Video: Hands On With Evolve

Evolve is from the makers of Left 4 Dead, and it’s similar to its predecessor in that it offers asymmetric FPS multiplayer between four human soldiers and a player-controlled monster. The difference is that the monster is huge and evolving, and the different skillsets of the human characters need to be put to careful use if they’re going to have any chance of succeeding.

We recently sent Angus Morrison to developers Turtle Rock Studios to have a play of some of Evolve’s game modes and to talk to the team about what they’ve learned from MOBAs, what their intention is as far as esports goes, and how they suspect tactics will develop once the game is out in the wild. He returned clutching not just an article of words about the game, but a video – for those who like words and moving pictures. Fancy.


Want more of this kind of thing – as in, scripted, edited, narrated previews of games? Let us know in the comments.


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    distantlurker says:

    WTH is a “video”? /airquotes

    ew! it moves! it moves!! kill it with fire!!!

  2. Dorga says:

    The game doesn’t strike any chord for me… But I like this moving pictures thing you got there

  3. hjd_uk says:

    I like the video, game looks a bit ‘meh’ for me ATM, after playing L4D and L4D2 to death this doesnt seem very different or interesting.

    Sidenote : Is there any need for the casual swearing? I’m not offended but it stops the video being suitable for younger viewers and a bit awkward at work. I don’t remember reading any swearwords in the written pieces.

    • Razumen says:

      Nothing I’ve seen or heard of this game sounds like Left 4 Dead at all, I’m not sure why you’d compare it-if anything, it’s much closer to Natural Selection.

      • hjd_uk says:

        I ‘m talking about the general mechanics (Three friends verses hordes of monsters with ‘Hero’ monsters FPS) not the Marines Vs Aliens theme. And im not saying the game is bad perse, just it doesnt really show me anything that is really that different to L4D or Killing Floor. Thats all.

        • Sian says:

          This game is more like humans vs one monster and both fight against the environment. The evolution aspect of the monster changes things quite a bit away from the L4D series, and the goals are completely different.

        • Sonntam says:

          In L4D your goal as a group is to survive against massive hordes and to move successfully from A to B.

          In Evolve you have to actually hunt down the one big monster. You are not the prey (at least not in the beginning), but the hunter. It creates a completely different atmosphere. Also, unlike L4D, time plays a bigger role. Every second you waste makes the monster stronger. And since you play against a player, it also means that you have a more clever opponent who uses strategy.

          L4D is a lot less tactical in comparison to Evolve. You may still need teamwork, but at least you know how the mobs will react to you and they are fairly predictable. Fighting against a player is always trickier and thus more fun, if you ask me.

          Also, it’s been a long time dream for me to fight as a group against one overpowered player. Or, maybe being that overpowered player fighting against such a group. If you don’t care about this kind of set-up, it may not be so surprising you find the game lacking. To me it’s what makes the game stand out among many others.

  4. CommanderJ says:

    It’s really not a game you can get much feel for from videos, to be honest. And certainly best enjoyed with friends. I had a blast in the alpha though, even with just the one gamemode.

  5. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    I still don’t understand why McDonalds calls its 20 chicken nugget box a “sharebox”.

    Oh yeah, the video. I liked it, happy to see more of this sort of thing complimenting the articles (sometimes I do just want words).

  6. DarkFenix says:

    I’ll be avoiding Evolve after my experience of the alpha. The game is deeply flawed on a design level and is never going to reach its potential, simply because the balance equation contains too few variables on one side. L4D worked in versus because the monster team comprised 4 players of constantly varying classes, this created a borderline infinite number of variables that kept everything interesting and made the balance chaotic enough that it could work (and the teams switched around each map, making perfect balance redundant).

    Evolve’s fun factor depends on a single variable; the skill of the monster player. If he’s bad he stands no chance, if he’s good the hunters stand no chance. Since it’s a single variable it’s impossible to balance it, the equation is too simple for anything short of a literally perfect answer to make it all work.

