A little less than two moths after Evolve’s initial launch, Turtle Rock Studios have rolled out new DLC for the game, which includes hunters, maps and the new rock monster, the Behemoth.
This update comes on the heels of reports that the asymmetrical shooter has lost a large portion of its following and only has an average of 2,000 players on Steam at any one time – even less than that of last year’s single player title Alien: Isolation. Evolve community members have also shown dissatisfaction with some glitches in the game that hinder both hunter and monster players alike.
Despite such pessimism, we’re going to delve into the hunters, monsters, pricing and a few notable glitches that you might want to know about before continuing with the game. Up first, are the four new hunters.
Sunny is the quintessential support character, as she can both keep teammates in the fight and monsters on their toes. As far as defensive measures go, Sunny has a shield drone that can be placed anywhere in the terrain and a jetpack booster that can propel teammates great distances. The shield drone, like Hank’s shield generator, sucks up a set amount of damage done to hunters. However, as the drone operates automatically, Sunny can focus her efforts more effectively. The jetpack booster has both offensive and defensive purposes, but during a fight, it is a great way to put distance between vulnerable teammates and a determined monster.
Speaking offensively, Sunny has the mini-nuke launcher, a beefed-up version of a single-shot grenade launcher. The weapon does the most damage per shot of any technology the game has to offer, but like Cabot’s rail gun, it has a fairly slow reload time. Overall, Sunny is able to effectively dish out damage and minimize it with the tools she has available to her, and is a blast to play as if you’re looking to be able to do a little bit of everything.
Looking like a rejected character sketch from 1986 movie The Fly, Slim is definitely the most unique looking hunter Evolve has to offer so far. Turns out that the bug man is no slouch when it comes to dealing a fair bit of damage, either.
Slim’s main weapon, the leech gun, does decent chunks of damage per clip and, more importantly, charges up his healing burst, which has an extended radius. Every three to four shots charges up the burst fully, which can make even the best monster players nervous.
He also has a pheromone launcher that makes the monster’s smell ability useless, as it will block a monster from being able to see hunters through walls, no longer outlining them red unless they can visually spot the hunters. This is great for getting close to the monster in an attempt to dome them without being detected.
Finally, Slim also has a helper insect that can be deployed to hunters, healing them little by little over time. The insect is especially helpful when an incapacitated teammate is knocked far away from a monster, as it can actually bring them back to their feet. Just be careful not to use the insect on a hunter who is being attacked, as your little buddy will be destroyed with just one hit. Slim takes a bit of getting used to, but will be much appreciated in the hands of a medic who doesn’t mind getting into the monster’s face and multitasking when they have to.
From Evolve’s ant man to its bat man, Crow looks to put a new spin on trapper through the use of his pet batray Gobi. Gobi can be cast out into the wilderness, where he will fly in a straight line, looking for wildlife and the monster. When Gobi sees either, he will outline them in yellow and show the rest of the hunters, even when their vision is blocked by walls and other terrain obstacles. Once Gobi returns to Crow, the yellow outline will disappear and the process will need to be restarted.
Crow’s main weapon, the kinetic long rifle has two modes: a quick-fire burst and a charged shot. The quick-fire burst takes small ticks out of the monster’s health, similar to any other gun, but the charged shot is what makes this hunter truly unique. If a charge shot lands on a monster, its health bar will take the damage instead of its shield. This will make fights at stage three very dangerous for a monster who has low health, because running away for more armor could prove to be a fruitless effort.
Crow’s last weapon is a stasis gun that can also be charged. The non-charged shots will momentarily slow a monster down a little bit, whereas the charged shot will slow a monster greatly for longer periods of time. However, the gunshots take time to travel to their mark so leading a target will be more important for this weapon than any other in the game. Overall, Crow is an interesting addition and I might actually prefer Gobi to everyone’s favorite trapjaw, Daisy, but I’ll most likely still be spending my time with my go-to trapper, Abe.
Half man, half machine – and with the monotone voice to prove it – Torvald is all about maximizing damage. No big surprise considering he is part of the assault class, but something makes him a little bit different. Although Torvald does have an auto-fire shotgun that empties its clip with just one trigger pull, I found myself spamming his medium-to-long-ranged mortar launcher more than any of his other weapons. The mortar launcher aims with a marker similar to Hank’s orbital barrage and does a surprising amount of damage, considering how often it can be used. The only downside to this weapon is that when the monster is focused on Torvald and is in his face, it’s virtually useless, forcing you to use his shotgun and shrapnel grenade.
The shrapnel grenade is tossed out with a similar arc to Abe’s stasis grenades, and detonates when it hits something. If the explosion hits a monster, weak points will be created on its body similar to those made by Lazarus’ silenced sniper rifle. These weak points can then be hit by not only your shotgun and other hunters’ weapons, but by the already strong mortars as well. This makes any good Torvald player an absolute nightmare for monsters and players are already shouting nerf on the big guy’s mortars. It is worth nothing, though, that low ceilings, buildings, cliffs and other wildlife will all obstruct mortar fire, which can render the shots useless against any clever monster.
