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Evolve's Bewildering Pre-Order Devolution

The Behemoth. First name 'Clive'.

As I mentioned t’other day, I’m a wee bit psyched about Left 4 Dead maker Turtle Rock’s upcoming 4v1 shooter Evolve, but an unhealthy excess of pre-orderballs is fast unpsyching me. Imagine if L4D had restricted the Boomer to a pre-order bonus, or you could only play as Zoey if you bought the Left 4 Dead: None Left Behind Deluxe Ultra Apocalypse Master Race Edition. It’s so hard to think of a game as being fully-formed and entirely honest when big features are nickel’n’dimed. Thus, I’m worried about Evolve. The power to play as some of its various characters – including its ‘biggest’ monster – has been devolved into assorted and confusing special editions.

The game’s makers and/or publishers, or at least some bright spark in the marketing department, are trying to argue that getting the Behemoth monster (the fourth in the game’s bestiary) for ‘free’ with a pre-order is basically them giving the first round of DLC out for no-pennies. Indeed, the Behemoth will be available as a $15 add-on post-release (in the Spring, apparently), but the leaves a couple of months in which the game’s community risks being split into the haves and the have-nots. The haves, of course, being those who have either the means or naivety (or both) to put down big money on a game without waiting for word on whether it’s a stonker or a stinker.

Beyond that, there are various different special editions, including a grossly-titled $100/£60 PC-only, download-only ‘PC Monster Race Edition’ mega-pack that promises access to an as-yet revealed fifth monster, in addition to a glut of Hunter characters, skins and season pass gubbins. Basically that’s the pack you need if you want to be sure you’re not missing out on any of the game’s characters, and basically that makes me pretty stroppy.

I guess a major part of big-game marketing these days is trying to round up as many guaranteed sales pre-release as possible, but this is all seems kind of off for a game that’s so much about balanced asymmetry. We’ll see how it all works in practice come February 10th, I guess. I don’t expect to be playing anything other than the core game – i.e. no Behemoth and all that jazz – at least until if and I when I decide I like it enough to invest more, so I’ll find out fast if not having access to the pre-order and special edition stuff tears a big hole in the experience or not.

Anyway, here’s the Behemoth reveal. Apparently this guy’s as big as Turtle Rock could possibly make him, and we shouldn’t expect to see anything even more humongous ever arrive in the game.

He is a big lad, isn’t he? His main shtick is that he “becomes a giant, destructive boulder and rolls through the environment for quick traversal.”

And here’s the full breakdown of the various special editions, season passes and pre-order guff. It’s not quite Assassin’s Creed headache-inducing (there are no statuettes of frowning men to factor in, for one thing), but it’s not far off.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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