I never played the original Left 4 Dead, but I did play the squeal. It was a shit single player game (the NPC characters were so dumb they could literally prevent you from leaving a room by getting jammed together in the only exit) and on-line was a bit like Russian Roulette – you never quite knew if you were going to get a decent game or the more common occurrence of having to play with idiots. Such, I guess, is the danger of playing co-operative team based games.
But Evolve was going to be different. Instead of an endless supply of mindless zombies, a four player team had to contend with a constantly evolving monster controlled by a 5th human player. Evolve even has a decent single player option, of which the you have to play through a mission as a monster before the game opens up, single player isn’t why you get a game like Evolve.
The basic premise of Evolve is that it’s a team based game where four players with different specialties hunt an evolving monster trying to kill it before it kill them. Before you start a multiplayer game you’ll be asked to rank you character preferences and will be allocated a character based on what other players have ranked as their favourites, in an effort to getting everyone playing as close to their favourite character as possible.
There are a number of different modes, and each require team work to bring the monster down. There is the usual progress model of unlocking skills and characters, but to start with the game is fairly balanced. And fun.
For the first two nights I played Evolve I had a blast. Hunting a monster was so much fun, as was getting to know the abilities of a couple of the characters. The maps all had plenty of variety, and locations that favoured the hunters as well as locations that favoured the hunted. Even though the maps were obviously limited, you never felt hemmed in. The characters chatted amongst themselves adding an element of immersion normally missing from multiplayer games.
Evolve was the most fun I had had online in quite a while. For two nights.
Then Evolve’s biggest issue raised it’s head. I had a string of nights where I just couldn’t find anyone online to play with. I would wait for 10, 20 minutes for the game to find people to join the lobby, but to no avail. Then one night I got a couple of games in, but without a full contingent of human players. Then on my last night playing evolve, I was placed in a game where my only option was to observe.
Evolve is a fantastic game and I would love to play more of it, but for that to happen I would require 4 friends with the same console as me to own and want to play the game, and that’s just not going to happen. The other option would be for a local gaming community to host Evolve nights, but then that kind of thing never seems to line up with my available game time.
Reviewed on: XBox One
Rating: R13 Contains violence and offensive language .
Reviewed by: Jonathan