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Evolve video explains what you're up against when 'Big Alpha' begins this week

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Evolve's "Big Alpha" test kicks off this week, and developer Turtle Rock Studios anticipates 100,000 people will get involved, playing more games on its first day than have been played so far in Evolve's development.

To get everyone acclimated, 2K and Turtle Rock have begun a video series called "The Evolution of Evolve" and, with host Adam Sessler, the first episode catches everyone up on the development of a pure multiplayer game with two radically different sides.

It takes a lot of work to balance a game like Evolve. Design director Chris Ashton and creative director Phil Robb discuss that process and how the game has remained largely consistent since Turtle Rock's earliest visions for it. A ton of work has gone into balancing the game, to make sure that some combination of four hunters against a specific monster species doesn't result in a no-win situation for one side or the other.

Robb says Turtle Rock is hoping that the huge combinations possible with the character classes, maps and monster species create a game with long lasting appeal. "Hopefully, three years from now when you've bought some game and it let you down," Robb says, "you can be like, goddammit, I want to play Evolve because that game's still fun."

Evolve's Big Alpha gets going on Xbox One on Thursday, followed by PlayStation 4 and Windows PC on Friday, and it will run through Sunday. Xbox One owners can join here; PC players can get in here; and PlayStation 4 users can register for a chance to participate here, using the registration code 05379-29749-32069 and the referral code EvolveBigAlpha4v1

Evolve launches Feb. 10.

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