My name is Andrey, and i would like to start by saying I have been a big fan of the game ever since the first E3 Demo. Right from the start Evolve looked like it will be a special, unique game, and when it finally came out, i was one of the people who’s expectations were met perfectly.
I never had a problem with the DLC, i liked the “walking simulator” because i felt it was a good representation of the “hunter” fantasy and also added more variety to gameplay, and if some characters or maps were unbalanced, i didn’t notice it.
In fact, I’m so big of a fan, that i’m writing this feedback thread right now, which is something I preety much never do for any product that I like.
So when I saw the list of changes that you’ve made for Evolve Stage 2, i was a bit dissapointed that the game might loose some of it’s uniqueness and variety for the sake of accessibility and more action. Then i remembered it’s you guys, and what an amazing job you did on the original game, and I decided to take a wait-and-see attitude.
Now that I’ve played Stage 2 for about a week, I feel like I can contribute some feedback. It’s a bit long, but hopefuly helpful.
First of all, I am happy to see that overall, the core experience of the game has remained intact despite the drastic changes. There are a few things however, that I feel should be changed, mostly because of the effect they had on the Monster gameplay.
-Planet Scanner - The planet scanner is OP. Specificaly the fact that it highlights the monster through walls for the trapper. The fact that the trapper can not only see exactly where the monster is, but also where it’s going, makes it very easy for anyone who can read a map to predict where the monster can be cut off, which takes away completely the element of stealth from the monster gameplay.
When i played Monster in the original Evolve, I really enjoyed the fact that even though I was weaker then the hunters at the start, i could compensate by outsmarting them using stealth and misdirection. It made the experience deep and interesting. With the way the Planen Scanner currently works, that is no longer an option, and the only viable strategy seems to be to outrun the hunters, turning Evolve from the hiper violent sci fi game of hide and go seek that it used to be, into a game of tag.
Since the Planet Scanner is essentialy a Hunter controlled active carrion bird mechanic, i think it should work as such all the way. Instead of showing the outline of the monster to the trapper, it should ping the monster on the map for the whole team (you could even use the Bucket UAV tracking dart icon, to differantiate it without having to create a new asset for the game). That way the hunters can find out where the monster is at will, but in order to figure out where it’s going, they would still need to do some tracking work, and rely on other information like tracks, birds, and so on.
That would make gameplay more interesting both for the hunters and the monster, returning some of the cerebral gameplay of outsmarting the other team, while still maintaining the more accessible nature of the Planet Scanner, revealing the monster’s location at will, and not having to realy completely on the trapper’s skill, since the whole team can see the ping.
Also, on a side note, i feel that the Planet Scanner took away some of the uniqueness of the different trappers. I really liked how originaly the trappers tracked the monster in very different ways. Maggie was better and following the monster right away, Griffin was about laying the foundation for easier tracking later, and Abe was not very good at finding the monster at all, but when he did, he was the best at keeping track of it. With the Planet Scanner all of them track more similarily, and Daisy became almost pointless as a tracking tool.
I don’t know if there is anything that can be done about it though, without completely changing/removing the Planet Scanner…
-Round Time Limit - It’s too short.
My most memorable moment from Evolve was when I payed as a stage 3 Wraith with less then 1 bar of health, against a group of hunters with Laz and 2 incap strikes between the whole team. I managed to win the game with a tiny sliver of health by launching hit-and-run-and-feed attacks at the hunters for about 10 minutes, untill i found an attack angle that allowed me to finally take them all out quickly before they could finish me off.
If i try to recreate that fight today, i will loose to the timer…
In the past week, as hunter i won 2 or 3 games because the monster ran out of time, and as monster i never lost to the timer, simply because it stressed me out so much i got into fights i was’nt ready for, and got killed.
Most rounds i didn’t have enough time to even evolve to stage 3. And what’s worse, the short timer takes away the monster’s last chance of effectively employing stealth, because even if i could try to use the Planet Scanners see-through-walls mechanic to my advantage, and fake movement in one direction to then go in another direction, there is simply no time for backtracking and sneaking around. Which again forces the monster to simply try to outrun the hunters, rather then outsmart them.
The timer is a great mechanic for pushing the round forward and forcing the monster the act and not try to run away from the hunters forever, but it should not be a viable winning strategy for the hunters. To loose to the timer as a monster is annoying and stressful, and to win with the timer as a hunter is anticlimactic and unsatisfying. Because of that i believe the timer should be at least 5 minutes longer then it currently is.
These are the 2 major things that i feel need to change to make the game better, at least in my opinion.
There are also some minor things like:
-You’ve done a great job at updating the various VFX to make them easyer to read, so now more then ever it stands out to me when the monster recieves text messeges about being tracked with the planet scanner/tracking dart. Perhaps you could add visual effects to that as well, making it easier to see and more immersive (for example, have the blue grid pulse that comes out of the trapper when using the planet scanner go over and cover the monster).
-The Tyrants. Where are they? I liked them! Bring them back please.
-EMET’s healing burst recharges VERY fast. It feels a little OP. I get that it’s his main healing ability, but Slim’s healing burst is at least dependant on your accuracy with the leech gun. With EMET, you can just spam the heals as you keep throwing healing buoys. it might need to be nurfed just a little bit.
 -Considering you’re trying to make the game more accessible, it’s very strange that you pretty much removed any chance for anyone to learn what each character does before starting a game. I know you removed the tutorial videos to make loading times better, but I see no reason why there are no ability descriptions on the character select screen anymore…
So, those are the things i can think of right now.
Thank you for reading this painfully long thread. I really hope it will be helpful at least to some extent.
And thank you for making this amazing game, and for keeping on making it even better! You guys are amazing.
Have a great day/night/whenever you’re reading this.