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 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.
"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 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 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."