Evolve: Blatant Money Grab
“From the makers of Left 4 Dead!” they keep reminding us, and at first that fact had me excited. If you read an earlier article of mine about the decline of couch co-op, then you already know one huge reason I am disappointed with this game. My theory on the decline was validated when I interacted briefly with whoever runs the Evolve twitter account. Still, even with dashed hopes I jumped in the open beta and found many, many more reasons to be disappointed.
The tutorial for the monster was fun, until it got stuck and wouldn’t let me progress despite me doing what it wanted about a thousand times. It took my fiance jumping on later to even realize there IS a tutorial for the other characters…well…one of them. A character type I never got assigned once I got into the actual game, so it wouldn’t have helped me anyway. I am assuming/hoping the full version has tutorials for every character class because, as I learned VERY quickly, each class is equipped for extremely different gameplay styles.
When you go into multiplayer, it asks you to rank each class (and the monster) from most desired to least desired. It says it’s to try and stick players in games that need the class you want most, but then goes down the list. I kept getting my least desired and second least desired. It didn’t matter too much though because, as I predicted, going into random match is chaos. Nobody plays their class correctly, they all just charge, and get slaughtered by, the monster. Monster won in every match I played because no one was doing their job. That’s why I selected monster as my most desired position. Well, that and it was the only thing I got a tutorial for. Go figure I never got to play one though.
The graphics are nice, as expected for this generation of consoles. It also looks like there is a single player mode, and an actual story to go with it. It was locked from being played but from the cinematic I got when I selected it, the story is about as generic as Destiny or Titanfall. “There’s a bad thing attacking our space colony. Send tons of characters to kill it, and make sure there’s no character development at all.”
Perhaps Borderlands has spoiled me. Say what you will, it had an engaging story at least.
There’s more personality in the characters and the game in general than Left 4 Dead, and that’s neat. What’s not neat is that the main thing that made Left 4 Dead fun, the couch co-op, was stripped. Honestly without couch co-op Left 4 Dead was just another lazy zombie game that I would have beaten once and traded in. Playing split-screen was what gave it true replay value, my friends and I have sat in my livingroom and beaten both games a hundred times by now. I really hope someone in these AAA companies finally realizes that. The new consoles are more powerful than the last generation and can easily handle split-screen, just think of how many objects were moving around in the Left 4 Dead series and it handled it with ease. Evolve has far less moving objects and environment to render in split-screen. I was told, however, that I’ll just have to get new friends that have the same console and schedule as me because. I’d also have to get them to buy the game… don’t tell me it’s not about the $$$. Whoever is running the Evolve twitter account said this.
Speaking of that, when I went to join the beta I was APPALLED by all the DLC that was already released for the game. Nothing says “we know we’re charging you full price for an unfinished game” like crapping out tons of DLC before you even release it. Upon inspection, the DLC nearly borders on EA-style micro transactions.
Now, I’ve been ripping the game apart for it’s laziness in creation, near unplayability in random matchmaking and shameless money grabs but my fiance had a different experience. First, his tutorial didn’t get stuck. His first match he got to be a monster, and naturally slaughtered everyone. His second match he got the only other character in the tutorial and managed to find a team of people actually using their headsets! Thanks to this giant stroke of luck he was able to win the matches he played. Yes, I was extremely envious.
Since the hubby had a fairly good time, and I am cursed with too much curiosity, we’ll probably still purchase the game. And, like Titanfall and Destiny, he’ll probably hog it to the point that I play it maybe twice and move on. I’ve been glued to my son’s Wii U because couch co-op. Ity actually feels like I’ve been bumped down to casual gamer because we can’t play at the same time so we end up watching TV together instead. I don’t like that. I want my shooters and my co-op too!
In conclusion, Turtle Rock Studios should be ashamed of themselves and is treading dangerously into EA pay-to-win territory. Also, whoever runs their Evolve twitter probably shouldn’t interact with followers anymore because he/she is making them look even worse.