Four-on-one multiplayer? That doesn't sound like very fair odds, unless that "one" is a monster with the power to change into an even bigger, badder beast. That's exactly what's going on in the world of "Evolve," the latest title from developer Turtle Rock Studios and publisher 2K. The title is set to debut on Oct. 21 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
In "Evolve," four players are tasked with hunting down a monster on a strange alien world, while the beast's job is to survive, evolve and turn the tables on its would-be hunters. For our hands-on at E3 2014, we got to choose between one of the title's four new classes. Announced just in time for E3, we had the opportunity to play as the newest versions of the Assault, Support, Trapper and Medic classes.
The Assault class is your typical tank class, taking and dealing out high damage. The new member of the class, Hyde, carries one of the game's most powerful weapons — a flamethrower. The new Support class member is a robot named Bucket, who can do things that the human members of the team can't. Bucket can detach its head and use it as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which comes in handy when trying to keep an eye on the monster's activities.
New Trapper Maggie is a twofer, as she's partnered with her pet lizard, Daisy. We found Daisy was a welcome asset to the team, sniffing out the monster wherever it tried to hide. Once located, Maggie could deploy a mobile arena to greatly reduce the monster's movement, and her harpoon mines to trap it allowing the team to try and whittle down the beast's health.
During the demo, we played as Lazarus, the Medic. As his name implies, this hunter can instantly revive players from the dead without penalty. This skill quickly became invaluable during the later moments of our match, when the monster was wreaking havoc on our party of four.
Turtle Rock also unveiled a new monster named the Kraken, which looks like a cross between Cthulhu and a praying mantis. The monster has levitation powers as well as lightning and dark vortex blasts. That, plus the sheer size of the beast, makes the Kraken an imposing foe.
As the hunters, teamwork is the key to victory. There's no room for lone wolf heroics here, as you'll find yourself quickly devoured by the monster or one of the many carnivorous flora and fauna on the planet's surface. During our demo, we stayed close to our teammates, sniping the Kraken from afar, and reviving them as needed.
After following the Kraken's glowing footsteps, our team found it devouring some unfortunate animal and achieving the second form of its evolution. This made for a more difficult fight, as the monster now had stronger powers and armor.
The Trapper deployed her mobile net and cut off the monster's escape path before it could devour anything else. We cloaked ourselves and tagged the Kraken with our sniper rifle, while the Assault class got up close and personal with the flamethrower. Support delivered some much-needed support via its sentry turrets.
It was all going well until the player controlling the Kraken managed to slip behind us and eat some more animals. Once it hit level three, our tight cohesive unit devolved into sheer chaos, especially when the beast stomped us in the middle of reviving the Trapper. From there, the Kraken made short work of the remaining members of our team.
While we were disappointed at the loss, we're eager to begin another hunt. The new hunters and monster are extremely fun to play with the tide of battle able to turn at anytime. So far, Turtle Rock has done a masterful job of weaving together cooperative and competitive multiplayer, and we're eager to see what additional surprises the developer has in store come October.