Review: Evolve

There isn’t a real set story to Evolve, the game takes place on the planet Shear, a colourful environment surrounded in flora and fauna. The background being that humanity have travelled to establish new colonies, with the only problem being is that huge predators are determined to keep their territory. As the Monsters destroy the colonies on Shear, a former planet tamer named William Cabot is brought out of retirement to deal with the threat, in order to evacuate the remaining colonists from Shear. In response, a team of up to 12 playable Hunters assemble to wipe these Monsters off the face of the planet.

The planet of Sheer is in abundance of beautiful colour and rich in detail of all aspects of the different maps. The UI is exceptionally set out and easy to use. The different flora and fauna in the Shear really makes you feel like each map is truly a different area of the planet and not a recycled map with a few location swaps. The mixes of jungle terrain with the very human styled dams are such an eye catch.

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The ambient sounds used while playing really sets the tone of a calm jungle landscape on the verge of an enormous raw and rumble as the monster comes out of the jungle to attack our fearless hunters. The finer details in the sounds make a huge difference in-game; you can hear every slushed step you take in the more murky forest floor areas, the birds scattering as the monster is on the move. You really get that sensory feel for planet Sheer.

Evolve is a one-of-a-kind 4 vs. 1 strategy shooter. The Hunters have the simple task of killing the solo beast as quick as possible; while the Monster’s aim is the eliminate all of the Hunters or complete the secondary quest of destroying the humans base or a power plant.

We’ll start off with the Monster; you control one of the 3 playable beasts in the third person. As the Monster you are on the rush to find the balance of creating space between you and the Hunters while finding the time to feast on an array of neutral creatures, harvesting them to raise your armour, health and in time, the energy to evolve through the stages of your evolution chain.

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The team of 4 you’ll be participating in is a very unique experience as this game really revolves around all players working together and using the very well presented synergy of each Hunters skill set to track and put down the Monster. The pressure to snag vision of the early tracks is crucial as you really do not want to be taking on the Monster in its third stage. Similarly to the Monster, the Hunters can take on the neutrals to pick up certain ‘buffs’ to enhance their weaponry and gadgets. We’ll start with just the first tier of hunters, each with two more to unlock per role.

Maggie – The Tracker with her trusty alien pet daisy must set up a temporary battle arena to lock the monster into a small location while setting harpoons to lock the monster into place.

The Assault specialist Markov will be dealing the bulk amount of damage to the monster while locked in the arena. He’s equipped with a temporary shield for when the monster turns his attention to you. This where Hank’s support comes into play, equipped with a long distance shield the support can protect any member of his team. A huge air support strike is a one of the most satisfying abilities to use in this game, watching the monsters health and amour drain is a big momentum changer and game ender.

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The way Evolve has redefined the role of medic is excellent. Val, yes you are there to heal; this is done with a ranged neon glowing beam of light. As medic you are in charge of using your two long ranged weapons to tranquilize and also leave target points on the monster which when hit by team mates deals extra damage, this gives a sense of being more than just someone that runs around healing everyone.

The coolest thing about this game is the progression system for each character and Monster. Although it is very grindy in a game that has a seemingly hard learning curve for the first few hours, especially with new to game teammates and some that don’t like to communicate or choose to solo neutrals and die. Even though the main focus is surrounded on the main game mode ’Hunt’ there is also Nest, Rescue and Defend.