Evolve Guide: Turtle Rock On Beginner’s Tips For Monsters

A low key entrance

Evolve [official site] is out tomorrow, meaning some of you might be looking for tips on how to get a head start in Turtle Rock’s monster vs hunters asymmetric multiplayer game. To that end we’ve tracked down Phil Robb – Turtle Rock’s creative director – for a briefing on how each of the game’s player-controlled monsters work. Here are the fruits of our conversation.

This article focuses on the Monsters. If you’re looking for Hunter tips you’ll need our Hunter guide instead!

Goliath guide

Goliath monster

“Goliath is the spokesmonster for Evolve. He’s our most straightforward monster – he breathes fire, he throws giant rocks he pulls out of the earth, he can do a bull charge and he can do a leap smash.”

Goliath fulfils the fighter archetype role. He’s a brawler with decent health and armour but is surprisingly agile for a big guy. His abilities have that broad usefulness to them – there’s the fire breath which damages hunters for a short while as well as that rock throw. For the he’ll grab a boulder out of the earth and chuck it.

Separately the leap smash and the charge both offer movement and damage – the charge lets you surge forwards dealing damage and knocking hunters back while the smash lets you deal splash damage when you land. By combo-ing the two you can actually cover a lot of ground in a small amount of time. It’s good for zooming in on hunters when you’re at later levels as well as for dashing away when you’re still only a stage 1 babby monster.

Kraken guide

Kraken monster

“He doesn’t have as much health or as much armour [as Goliath] – he doesn’t like getting up close and personal, but he can fly.”

Kraken is the wizardy archetype to Goliath’s fighter. He’s all about ranged damage so his abilities are about helping him create that space from the hunters.

On the ground he can perform melee attacks but in the air he’ll switch to throwing energy bolts at his foes. When flying he’ll also hover but slowly fall until you double tap for another flap of flight power. His lightning strike is a skillshot which does a lot of damage and is particularly effective if you manage to hit a group of hunters who have clustered up. (I’m considering using this one on Lazarus if he attempts to revive anyone I’ve slain.) He can also launch banshee mines which are these orbs which attach to hunters and deal damage. What you’re ideally trying to do is arrange them around the hunters so they have to pick their targets rather than being able to clear them easily and get back to beating you up..

In terms of space creation there’s the vortex which delivers a knockback and is really effective in tight spaces like corridors – kind of like a Kraken skittles game – and the aftershock which delivers a jols of electricity to those nearby. It’s a good defence if the hunters have managed to get close as well as being an effective deterrent. Hunters seeing you charge the ability may well choose to fall back rather than get caught in the blast.

Wraith guide

Wraith monster

“Wraith doesn’t have a lot of health, doesn’t have a lot of shield – but what it lacks in those two it makes up in sneakiness and mobilit […] Watching a good Wraith players is one of the most entertaining things because they do some really cool amazing stuff.”

Wraith is the assassin archetype, as exemplified by her sneaky warp movement power. She can warp to a point ahead if its in her crosshairs. As Phill said above she’s lacking in health and armour so being in the thick of combat is bad, instead she focuses on thinning out the hunters and separating one from the pack.

Her signature ability is her abduction. She warps in to the hunter in her crosshairs, snatches them and warps back out meaning the two of them can enjoy some alone time until the rest of the hunters show up or the abductee can escape. I asked Phil and apparently you can also use it on incapacitated hunters so Wraith can mess with Lazarus if he attempts a resurrection on them. Similar is the warp blast where she can warp into group of hunters, trigger an explosion and then use her movement warp to leave again.

Her decoy ability creates an illusory copy while Wraith herself becomes invisible. It’s useful for escape or for plotting and repositioning. the decoy does damage and takes damage.It will disappear when Wraith warps or when the timer on the ability runs out. It also works in conjunction with her supernova ability. That’s an area of effect where if she or the decoy are inside it they gain extra damage and attack speed making them dangerous foes. A neat trick Phil mentions at this point is using abduction to drag hunters back into the supernova AoE.

Behemoth guide

“Behemoth is our biggest monster, he even dwarfs Goliath. He’s very rocky and tough looking. He’s got a ton of health and shield. His special movement is he rolls himself up into this larva-looking spiky ball and gains momentum.”

Behemoth is the monster who is part of the paid-for DLC which pre-ordering gets you free of charge. Even if you don’t have access to him it’s good to know how he works as not owning the DLC doesn’t mean you won’t be playing against him. Turtle Rock didn’t want to give much guidance on playing him though as they say they’re keen to see how the community treats him.

