We sit down with the team at Xbox's first-party studio World’s Edge to talk about the journey to bring Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition to Xbox.
Age of Empires 2 on Xbox - The Big Interview
One of the most visually stunning and immersive science fiction games we’ve experienced.
Dead Space Review - A Remake You’d Cut Off A Limb For
Forspoken is a game that consistently fails to deliver, despite some lofty ideas, and manages only to impress in the most obscure moments.
Forspoken Review - An Awkward Experience
A celebration of the long-running franchise and a great way to kick off Switch gaming in 2023.
Fire Emblem Engage Review - Strategy Gold
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 03:37pm 08/04/15 | 13 Comments
The first round of official content for Evolve was released just over a week ago, and with it we've compiled our final thoughts on a game that has polarised since its release in February.

There are many questions around the game's longevity out in the wild built mainly around a perceived repetitiveness and its high cost of purchase entry, but there's also a lot more lacking in what is still a product that should be looked at, and built upon by its creators, for its unique and ambitious goals in an otherwise stale Triple-A multiplayer space.

From our review:
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 reviewevolvenew ipmultiplayerturtle rockausgamers review
Buy now from Green Man Gaming Only GBP£29.99!
(compare all prices)

Latest Comments
Steve Farrelly
Posted 03:44pm 08/4/15
On the topic of reviews guys, I had an idea while struggling to close this one out called "Finish this Review..." which would serve up a kind of "this game has this and this and looks and sounds like this, how it plays though is this: ..." which would then be followed up with (hopefully) constructive and critical input from community who had played the game. It obviously wouldn't work for every game, but could be something we did once a month for a biggish game that a lot of people jump into.

Just a thought at the moment...
Posted 03:49pm 08/4/15
Hmm. I would have thought the stupidly expensive DLC was part of the reason the game tanked. I was thinking about buying it, I was on the fence due to negative scores about players getting board of it fairly quickly. However the nail in the coffin was the spastically expensive, content delivering (thus gameplay changing) DLC. If was just skins I'd be mostly OK with it, however from what I could tell it was also weapons, so not just skins.

I wonder how many other people did a similar thing, that may have an impact on the game reaching that critical mass of sustained hardcore players required to keep servers alive at 4:00am in the morning. So that the less hardcore people could play the game anytime wherever they are in the world.
Posted 04:34pm 08/4/15
Posted 04:35pm 08/4/15
Had a lot of fun with this game personally but it has failed and this is why:

- Evolve had a stupid DLC and pre-order model and thus had the worst publicity of any game since Sim City or WarZ or something.

- "The game has no campaign" comes up a lot which I guess people like included. I personally don't understand this because I would rather play an awesome multiplayer game and forget the generic FPS campaign.

- The game has a bit of a learning curve which made people call it "Running Sim" which I guess is true at first but once you learn how to play it becomes far more rewarding.

- Moreso than other games Evolve relies heavily on teammates and thus is better with friends. I was glad to have a few regulars to play with... most wouldn't. If one team mate is s*** you will have a bad game.

- TRS didn't f*****g patch the game for over a god damn month! The Wraith (one of the 3 monsters) was broken from day 1 and impossible to kill, stats were getting reset on xbox, the steam overlay mouse cursor bug was there since alpha... The list goes on. I think this led to the massive drop in players on PC.

- There is no competitive mode like in CSGO/Dota/SC2. I think if you release an MP game these days you have to have a competitive mode.

- Finally now that the game has been patched and the new characters have been released I play only to find out that the new DLC hunter Sunny is way overpowered and there is a certain lineup of Hunters which destroys everything easily. Especially on PC due to improved aim.

So I have clocked about 80 hours on Evolve which is more than I do on most games which I guess is "getting my monies worth" however I am still pissed because the game had so much potential and I still enjoy it. I'll wait for these characters to get patched and maybe the game will get a second wind on sale or something.

