Hey guys. I posted a lot on these forums during alpha and beta, but ultimately never ended up buying Evolve. I don’t want to kick this off with an “I told you so” but… I told you so. I left a lot of feedback about why Evolve would fall short and not retain a playerbase. Turns out that eventhough I was told how wrong I was back then, here we are now. I’m not here to gloat - but rather to revisit the feedback I left originally and how I think the game could IMPROVE to be as great as its potential allows it to be. From the very beginning I didn’t just think Evolve was destined to fail. I knew there was a talented dev team behind the game and the framework of what is already in Evolve is fantastic. The gameplay in terms of controls feels fantastic, the monster and hunter toolsets feel really fun, and the artwork is astounding. So let’s touch on a few points.
1. DLC. This is the low hanging fruit and the most obvious failure of Evolve. Assloads of DLC right out the door that was overpriced to boot. You do not need to make DLC monsters and classes. You could release DLC entirely as cosmetics and print money. I said this back in alpha and i’m repeating myself now. Dota 2, TF2, LoL. These are games that release purely cosmetic ‘dlc’ and print millions upon millions of dollars. Other games are doing it now, too. Overwatch has already printed millions from their loot boxes. The point is - you do not have to lock characters or monsters behind paywalls. That doesn’t benefit anyone. Cosemtic DLC is the way to go by far. Not just costumes, but also voice lines, environmental effects, ability/spell effects, gun skins, interface skins, etc.
2. The point I was driving at the hardest during beta was this - the monster has no incentive to engage the hunters before stage 3 and that’s bad gameplay. It may seem novel on paper, but chasing the monster in circles doesn’t feel fun in practice. The monster needs a reason to engage the hunters before stage 3. Currently, the only reason the monster engages the hunters is if he’s feeling confident in himself and is bored of just feeding. There’s no good, strategical reason to actually do it though. I have suggested various things and I’ll list just a couple here.
-Hunter power scaling. While the hunters travel the map, their could be glowing nodes spread about. Minerals, herbs, etc. Simply walk over them or very briefly interact with them to harvest them. They airlift the materials to HQ and doing this will earn the hunters ‘research points’. When the hunters feel like they are not in immediate danger, a quick press of a button could open a menu and display a few possible upgrades, all of which cost research points. Use these upgrades to power up in different ways. Different upgrades are better against different monsters. This would do SO much for the depth and longevity of the game. First, it brings variation. The hunters now have something interesting to invest in just like the monster does. Second, it brings depth of strategy. Third, it finally gives the monster a reason to engage the hunters as he is not the only one get stronger anymore.
Think about this. It’s the perfect solution to the boring goose chase that is hunt mode. The stale version of ‘run away until you reach stage 3, at which point you for some reason decide to attack the hunters who turtle up at spawn’. That’s the least fun conclusion to a game about hunting a monster. “Welp, he’s stage 3. Let’s go wait for him to come to us and turtle as best we can!”. There is absolutely nothing exciting about that. Instead, the hunters KEEP HUNTING. When the monster gets stage 3, there is no ultimatum for the monster to lose in a time period. It is not his job to attack. Instead, there is no forced ‘time limit’. What we’ll see instead is a final set of resources that unlock around the map. If the hunters locate and activate those resources, they can select from a variety of very powerful upgrades. An example of which could be a radar that actively tracks the monster at all times.
What this means is that the monster has every reason to attack throughout the game whenever he feels its advantageous to do so. It also means that we won’t encounter the hunter turtle at the end of each game.
Instead games will look like this - Hunters spawn and right away the monster ambushes them, attempting to wipe them out or at least slow them down. The monster fails to kill the hunters but succeeds in slowing them down. They begin the hunt while the monster feeds to regain his lost health. Some time passes and the hunters can’t find the monster as he is playing too evasively. They decide to sidetrack to some nearby resources, but in doing so comes its own set of dangers - wildlife. The mineral node they want is protected by some viscious beasts. At this time, the monster realizes what the hunters are doing and sees it as an opportunity to ambush them with the advantage he has. Another fight breaks out. The monster finally runs and feeds just enough to hit stage 2. The hunters give chase, but upon realizing he’s stage 2 quickly finish gathering the resources they had started harvesting. They spend the resources on upgrades and can now more efficiently track and battle the monster. Some time passes, etc. etc. and the monster finally hits stage 3. Instead of the hunters running to the generator for turtle time, they instead group up for the reveal of the final ‘rare’ resource locations. They are marked on the map and the hunters begin to race toward them. The monster, now stage 3 has become the hunter. He knows that the hunters want to get these final upgrades, so his plan is to ambush them before they are able to.
If the monster fails before then, the game is not over. The hunters may have gained the upper hand in their own way, but it’s still very possible for the monster to win regardless. Again, this stage is dependent on some kind of radar upgrade that makes it easy to locate the monster if he chooses to run away and play evasively. This was a mouthful, but I think it’s the right idea for Evolve and would make it a much more dynamic and fun game to play in hunt mode.
3. The evacuation mode is a great start but has fallen short. A 5 stage campaign versus mode, similar to left 4 dead, was something Evolve desperately needed. However, the way it is scored is just crap. Award points for each mission type. Whoever gained the most points by the end is the winner, just like l4d2 campaigns. When the hunters can win 4 times in a row but still lose the evacuation because they lost the final defense mission, well, that’s just crap. It’s too hard to take seriously when it lacks an actual competitive structure. It tries too hard to fit some strange story-telling narrative than it does to deliver meaningful and rewarding gameplay.
that’s all I can think of for now. It’s been a while since I played Evolve. I was extremely excited about it pre-launch and am happy to have a chance to be excited for it again. I really hope to see it reach its potential.