Behemoth requires a bit of a mindset change from the other monsters, according to Phil. That’s because he’s simply nowhere near as agile. Instead he’s a tanky jerk who can roll about breaking things and rolling over hunters.

His abilities include lava bombs which are kind of like flaming hairballs which set off a fire in an area and force hunters to move about or sustain damage over time. He’s also got a rock wall he can erect. It starts as a relatively small wedge of rock but it sounds like later stages have it feel more like a baseball mitt either trapping hunters close to Behemoth or keeping them at bay on the other side. If you find a cave you could even erect the wall in front of the opening, giving you a spot of planning time.

To go along with this there’s a tongue grab which is a cross between Wraith’s abduction and how frogs catch flies. Essentially it flicks out Behemoth’s tongue and relocates a hunter to your position. The wall can then be used to prevent them escaping and prevent other hunters from helping out. Lastly there’s his fissure ability which opens the ground forcing out a line of fire and destruction.

But as for whether these tips will be evergreen advice…

“Ultimately, for us the important part is that the game stays balanced and stays fun,” says Phil. “That there’s nothing in there that allows an epidemic of trolling. That stuff is super important. Post-release we’re going to be keeping an eye on balance and we’ve got a good telemetry system. We’re always checking our forums and listening to feedback.

“If we start hearing that this guy is over or underpowered from more than one person we can go look at the numbers and tweak values based on that. The nice thing is that the balance values are numbers in a sheet in one file we can push out easily to the community with very little muss or fuss.”


  1. ravencheek says:

    Why is this article showing as full length auto-expanded on the front page of RPS?

    Also due to the marketing-suicide that Evolve has shown in the last 3 months I’m not going to purchase it for pre-release.

    I’ll save my $60 and buy 4-6 other games that are just as good in the mean time.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      I personally will be glad when this over-hyped, bloated tripe of a game is forgotten about 6 months from now. It has one of the most mercenary, ridiculous pre-order schemes in recent memory and while there has been no shortage of criticism regarding the “exclusive content”, everyone seems to be unironically promoting it.

      • Ferno says:

        Well that was aggressive. I for one played the alpha and beta with my friends and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very much looking forward to putting many hours into this “over-hyped, bloated tripe of a game”. Do enjoy whatever “tripe” you’re playing too though :)

      • Asurmen says:

        One Monster is mercenary? Wow. Talk about entitlement.

        • Nokturnal says:

          While I do think he went a bit over the top, there are only 4 monsters in total. One of them requires paying extra to be able to play as. That’s a quarter, 25% of the total monsters available requiring an extra payment.

          EDIT – There’s apparently a 5th monster coming too, also as part of DLC…

        • Premium User Badge

          Phasma Felis says:

          Pre-order DLC is always mercenary.

        • Premium User Badge

          Phasma Felis says:

          Pre-order DLC is always mercenary. It says “we don’t think this game will be good enough for you to want it after the reviews come out, so we’re gonna try to trick you into paying for it sight-unseen.”

    • Commander Gun says:

      Thought the same tbh. The first piece got me some doubts, but this second piece…
      You aren’t even critical of the 1st day / prerelease DLC in this piece, something you generally are.

      However, even if this really isn’t the case, can you at RPS at least imagine that it comes over this way to a lot of readers? That it is some sort of paid content? Because if you don’t i am really surprised tbh :(

    • SimianJim says:

      If you have no plans to buy this game, why are you one of the first posters on every bloody article about Evolve bragging about why you’re not going to buy it because you think it’s shit?

      Seriously? I’m beginning to think you’ve got serious issues.

  2. Synesthesia says:

    you seem to have forgotten the jump.

  3. Ferno says:

    It would be worth linking the little tips videos that TRS have been putting out for this game. There’s quite a bit the game doesn’t directly tell you that’s worth knowing when you start and the developers vids were quite good :)
    Like so:

  4. ninjapirate says:

    For an RPS article, this “game guide” feels terribly out of place.

    • Chaosed0 says:

      yyyeeep. RPS articles are normally full of life, improbabable puns, and strange similies. This one just feels… dead. It doesn’t even contain anything that one wouldn’t know from watching a video or two.

      Edit: Just saw that the first response to the “hunter guide” article contained nearly the exact sentiment. Glad to see that I wasn’t the only one having those thoughts.

