Welcome to another edition of GHG‘s Video Game Review FACE-OFF. Today, “The Christ-ine” Manzione and, yours truly, “The Templar” Mark Majndle take on one of 2015’s most anticipated games — and winner of countless awards at last summer’s E3…
Does 2K Games’ multiplayer monster hunter live up to all of the countless hype, or prove no more than yet another one-trick MPS pony without much subtance?
Let our Geek vs. Nerd provide all the realness. Geah!
NERD – I want to like Evolve— I really do. I can understand why many people are intrigued by the four-on-one battles, an intense, kill-or-be-killed situation set in beautiful environments on planet Shear with unique party members. But, my experience has been soured by the same things that make Turtle Rock’s new game interesting, so here’s my “Nerd” take on the action:
A big plus Evolve brings to the console is that it deviates from the norm of even-player skirmishes. If you’re on the human side of things, you play as either an assault, medic, trapper, or support class in an effort to slay your bestial opponent. On the flip-side, this behemoth is viewing you and your teammates as annoying, tasty little creatures. Depending on your class, there’s a lot of variety to be had.
Assault is your main class for taking down the monster– armed with heavy weapons and land mines, you’re responsible for getting in close-quarters and doling out damage like the monster insulted your mother (although, I’m sure she’s a nice lady). Support is similar in that regard, yet they have the added ability of activating a cloaking field to shield the team from attacks. Trappers have a pet Trapjaw (Daisy!) — useful for tracking the monster — in addition to sweet defense mechanisms like harpoon guns and tranquilizers to slow the beast, and your Medic, who should stay out of harm’s way and cure what ails ya when you need it most.
Then you have your monster, who powers up by feasting on Shear’s wildlife. Through use of thrown terrain, charge attacks, body slams and fire-breathing awesomeness (heartburn from an albino mammoth bird?), your job is to ultimately kill the hunters. The combined power of a cohesive, well-communicated four-player team is formidable, to say the least.
Random matchmaking is where everything can go to hell. In one of — maybe — fifteen matches, I had a great, responsive team who I thoroughly enjoyed playing with and felt a superb sense of achievement when we finally knocked down a Goliath. The other fourteen matches had me agonizing over poorly coordinated groups, the highlights of which were an overly-enthusiastic ten-year old, a man who could not believe there was a woman in the party and a dude complaining that everyone kept leaving him to die (sorry not sorry). Turtle Rock has created a system where you choose your favorite to least-favorite class prior to matchmaking, and they’ll try to accommodate you with a match that has an opening according to your preferences. I somehow, 75% of the time, ended up with my last choice, the monster. Don’t get me wrong– playing as a Goliath or Kraken can be loads of fun.
The thing is, I was always matched up with a group of friends who had their shit on point. There’s a great chance of putting up a W if you can reach Stage 3 monsterness, but I (perhaps to my own error) wound up getting caught quite frequently, pushed into an arena trap and ground-pounding for dear life.
My other gripe stems from that whole hunt-or-be-hunted mechanic. While Evolve sports a multitude of multiplayer variants (Nest, Defend, Rescue and Evacuation), they all fall into a very similar pattern. The game devolves into nothing more than a game of cat and mouse when tracking the monster, and you can fall prone to forgetting about the objective, just to nab the kill and end the match, something I found happening quite frequently.
When the Evolve Gods smile upon you and grant you a match of vocal, fun players (or you’ve got friends, and you should obviously add me), the game shines. There’s a great sense of accomplishment when things go right. Yet things can go oh-so wrong, too. I’ll keep at it for the time being; I’d like to see myself progress more and strive for a teensy bit of balancing updates. For now, Evolve gets 3.25 (out of 5) Trapjaws.
So… you’ve heard from our Almighty Christ-ine, and now it’s the Templar’s turn to share some my thoughts and feelings on this game. In a nutshell (or in this case, a monster egg shell) this game is need of some serious… evolution. After putting in many hours of gameplay, I find myself disappointed in yet another game that should have been much, much better.
These results are making me rethink about how awards are given to games; because personally, this one didn’t deserve any of the ones it received. Why? Keep reading.
Such as Miss Manzione said, this is a multiplayer game. You need a crack team of four of your friends to take down the monster. This is because of how powerful this beast is. Unless you work as a team and utilize the correct — and extremely limited — skills you have, that monster gonna eat you for breakfast. Unfortunately, unless you have a team of your friends, the monster will kill you EVERY time. BUT! And this is a big one, if you do have a crack team and you know how to utilize your skills, you will kill the monster every time. So what’s the point? Either you will lose all the time or win all the time.
Fun level = 1 of 10.
When you get into the game, you will spend 15-to-20-minutes either trying to find the monster or avoiding the hunters. This concept is extremely boring and will leave your thumbs aching from the constant pressure on the control sticks. 9 out of 10 times you won’t have a fight until the monster hits level 3 and attacks in an epic battle to the death. When I say epic, I mean a 2-minute fight where the monster either slaughters your team or you smack that $%^&# down! That’s it. 20-minutes of your life gone doing nothing for a 2-minute (max) fight. There is a serious problem here.
Now let’s talk character customization. Oh wait, we cant. Why? Because there isn’t any. Each character type has three different playable forms. Let me give you an example. There are three types of medics. Each one has their equipment that they bring to the team. That’s it. There are no changing weapon types. No unlocks. Garbage. “What more can I say…”
All in all, Evolve is a total flop and I want my money back. Actually, I’m on my way to beg GameStop to accept my receipted return, or give in and sell it for a measly $45. Given the amount of hype that was given to Evolve: NOT COOL. And whoever chooses to give out game awards should be fired (Dude, some of those sites give good reviews based on advertising dollars. – Editor Moody) because they no not of what they speak. E3’s Top Games at E3 last year were The Division, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Arkham Knight, The Phantom Pain, and Mortal Kombat X; not Evolve (Yes, we KNOW what we’re talking BOUT! – Moody).
Yeah, I highly recommend you save your money for one of those.