps, modes, Hunters, and Monsters into a single dynamic campaign, offering near-limitless variety. The free Broken Hill Mine and Broken Hill Foundry maps will be available first for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, on March 31, 2015, and will be available for Windows PC and PlayStation®4 system on April 30, 2015. For complete details on these new maps, visit: this link here.
Observer Mode. Fully Free. All Platforms. Coming at you soon.Watch a trailer for the new Observer Mode embedded below, and check back with us next week for our in-depth review.
As we’ve said many times before, we are fully committed to our community – never breaking you apart from your friends based on what content you own, and always looking for ways to hook our players up with things like free community features.
Here’s a quick run-through of how Observer Mode works:
Be a Shoutcaster!
— You can now have Custom matches with 1 to 5 players, then add an Observer to your game, using the Hunter/Monster selection screen. Not only can you watch the game as the sixth player, but you can also use Observer mode to livestream these matches with added commentary. Think you got what it takes to be the next DB? Now you’ll have the tools to give him a run for his money.
Jump between character cameras!
— One of the coolest things about watching a match live is being able to see the Hunters coordinate and then jump to where the Monster is lurking. With Observer Mode, you’ll be able to seamlessly switch views between Hunters and Monster. Once a character camera is selected you’ll be able to rotate the camera around the character to see what is happening behind or beside them. Just highlight the Hunter (or Monster) you want to see and you’re there.
MinMax the HUD!
— We have created a custom HUD that gives you vital information about everyone playing without the on-screen clutter. Want to see stuff like the current perks being used and expected survival odds? Done. Want to overlay the minimap? No problem. Just want to enjoy a cinematic angle? Toggle the whole thing off, kick back and enjoy the view. On top of all this, you can even outline characters, making it easier to see them across the map.
— Yes, a DaisyCam. You’re welcome. Provided a player has selected Maggie, you can follow everyone’s favorite trapjaw, Daisy.
Those not on the Xbox One but happen to own Left 4 Dead or BioShock: Infinite on PC will be happy to know that they too can participate in this weekend's beta. This “closed technical test” begins at 3:00 AM AEsT on Saturday January 17 (that’s tomorrow) and will probably run until Tuesday like the Xbox One beta.
Pre-purchased Evolve on #XboxOne? We are aware that Wraith and the Tier 3 Hunter are currently not unlocked. We are looking into it.— Evolve (@EvolveGame) January 15, 2015
By and large each encounter and mode we played felt pretty well handled from a balance perspective, though our final jaunt through one of the most ambitious modes revealed, “Evacuation”, left our four consecutive wins against the monster somewhat meaningless in the final part of its five-day setup where the handicap system was stacked four times against us and the monster player -- a Frenchie I’m not afraid to say was horrible at the game -- emerged unbelievably triumphant. To be fair, we had a player out for the first part of the round and so our medic was AI-controlled, which may have impacted our performance overall, but it still didn’t feel right. It’s not a huge issue though, because 2K graciously gave Turtle Rock a huge nod in the delay department and while the game was due to hit us this gone October, it’s new delivery address of February next year means balance issues like that should be ironed out.Click here for our Turtle Rock Studios studio tour and hands-on.
Step 1: Go to http://www.evolvegame.com/bigalpha
Step 2: Fill out the form completely including the registration code, referral code, and a valid email
Step 3: Check your email for an official invite with your product voucher code
Step 4: Redeem the product voucher code on the platform of your choice to download the game
Registration Code: 05379-29749-32069
Referral Code: EvolveBigAlpha4v1