Big Trouble for Big Alpha: My Thoughts on Evolve

Big Alpha, Big Sadness

When I first heard about Evolve, I was excited. Turtle Rock Studios, the folks responsible for Left4Dead, making a new game? Sign me up! I downloaded the “Big Alpha” last week, with incredibly high hopes for a great multiplayer gaming experience. Keeping in mind that the game was in Alpha build, I knew there would be some issues, and those were definitely prevalent. However, it wasn’t the standard Alpha issues that caused my disappointment in the game. It was the game itself.

Each character is unique with their own strengths and abilities. You begin the game ranking which character class you prefer to play. I ordered Assault as my #1, but only played as him twice. I tended to get thrown into the Support role. The most satisfying time I had playing was as the Monster.

Alpha Issues:

-Standard connectivity problems that were to be expected. It took an incredibly long time for the game to load, to match-make, and begin, and I was OK with that. The servers needed to be stressed, and I believe they will work out those kinks before the game releases.

-The graphics looked beautiful, even for an Alpha. If you are a graphics guy or gal, you will be well pleased with how the game looks. The environments are immersive, and the character models are fine-tuned and crisp.

-Responsiveness on the controller was off. It felt as if there was just a slight delay on the character doing what the controller was telling it to do. After playing Call of Duty this week, I realized that responsiveness in a shooter is imperative and Evolve will need to tweak this before launch.

-The way the buttons are laid out in-game are perfect for doing what you need to do, when you need to do it. There isn’t a lot of fumbling around to change up which weapons or devices you need to swap to. It’s mostly seamless and only requires you to adjust to your character class in order to know which weapons you should use in any given circumstance.

The Downfall:

-The game is rinse-and-repeat repetitive. Even with the variety of maps that were available in the Alpha, there weren’t enough differences in the maps to feel like I was playing in a different location. If you play one game, you play them all. I never felt like there was any variety in any of the multiple games I played.

-Unless you are playing with a team and know how to communicate, good luck. I played with hundreds of people, and only a handful of them even spoke. This game is a teamwork game, and as has been seen in a lot of multiplayer games, only a few people care enough to communicate with their team.

-It’s chaotic, and not in a good way. Most of the time, even as my team was battling the Monster, I didn’t know where the action was happening. There are so many flashing lights and bright colors from the weapons that you will easily get lost in the chaos.

-The maps are too big. You will run around for several minutes trying to track the Monster, which will become frustrating and discouraging. In Left4Dead you were constantly busy battling zombies and confronting herds of them. It was random and crazy in a fun way, where you felt engaged through the entire match. With Evolve, it can get boring fast, trying to run around and find the monster. Even the creatures that are placed around the world barely effect you. You can outrun most of them, and they are mostly there for the Monster.

-The Monster: the only time I had fun was playing as the Monster. Trying to evade the hunters was challenging, in addition to eating the creatures in the world. You eat the creatures to reach a point where you can “evolve” to the next level as your Monster. When you reach level 3, you are extremely overpowered. Your goal at this point is to either kill the hunters or destroy the power supply on the map. You can choose the levels and skills you want to use for your monster, and at level 3 you may as well have all of them.

I think that if Evolve had released before Titanfall and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare it would have been competitive and worthy of my time, but unless they significantly change the way the game is played before launch, I think this will be a pass for me.

I played Evolve on the Xbox One.

Drew Koehler

Founder and writer for Geeks Under Grace. Christian, Husband, Father, Sailor and Geek!

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