Evolve: Monster

If there is one thing that a public alpha should never do it’s worry everyone, and at this point Evolve is nothing if not a worrying videogame. Everything about it is fuzzy. The classes are fuzzy. The rules are fuzzy. Even the weapons are fuzzy. And you know that a shooter is in deep trouble when it isn't much fun to shoot things in it The main problem though, is that the main monster (or Goliath, as Turtle Rock have named it) is ridiculously overpowered. It moves so quickly that, even after its stamina has depleted and it can’t jump, matches just descend into unbelievably boring foot chases. If you decide to split up, you’re helpless if you come across the beast because you’re almost powerless on your own. If you are playing as the Trapper class, and somehow manage to secure the monster in your gigantic dome trap, the monster will either comfortably evade you until the dome vanishes (which takes 20 seconds or so) or will stomp you to death in two or three easy hits. The maps are also so large that calling for help can mean waiting fora full minute before anyone can reach you.

Some players have reported that playing as a team of four like Left 4 Dead against an AI-controlled Goliath makes for a much more enjoyable experience, if only because the AI isn't programmed to run away from you all day long. The class system is confusing too: the Medic has recon abilities for some reason, and the Assault character has access to explosives while the Support one does not. It begs the question:why even give these characters traditional class titles if they don't even fit into those moulds?
“You know that a shooter is in deep trouble when it isn't much fun to shoot things in it”
If you're playing as the Goliath, laying waste to the four humans is amazingly easy: you just take out the Medic first (he’s the one constantly emitting the green heal beam) and then stomp the other three into oblivion. If it gets too hot in the kitchen? Just leap the heck out of there and leave everyone
choking on your dust. Once you’ve eaten enough of the small creatures that bounce around each environment, you can evolve and then destroy the humans’ power source, which ends the game. To win, you have to avoid everyone for ten minutes, and then hit a box. It’s boring.

During hunts you’re led around by an AI-controlled sniffer dog called Daisy, who reveals bright blue Goliath footprints on the ground. In the end, like so many of Evolve’s gameplay systems, this all turns out to be pointless. There’s no point in following the tracks because the Goliath moves so much faster than you do. They vanish quickly to boot.

When the Goliath starts munching on wildlife, it can sometimes startle resting birds in the trees above. These incidents flash up on your HUD, with information about how far away the birds are, along with an instruction to “Hurry!” But you can hurry all you like. Eating is a brisk process, and there’s no reason for the Goliath to hang around and wait for you.

After every match you’re treated to a very cool replay of what just took place, all rendered on a tiny mini-map with a few moving dots. It tells you all that you need to know about the game currently: four small dots chase one bigger dot before either everything stops suddenly, or the four small dots disappear one at a time.

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