My favourite thing about Evolve, just as it was in AVP2 and even in games like Counterstrike in days older still, is the mindgames it enables us to play. Psychological depth is what I look for in a competitive multiplayer game - be it action or strategy, the key to competitive multiplayer is in the accurate analysis, and timely exploitation of the psychological traits and weaknesses of your opponent.
Evolve is beautiful for this in the simplest ways, not only for the Wraith with her decoy and excellent stealth, but for the careful use of environmental lures, false trails and fake-out mistakes.
The oldest trick is the best trick; hit an objective or cause a distracting noise then hide in the bushes! And the game’s visuals support this wonderfully - you’ve done a great job of enabling camouflage, making it a real thing as not very many games have.
A few days back I simply crouched in a shadow on Distillery and watched the enemy team, who had hounded me for the last fifteen minutes thanks to Abe’s tracking darts (check out those trapper statistics on the latest infographic - everyone knows the bastard’s imbalanced!), walk past me three times, fight a Blitzleopard ten feet from my position, look at me repeatedly then walk away grumbling, obviously confused and disappointed to think I must have somehow gotten past them, and was miles away by now.
Yesterday? GRIFFIN STOOD ON MY HEAD, for a brief moment, after a Reaver destroyed one of his soundspikes right next to me and the whole team came charging back at my skinny, half-armoured Stage 1 Goliath ass. I just sat in the bush and watched them, and the daft bugger used me as a step-up to help him jetpack up the cliff. They left none the wiser.
The fact that can happen, courtesy of a good lighting engine above all that doesn’t mark a difference between the monster’s skin and the surrounding environmental textures, and the weakness of human perceptions against unpredictable situations, is genius.
… and y’know it doesn’t work on bots?
It doesn’t work on bots. They just begin shooting me instantly if I’m well-hidden in the bushes. I’ve had this happen and the team STILL haven’t noticed me until I eventually move away. “It’s just the bot bugging out”, they think, but my cover is still blown due to the risk and the damage.
So… Any chance that could be fixed? The best high-end stealth play is utterly spoiled if a bot has temporarily taken over for a crashed player for even a minute or two, and we could see some great rounds taken away from a clever monster for this.
Bots should represent human players as closely as possible, and while they’re impressive we know they can’t approach the variety and adaptability of a real player. Letting them have this one special sense tips off the real players, and isn’t any fun.