Speaking of monsters, let us now move on to the biggest, most hulking beast of the bunch.
The Behemoth has the largest health and shield bar out of any monsters in Evolve. He also trades the ability to jump for the option to curl up and roll away as a destructive boulder that can knock back, and damage, hunters who aren’t as quick on their feet as Indiana Jones. The Behemoth also hits hard and has moves that you can combo together in destructive strings.
His first ability is the lava ball, which explodes on contact and bursts into smaller orbs that scatter across the ground. When one steps into one of these orbs, continuous fire damage is taken, similar to being set ablaze by a Goliath fire breath.
His next ability, the rock wall, is by far the coolest in Evolve, and has both offensive and defensive uses. I’ve seen a smart Behemoth down a hunter and then wall out the rest of the team with ease. I’ve also seen a Behemoth wall out an entire choke point and roll away as he was being chased at low health, escaping and evolving within 20 seconds of the ordeal. Needless to say, it is a terrifying move that will be used to great outcome by many experienced Behemoths.
The third ability, tongue grab, also closes the gap between hunters and wildlife, as the monster can use the move to pull in mammoth birds and smaller prey to eat. On the flip side, he can also use this as a way to pull in helpless hunters who opt to retreat. This is another invaluable ability, as the movement speed of the monster is quite sluggish.
Finally, tremor is a powerful move that sends a shock wave moving across the ground. The ability does high damage and is great for enclosed areas where hunters would be forced to squeeze together. This move can also be used while the rock wall is up and will hit unsuspecting hunters who are eager to jump back into the fray.
Overall, I actually think this monster is the weakest of the bunch – despite the massive damage it can put out. On many occasions, the group I was with was able to stay on its trail for the entirety of the match and put it down swiftly, due to the fact that the monster always seemed to be in defensive mode rather than ready to end the fight. I think this is because the Behemoth, for the most part, must roll to put any distance between itself and the hunters, and when it rolls an easily followed trail can be seen behind the beast. This, accompanied by the fact that the monster’s weak point is on its stomach rather than its head, makes for an easier target as hunters like Parnell will get up close and peel away bars of health and shield with a single clip of his shotgun.
Many Evolve players have also noted a few glitches that add to the monster’s shortcomings, especially when paired with some of the aforementioned weaknesses. This leads us to some of the more notable glitches that have plagued Evolve and left some players irate.
Bugs & Glitches
No, we’re not talking about Slim again. Like most games, Evolve has had its fair share of pre-patch bugs. These bugs include falling through terrain, abilities not working properly, and spawning in multiple hunter classes and more than one monster. However, as the new patch has hit the market, so have new bugs that people have found and reported to Turtle Rock Studios. Some fans say the amount of bugs and their nature suggest a lack of quality control in the game’s production, while others cite the game’s newness for the reason. But, all players agree that they need to be fixed quickly if Evolve is to have any chance of staying relevant in a time where many players are already looking to other titles with which to occupy their time. Here are some of the more annoying bugs fans would like to see fixed:
– Behemoth weak spot exposed when rolling in a ball. This makes the creature take double damage even though his vitals aren’t exposed.
– Behemoth limbs exposed when rolling. This makes the creature take half damage when he should only be taking regular damage.
– Parnell not shooting faster when he is in super soldier. This essentially wastes an ability on a class as the increased DPS is the main draw of the skill.
– Behemoth falling through the terrain. Granted, this is happening with more than just the Behemoth, but people are noting that it is happening far more often with the rock monster.
– Behemoth’s rock wall breaks in certain portions when disrupted by small wildlife and player consumables such as mines, shield drones and turrets.
– Players and monsters can both fall through and get stuck in the terrain.
– DLC is not being made available to some players who preordered the content.
While there are more bugs, these are some of the bigger ones that can make the game unpleasant, to say the least. These bugs have been acknowledged by the development team and are being worked on for the next update. Along with new characters and bugs, Evolve has also been balanced to improve the overall experience on both ends, with some hunters and monsters receiving buffs and others receiving nerfs. If you’d like to view what specific changes were made, you can do so on the game’s official website.
Final Verdict & Pricing
Chances are if you’ve read this far, you’re interested in Evolve enough to continue playing in spite of a few bugs and balancing issues. The glitches that are present might be frustrating at times, but the game is a solid experience with friends, and the new content enhances that with varied play and extended options.
For those of you who are staunchly against paying for DLC or weren’t interested in the game to begin with, this isn’t for you. The few extra characters and one monster added will only be appreciated if you found the original game to be fun. To anyone who liked the original product, but quickly grew tired of it, I would say to stay away – because the new content will only keep you preoccupied for a week or two at most.
The hunting season pass will give you access to the four new hunters for the price of $24.99, and the price tag on the Behemoth comes in at $14.99. You can also buy the hunters separately for $7.49 each. Other updates include a spectator mode, which allows you to set up a game with five other players and watch the action with a customizable HUD. New maps will also be made available in the next month for PS4 and PC, and are already active for Xbox One players.