Posted 09:19am 09/4/15
Isn't this game nearly two months old now? Is there even a point to a review? I'm not sure what is going on at AusGamers but having a review for a game come out two months late is pretty laughable at best. I know some outlets are taking a more "as it comes" approach to reviewing games, but they aren't taking two months to review a game that is now dead in the water and thus the review is pointless. I want to know on launch or shortly after launch if my money is worth spending, which is what a review should be for. Same can be said for Pillars of Eternity review and the game being two weeks old.

My thoughts on Evolve pretty much share what CTD and Tollazor stated. The game would have had a far more long reaching rein if it didn't revolve so heavily around DLC, and was a bit more relaxed in the need for tight-knitted teamwork. Of course having a game need teamwork is perfectly fine, but with Evolve just one tiny mistake as the hunters can really screw the entire game over. This makes playing the game tedious and dull when going to the public matches, something that definitely had a hand in killing the game for me and a lot of others.

For PC Evolve is now at a peak of 2.5k players. That is so laughable it hurts. Turtle Rock could have had a big success on their hands, but instead them and the publisher focused so heavily on DLC that it killed the game from the get-go. Had it been pitched as a free-to-play game or even a far cheaper price model it would have sold like hotcakes, but hey that would be logical conclusions.
Posted 09:39am 09/4/15
CS:GO made a huge comeback from being close to dead in the water. Match Making was a huge part of this. Valve, and the community, also presumably make heaps of cash via their skins, stickers, music 'dlc' system.

Evolve still has a chance to make a comeback. They need to rethink their price gouging DLC practice and step up their match making.

Steve Farrelly
Posted 10:44am 09/4/15
PostToast we don't always get early access to review code, and a game like Pillars can't be smashed out in 8 hours post-release for the sake of review.

Yes, our Evolve review is long in the tooth, but the pre-order on-disc content was unlocked just a week ago, so the WHOLE package is now available to play, not a locked out, watered down release. If that content hadn't been made available we would have walked away and not done the review for tardiness. It's also a persistent game that is evolving online for lack of a better word, and often games of this nature need gestation out in the wild to see what they're actually capable of or falling shy from. I mention in my review that every other chance I'd had to play the game was in conducive and generally well setup environments. Community is also a rather big gauge for this type of game, so it was partly an experiment to sit back and watch that unfold rather than give my initial two-cents on something that would slowly sink and I'd be lynched for, for being positive about because of those perfect play environments the publishers setup.

It's not as cut and dry as you might think, this reviewing process, and not everything is going to be timely or to your review satisfaction. We also get other games weeks before review and publish on embargo -- we're at the mercy of the product which is dictated as release by the product's controlling body: marketing, PR, distribution etc.

Thanks for your support.
Posted 10:57am 09/4/15
That seems reasonable, and I am glad to see it make its way out of the review woods, I enjoy reading the reviews here. It is a shame that the developer/publisher had timed some of the new DLC to only Xbox but I think that timer is now done if I'm not mistaken so I'll have to give it a bash again.

It just sucks with how Evolve was handled and that it truly is a great game, when it works. Hopefully as Tollazor said its PC userbase grows again so that the matchmaking can function again, but I won't be holding my breath.
Posted 11:01am 09/4/15

my initial two-cents on something that would slowly sink and I'd be lynched for, for being positive about because of those perfect play environments the publishers setup.

Steve Farrelly
Posted 11:43am 09/4/15
I have no idea what you're talking about Toll :P

Posted 04:48pm 09/4/15
So.. previously when you've been smashed over a review many times the defense was "we review the product as it stands right now" but now you apparently don't do that.
I'd be confused if I didn't know you were taking the piss.
Posted 06:06pm 09/4/15
Pssh, Simcity? I dunnno what I was even talking about. It must have been Cities Skylines, that game is tops.
Posted 07:42pm 09/4/15
It is a tad weird that SimCity's review is just completely gone. Tad unprofessional.
Commenting has been locked for this item.