    The solo monster is a great idea, but that idea just can’t translate into good gameplay.

    • Hex says:

      If you play someone shitty at chess, they’ll probably lose.

      That’s not a flaw in the design of chess.

      • DarkFenix says:

        Is the worthlessness of that analogy deliberate or can you just not see how bad it is?

        • Deadly Sinner says:

          If it was so worthless, you would be able to explain why.

          You’re trying to give some definitive statement on balance with your limited experience on a game that was playable for a week or so. Which means there was a constant flow of new players who had no idea what they were doing, and the rest of the players picked up on the game at varying speeds. This isn’t a normal FPS, it’s a game that requires you to learn new things to compete. So, sure, I played plenty of one sided games against complete newbies, yet I also played plenty of 15-25 minute games (about the length the devs are aiming for) against people who actually had a clue what they were doing.

          In a fair game, the better players should usually win. In Left 4 Dead, a coordinated team will always steamroll a team of randoms, but I would never claim it was unbalanced because of that.

          • JimmyG says:

            Yeah, I think the analogy was called “worthless” because chess is just about perfectly symmetrical. One player goes first, right, but both players have the same pieces and the same arrangement. Evolve, on the other hand, is deliberately asymmetrical. So while I don’t like the sting of DarkFenix’s delivery, I understand the sentiment. He or she thinks the monster has all of the gamechanging tricks, and a skilled monster-player will always be insurmountable.

            But I’m hoping the game has more depth than people realize. Left 4 Dead was extremely shallow from the survivors’ point of view, at least until the big standoff at the end of each campaign. In interviews with the developers, it sounds like they’ve been playing Evolve a ton internally. And after weeks and months of practicing coordination and tweaking the abilities of each hunter, I’m optimistic that we’ll get something more MOBA-like than the average FPS — by which I mean, skills matter most in conjunction, not isolation. It might just take the community a while to master the big bag of tricks they have to overcome the seemingly overpowered monster.

  7. heretic says:

    Nice vid Angus! At first I didn’t read the article and thought it was John talking for a minute, somewhat similar voice no?

    • Fontan says:

      I thought the same and I did read the article first. Maybe they are the same person?

  8. jezcentral says:

    I also like the fact that this article was published in the evening time, when I am at my PC at home, to enjoy this video thingummyjig. When I’m at work, I can’t be clicking on things and watching moving pictures for any length of time, and I can’t be caught inflicting sounds on work-mates.

  9. Radiant says:

    link to the shout casted trailer?
    nice vid btw.

  10. Josh W says:

    Um, not really that keen on it. I liked Nathan’s game and a chat videos more than these to be honest, because they had a lack of editing, whereas this has “gadget show” or “BBC News 24 movie preview” editing. I find the former more human. It also avoids the kind of soundbightyness of only getting little snippets of what someone said. Like if the interviews we see bits of had just been recorded, we could have heard more about how they talk and think, which would have been nice, whereas here we’re only seeing stuff crafted around a very small theme. It goes with scripting too; those talking head moments have a place to fit in the script, and the events in the game are there as generic examples to fill in the background. It’s a bit confined, and there isn’t the same interplay between conversation and gameplay, everything sits in it’s box.

    Also, some of the reasons we do editing just don’t apply in interactive video, making it punchy etc. and not loosing people’s attention, as you can use visual bookmarking and links to allow people to skip to things that interest them if they want, just like people can skim read articles and then go back to read them properly.

  11. LTK says:

    Very informative and well narrated bit of video. I wouldn’t be opposed to more of this sort of thing.

    Edit: But after reading the article on the same subject from a few days ago, I realise the video editing actually misrepresented some things. When the dev was talking about the strategy du jour being replaced, I thought he meant the picking off of survivors by the monster. Otherwise the article and video are close to equivalent, but I think the article has more clarity and feels longer and more in-depth as well.