      • Aetylus says:

        Yup… strongest piece of opinion was “I’ll consider using this move in this situation”… not exactly stirring RPS stuff. I’m hoping that RPS were just having a bad day and this is a space filler rather than being the advertorial it feels like.

    • melnificent says:

      Game guide, feels like an advertorial…. which I know RPS wouldn’t do…. but still, these soulless guides are here :(

      • ravencheek says:

        We all know they wouldn’t do it, so why do I get the feeling they HAVE done it twice today for this game…..

        Hmmmmm something feel wrong about this article.

        • trollomat says:

          It also doesn’t help to fortify my confidence that they obviously removed certain sceptical comments.

          I’m really puzzled and worried right now.

          • SuicideKing says:

            I’m not sure if it’s anything to be “worried” about. Puzzled, I am too. But let’s not start GG2 over this.

    • MrUnimport says:

      I have to agree. I usually expect a little more interpretation and a little less featurelisting. There’s something out of place about this guide, which features a laundry list of abilities and characters but goes light on the bigger picture and overall game flow.

  5. X_kot says:

    Have you considered streaming or casting some Evolve matches, Pip? I’ve found several Twitch vids to be very illuminating about tactics and skill usage.

  6. FreeTom says:

    Speaking of Evolve, is there any chance of the Home page video on the RPS Youtube channel being changed to something that doesn’t have any speaking for the first few seconds? Much as I loved Nathan’s stuff, if I hear him tell me that Evolve is a game that’s as good as the stories in generates too many more times I might have to go round to the Kotaku shed and poke him in the eye.

  7. aircool says:

    Never heard of it until today.

  8. Farsearcher says:

    Don’t forget that Pip has a background covering competitive gaming. I imagine she is used to writing articles about gaming tactics and tips. I’ve pre ordered evolve (I know, I’m sorry, I was weak and my friend said the beta was amazing) and am very much looking forward to it. I found these two articles really useful. Thanks Pip.

    A little more criticism of the ‘orrible pre ordering system wouldn’t go amiss but it’d detract from the focus of the article and RPS has already made it’s opinion clear.

  9. yojimbojango says:

    Good grief the douche-baggery.

    They make L4D without the ability to add characters and every one looses their collective mind when they try to keep a good thing going with L4D2. So they try to learn from their mistakes and build their next game like L4D2 right from the start and the internet again seems to go pants on head stupid because you will be able to buy extra characters sometime in the future when they’re done.

    I swear I’ve never seen so much bizarre hate on a company for doing exactly what their most vocal customers organized boycotts and crap for just a couple years ago.

    • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

      Eh, I’m more annoyed at the asinine nickel and diming mass of DLC they’ve already broken the game up into, as well as that hideous mobile freemium pay to win stuffed monstrosity they foisted on mobiles. Those are two very good reasons to avoid Evolve as it stands. At least L4D2 decided not to go “Here’s a mobile game which plays a bit like dragons and gemstones or whatever the hell it is, and you can spend money on it as well, isn’t that amazing!”


      • Aetylus says:

        Its not really nickle and diming. Its even beyond fivering and tennering. I’m not sure I know of any currency that gets nick-named at the quantities involved for the DLC here. Money gets too serious at these magnitudes.

        • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

          I stared at disbelief at the variety of DLC packages the game has been split down into and just despaired. This is not a sane business model, and even if the game is good, it’s going to be undermined by the fact that it’s clearly been set up for monetisation first, and that’s the primary concern. It’s not “Are the players going to have a good time?” , that’s just an incidental thing and something that is useful to happen to keep people spending, but “Are they spending as much as we can possibly extract from them?”, like some hideous gaming version of the laffer curve (Oh god, yes, I went there, now I’m going to hell).

    • MrUnimport says:

      I don’t think anybody can be expected to react well when told that their eagerly-anticipated upcoming product will be broken up into chunks that total twice the expected cost when put together.

    • Wedge says:

      From what I recall, Turtle Rock didn’t do most of the development on L4D2…

  10. Radiant says:

    RPS did the same type of coverage for TF2.

    Although that was for a game they all obviously enjoyed and played so the articles were a lot of fun.

    I don’t think any of the current crop of RPS writers actually want to spend a lot of time with Evolve hence the by the numbers IGN style game guides.

    • Radiant says:

      I said; basing my opinion on absolutely nothing but what the aliens managed to beam into my head through the tin foil.