One of the great attractions of Turtle Rock's asymmetrical hunting game Evolve is that the choices of who and how you play are so varied.
Even within the four-player team of human hunters and their four classes, there are a variety of play-styles and weapons available to the player. But one of the reasons I find this game is appealing, is the opportunity to play as the monster, to pit your wits against four people who are using their individual skills to work cooperatively, to bring you down.
Evolve enters a Windows PC alpha this weekend, so I recently visited publisher 2K in Marin to learn some more about how to play as a monster. Flush from recently winning a hatful of E3 Game Critics Awards, the team wanted to delve into some of the deeper strategies and tactics they have learned in extended play sessions with one another.
The short video above demonstrates some of the lessons I learned. Playing with the monster Kraken, I learned how to make better use of my armor and health, attacking at the right time and using the evolve moment, when the creature has eaten enough wildlife to move up a stage to greater power, to my advantage.
Making use of Kraken's abilities to send the hunters in the wrong direction is also important, especially early in the game, when the player wants to find the space and time to feed.
The map's verticality is also essential to Kraken, for finding hiding places when fights do not go well, or to quietly evolve. Also, because there is so much clutter in terms of rock formations on this alien planet, seeking out an advantageous location is always a good idea.
The humans, if they play well, will make use of their individual strengths, to snipe at Kraken and deploy sentry guns. Their best strategy is to give assault units plenty of support to deal massive damage in short bursts and heal up. For Kraken, time spent attacking the medic is never time wasted.
Kraken's weapons are most satisfactorily dispersed when it is flying backwards, and firing forwards, preferably with the hunters nice arranged in tight formations. There are ways to lure the hunters into tight little corners, deal damage, and then move out before they find a way to surround the monster.
The biggest lesson is that Turtle Rock seems to be doing a lot of useful work in balancing the maps and classes so that these encounters make for heart-racing fights to the death, with end-games that can go either way. There is a reason why Evolve is one of the most anticipated games of the year. It's a lot of fun.