So, a few weeks ago Xbox One got the Evolve Big Alpha – I had signed up and was lucky enough to get in. Matchmaking and server issues aside (mind you this was an alpha) I did manage to play around twenty rounds of the game. My thoughts, I’m disappointed.
Evolve is made by the guys at Turtle Rock that brought us Left4Dead. Its an asymmetrical multiplayer game where four hunters pursue and try to eliminate a player controlled Monster in a sandbox level. As the match progresses the monster has a chance to feed on wildlife and evolve making it stronger, tougher and harder to take down. Cool, right? Not really – on paper it sounds great but in reality when playing with strangers, its a whole different story. Evolve needs a ton of balancing. I appreciate what its trying to do but it has serious problems with pacing mostly because the game has no control over it. There were many times we were just running around in circles for ten minutes doing absolutely nothing – the responsive of the controls were also kinda terrible making traversing the map an ordeal. The only thing the game nails down is the encounter between the monster and the hunters – the action, once you get to it that is, is great. Its chaotic, strategic and fast paced. The classes work well together and if one of them is down you’ll need to play smarter. But that’s the fun ends.
I really hope they don’t ship it like this – the alpha I played constantly struggled to build that hide & seek tension it strives for. Honestly if it were up to me I’d raise the stakes and the action; it needs more “frantic” – it needs more monsters on screen at the same time.
I’m sure the Big Alpha was a very little slice of the full game. I’m going to stay optimistic – I want to like it, I want studios to experiment with new formulas and succeed. But with what I’ve played so far, I think I’ll be better off waiting on the reviews for this one.