A game going gold isn’t particularly big news in this age of early access, unless you’re someone who worked on it, or you’re one of those not-at-all-fatiguing people who just have to start singing Spandau Ballet whenever a certain precious metal is mentioned, but I keep meaning to say something about Evolve. Here’s an excuse to: Evolve, the 4v1 team shooter from original Left 4 Dead creators Turtle Rock, is gold. I’m not exactly a frequent flier to multiplayer land, but brief dabbling with Evolve’s alpha late last year got me all excited.
I played as the monster, because he’s a metaphor for how powerful, intimidating and impressive I am despite being almost never venturing into society, and I found it to be frankly thrilling. I think it’s because it’s in a sweet spot between vulnerability and power. You’re the biggest fish in the pond, but that also makes you a target, standing out in a way your average multiplayer participant simply does not. As a match wears on – presuming you’ve not done something very silly – you become even more powerful, which adds this extra frissance: you’re not trying to survive just to survive, but so that you can become big’n’ugly enough to take the fight back to the bastard humans who keep trying to kill you. Playing as the monster made my heart pound, and that’s not something the wizened husk inside my chest does all that often these days.
Of course, this is going on just a few matches played with just one of the eventually-available monster types (this one being a sort of mini-Godzilla). I can’t begin to say whether the same glorious tension can be maintained across long-term play and with a wide roster of creature types. I hope so. I’m going to find out for myself, at any rate. And no, I’m not interested in playing as a stupid human. I know there’re all these class-based special abilities in there, but guns is guns: I want to be something unusual. Leave it to others to be my prey/oppressors.
Back to the news: Evolve is gold, which means it’s set to meet its planned February 10th release date. There’s an open beta for people who own the green console next week, while somne of us PC types get a ‘closed technical test’ starting January 18th. This will be open to anyone who was in the Evolve alpha, or who owns either/both of Left 4 Dead or BioShock Infinite on Steam. Which is quite a lot of people, really. Apparently, in contrast the Xbone beta, this test is “limited in scope and will not include Evacuation or have Hunter and Monster unlocks carry over to Evolve’s launch.” Oh. Oh well. Might have a few more words for you about the game about then though, all being well.
Finally, here’s Evolve’s intro video: