DANIEL WILKS climbs the evolutionary ladder
Hands on with four new hunters
EEVOLVE PLATFORM: PC, Xbox One, PS4 CATEGORY: Multiplayer Shooter DEVELOPER: Turtle Rock Studios PUBLISHER: 2K Games DUE: October 21
volve is shaping up to be one of the most exciting multiplayer shooters to be released this year. Developed by Turtle Rock Studios, already well known for their cooperative shooter series, Left 4 Dead, Evolve takes the four player team concept one step further by pitting them against a single player controlled enemy, a massive monster more than capable of killing any one of the characters in one on one combat when it first spawns and the equal of any group when it evolves to its final form. We’ve previously had hands on with the four base characters and archetypes – Markov (Assault), Griffin (Trapper), Val (Medic) and Hank (Support) – as well as one of the monsters, but at a recent hands on event we had a chance to get to know a second group of hunters who play very differently from the originals.
HYDE AND SEEK >> These new hunters fall into the same class roles as the first group and have the same core skill – a personal shield for Assault, mobile arena for Trapper, group heal for Medic and group cloak for Support – but play vastly differently. Whereas Markov uses mid to long range weapons for dealing damage and mines to make life hard for the monster, Hyde, the second announced Assault character, likes to take a more up close and personal approach. He is equipped with a minigun to do damage at range but his most effective weapon by far, a flamethrower, has the shortest range of any weapon so far revealed, almost necessitating the character be in melee range for it to be effective. Hyde is also equipped with toxic grenades that release a cloud of fumes that do constant damage to the monster as long as it remains in the cloud.
Rather than using sonar pylons to locate the monster like Griffin, the second Trapper, Maggie relies instead on her pet Trapjaw, Daisy (a massive alien dog thing) to sniff out the monster.
Daisy operated much like an autonomous fifth member of the hunting party, searching for the monster, acting as an extra tough target and even trying to revive fallen hunters by affectionately licking their faces. Maggie is also armed with a medium range SMG and harpoon mines that are triggered by the monster and tether it in place for a short while.
JOHN 11:25 >> The final two characters, the Medic and Support, play remarkably different from their counterparts. The baseline Medic and Support, Val and Hank, play in a similar manner, with both being equipped with beams that can heal and shield respectively. Lazarus, the new medic, isn’t a healer. He has access to the small group heal that is common to all Medic characters but rather than keeping players up with a healing beam, Lazarus is geared towards quickly reviving fallen hunters. To that end, Lazarus is equipped with a personal cloaking device enabling him to reach downed companions unmolested and the “Lazarus Device”, a sort of super defibrillator.
Bucket the support robot is almost the polar opposite of Hank when it comes to play style. Hank is defensive support, shielding party members from damage, cloaking the group and occasionally calling in an airstrike, but Bucket is very much an offensive support character. The robot can (somewhat disturbingly) pull off his own head to use as a UAV to spot the monster, a neat trick that leaves his body motionless and vulnerable until the head returns. Bucket’s robotic innards contain a number of sentry guns that can be deployed to either do substantial damage to the monster or to make a location too dangerous for it to fight in. He’s also equipped with a laser guided missile launcher. Can't complain about that.
"....clever girl." We ask you: who's the REAL monster in this scenario? (Hint: it's the giant monster)
"Peek-a-bo- OH GOD MY FACE!"