As confirmed by Squirrel, adaptations and map variations are canon. Each one is a different part of Evolve's timeline. Today, let's discuss exactly what each period of time is, who's in it, and what happens.
If any formatting or fact errors are found present in this thread, please note them and I will do my best to correct them. Thank you, and have a wonderful day.
Fifty Years Prior
Summary: Fifty years prior to the events of Evolve, Shear is colonized. It is in the Far Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, meaning it doesn't get a lot of traffic. This makes it what is known as a "Frontier World". Shear, however, is very special due to the fact that it is INCREDIBLY Earth-like. The planet has a rich supply of Bohrium, and therefore is highly sought after by major corporations.
• Shear has a rich supply of Bohrium, making it highly valuable
- In game, Bohrium crates are obtainable on Broken Hill Mine and Broken Hill Foundry. Monsters can eat them to obtain energy/armor
• Shear is owned by NORDITA
- NORDITA contracted EbonStar as a private military
- NORDITA is who contacts William Cabot about creating the Hunter Team
Six Months Prior
Summary: NORDITA contacts William Cabot, who is currently in retirement. They explain to him the situation on Shear, albeit in a much lighter way. They explain to him that it's a simple wildlife problem. Cabot accepts their offer and forms a hunting team to combat the threat on Shear.
• William Cabot started building his hunting team at this point
- Bucket was the first member to join
- Second was Parnell
- Third was Abe
- Fourth was Griffin
- Fifth was Caira
- Sixth was Hyde
- Seventh was Val. The rest are unknown
Summary: Cabot and the crew arrive at Shear, and are shocked by what they see. The planet is literally on fire. Cabot tells the team that he just got a call from NORDITA, and that their wildlife purge has changed to a full scale five day evacuation. They land on the planet and begin Evacuation.
• This is the beginning of Evolve, specifically of the Evacuation campaign
Hunters Added: Val, Lazarus, Caira, Hank, Bucket, Cabot, Maggie, Griffin, Abe, Markov, Hyde, Parnell
Monsters Added: Goliath, Kraken, Wraith
Summary: Cabot's team successfully evacuate a good sum of colonists, but are left stranded. They fight off the monsters and escape, thanks to a new team of four that joins them. They also face a new threat, the Behemoth.
• The hunters are left abandoned on Shear, while the monster threat continues to grow
Hunters Added: Slim, Sunny, Crow, Torvald
Monsters Added: Behemoth
Summary: The hunters look for a way off planet, with the current plan being to find a Patterson Drive large enough to get the Dropship to the Laurie-Anne (Cabot's ship, which is orbiting around Shear). During this time, several teammates die, and several are gained. A new monster breed is also discovered.
• First hunter deaths occur
Hunters Added: Emet, Kala, Jack, Lennox
Hunters Killed: Caira, Griffin, Torvald(?)
Monsters Added: Gorgon
Summary: Six months pass since the last time period. The monsters, using their otherworldly powers, have terraformed the planet's surface and atmosphere into a harsh, flaming wasteland. Toxic gasses fill the air, meaning that the remaining hunters must use filtration masks to survive. The hunters eventually adapt to their hellish home, but unfortunately so do the monsters.
• Cataclysm is a playable map adaptation in game
• Most members of the team die in this period
• This is the first time a monster adaptation is seen
• This is more than likely around the time Kala transitions into a full monster, becoming "Kali" instead
Hunters Added: Necro Lazarus, Em-Bucket, Battle Cabot, Wasteland Maggie, ?-Crow, ?-Lennox, Renegade Abe
Hunters Killed: Lazarus, Support Bucket, Cabot, Maggie, Abe, Crow, Lennox
Monsters Added: Meteor Goliath
Summary: After an unspecified amount of time, most of the hunters are picked up by an unspecified faction from Shear. They are told that monsters are appearing on other planets, being led by a monster from Shear known as "The Phantom". The hunters are equipped with new, more advanced tech, and asked to help fight. Most, if not all, say yes.
• The faction that picks up the hunters is unknown, though it can be assumed to be Sol Guard, our solar system's leading military conglomerate
• The only hunters known to have been left behind on Shear were Hyde, Jack, Slim, and Daisy
• "The Phantom", is actually the Wraith from The Wraith Trap map
- The Phantom Wraith can rip holes in spacetime, allowing hordes of monsters access to our dimensional plane
- The Phantom Wraith is the monster that kills Caira, resulting in the first hunter death
Hunters Added: Rogue Val, Tech Sgt. Hank, Blitz Markov
Hunters Killed: Val(?), Hank(?), Markov(?)
Monsters Added: Phantom Wraith
Summary: Take place during, or slightly after Military, Propaganda is a period in which Hub martyrized the deceased hunters (and Bucket) as heroes who died protecting our universe, and that others should do their part in helping to save our universe. They also depicted the monsters as being more fantastical, mythological beasts rather than sci-fi horrors.
• None of the adaptations from this time period actually existed in the game's universe
- They were all just concepts designed to encourage morale in Hub citizens to fight a losing battle
Hunters Added: Quantum Caira, Captain Bucket, Electro Griffin, ?-Torvald
Monsters Added: Elder Kraken
Summary: Five years after Cataclysm, the universe is screwed. Other dimensional horrors have popped up on most planets, tearing them asunder. Shear is plagued by hordes of Gorgons, and most importantly by Kali. Kali converts all DNA around her to artificial HNA, slowly turning every living thing around her into a monster itself. Worst of all, everything she mutates becomes a catalyst itself, ensuring that the mutation spreads like a plague. One small (yet heavily mutated) resistance force on Shear, led by Hyde, Jack, and Slim, aims to put an end to her and the Gorgon Queen once and for all.
• Hyde, Jack, and Slim are all half monster now, and lead a resistance force against the monsters along with a half monster army
Hunters Added: Super Jack, Hellfire Hyde, Savage Slim
Hunters Killed: Slim, Kala, Jack, Hyde
Monsters Added: ?-Gorgon(?), Kali
Summary: The last remainder of the hunter team have come back to Shear, short after Hyde's final battle with Kali. Using Kala's research, they prepare for their final battle with the monsters.
• Not much honestly happen, aside from the setup to the war's climax
Hunters Added: Paladin Parnell, Thunderchild Sunny, War Bucket
Summary: The final battle between hunter and monster occurs when they attack the monster dimension directly. The monsters fight back, but with no luck. Parnell's team send what is essentially a "Patterson EMP" into Patterson Space, preventing it from being accessible by either of the two warring dimensions. Although this kills off the remaining monsters, this sends humanity into essentially the dark ages again, cutting off all Patterson technology. This prevents light speed travel, infinite energy, and other valuable resources humans in Evolve used to survive.
• End of Evolve
• Humanity is sent into a dark age
- Space travel is a thing of the past, as are most of humanity's futuristic technological wonders
Hunters Killed: Bucket(?), Sunny(?), Parnell(?)
Monsters Added: Glacial Behemoth