There are many criticisms I have seen leveled at 'Evolve,' the asymmetrical FPS/Monster Game by Turte Rock, over the last year, and I have to say that I felt many of them were vastly overblown; case in point, the day-one cosmetic DLC fiasco, the keyword here being cosmetic. The actual DLC marketing model for the hunters and monsters, however, was in fact abysmal, yet that's still not the problem I have with Evolve. The problem I have with Evolve is that its very title is a blatant misrepresentation of what the game is about. Hearing the name 'Evolve' might to some suggest a game that contains some revolutionary features, brand new mechanics or even just a variation existing gameplay formulae, and when I heard that a game was being made about giant monsters and hunters, and that I could play as either... I was one of those people. I allowed myself to fall into the trap of Turtle Rock's hype, and for this my reward was being burned by a game like I never have before. You see, for years I've wanted a game like this to come along; a game that in theory would allow for smart, tactical gameplay, as well as allowing me to go it alone and take on a whole group of enemy players, considering I've always enjoyed being a lone wolf in multiplayer games. What I got, however, was absolute shit. To quote Immortan Joe, the whole thing was MEDIOCRE in every single way, and I wouldn't have minded if I felt that Turtle Rock had planned things that way from the start.
But, you see, I'm almost certain they didn't.
When the game was initially advertised, there was a huge emphasis on using your brain as a hunter. You would have to spot environmental cues, such as scattering birds, or even actually look for the monster's footprints yourself! I was very much looking forward to this much-advertised intelligent gameplay. But it was all bullshit. Those scattering birds? Yeah, as soon as they scatter you get a big red indicator right in your face which tells you exactly where the monster just was, regardless of whether you saw the birds or not. The footprints? A glowing blue path right to the prize. Now, I know you're probably going to say that all that effort would have put a lot of people off, and I'd have to agree, but I honestly feel like what Turtle Rock has done here is simplify the game to ridiculous levels to make it accessible to a more 'causal' demographic. Which, in theory, i have no problem with. The problem I have comes with the fact there is no hardcore mode, nothing even resembling the advertising material. Of course, I may have missed something in an interview somewhere, but that's besides the point. The whole game has a feeling that it was supposed to be something else, something more revolutionary, and that Turtle Rock were too scared to go through with it. That it has been intellectually 'nerfed' to suit a larger market. The problem is, the game isn't strong enough in this state to actually sell to a mass market. The playerbase is already ludicrously small for a game of its age, and why is that? Because the game is boring! It's boring for those who don't want to have to hunt for the monster realistically, because they spend all their time running around following glowing waypoints, and it's boring for the hardcore enthusiasts because they don't want waypoints at all. Co-op play is extremely dull, especially in pub matches, as nobody wants to communicate, which means your teammates may as well be A.I. And if you want to play alone, the A.I. is actually too skilled to beat easily, at least when it isn't broken completely. The A.I. never makes a mistake under pressure, unlike players, so fighting it is extremely dull and, at times, stressful.
Above are only a few of my issues with the game, and the whole affair leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, And don't even get me started on the campaign; even Titanfall did a multiplayer campaign better than Evolve did. I love the thematic elements, the monster design, even the soundtrack! I so badly wanted to love 'Evolve,' and I could have. By trying to appeal to more people, Turtle Rock ended up alienating everybody, and that truly upsets me. I just hope that in the unlikely event some indie somewhere notices the wasted potential in 'Evolve,' they act on that and create the monster game I was promised in the first place.