Well, I’ve sat down with the new Evolve, and honestly, I do find quite a bit that I’ve liked about the changes. The game provides more consistent action(Not always a good thing, get to that in a bit), and matches always feel like they had something for you to do most of the time. The monster feels far more impactful and powerful, giving it a chance even if it’s caught early, to the point where I’ve been able to get some serious penalties stacked by picking a fight out of the dropship as the monster for little to no health cost to me. The dome never fails, meaning you don’t occasionally waste it and feel bad for the next painful minutes where you have no chance of containing the monster unless it wants to be contained.
The free2play format however, feels much more natural to the game, even if currency is earned slowly(I’m sure this is where the monetization will happen now). Perks allow you to customize and fine tune a playstyle to fit you perfectly, and you can actually find a match now, even if the lobby does kick your party randomly.
Missing however, is a certain charm the original game had. Perhaps this is just a ‘back in my day’ thing, but I do miss the stealthier and more tense moments of knowing “It’s here… Watching us…” yet being unsure if you want to use the dome or not, having it in hand, ready to go, hesitating as you try to confirm the monster is there. The post match replays are gone(hopefully to return soon!), allowing you to talk back and forth with a “Oh man, you were there?” and watch your team stumble clueless past the monster. Which I suppose is the aspect I miss the most, and those are the moments I remember the most from the original as well. Sneaking around, and hiding in plain sight whilst the hunters ran by, waiting for my time to strike. Holding the dome in my hands, dashing towards the monster to cut him off, before throwing the perfect dome, catching him right as he would have escaped. These are the moments that I would remember and think about long after I stopped playing, and I haven’t had that same sort of magical moment whilst playing this version yet.
Having constant fights removes that special feeling from the frantic bursts of activity. Though it does lead to less bored assault players. If fights become less common however, monster health and armor will have to be reduced accordingly. However, less frequent, but more impactful fights is what I’d prefer in any case, even if it is just a personal thing.
How is the actual game now though?
Well, I wish I had a more strong reaction either way, but I honestly feel like this patch/beta/evolution of the game is missing a spark, but still manages to entertain. It’s a solid ‘meh’ as far as changes go. Which makes me sad, as this likely means that the game could face the problem of not holding a solid playerbase. It’s not all bad, I certainly have plenty to dislike from a older player’s standpoint on things, but it does keep those who were looking for a more fast-paced game or action-oriented game entertained.
So, well, for probably the thousandth time it’s been posted to this board, here’s some changes(along with reasons) I’d like to see implemented, or at least considered. Of course, this is all from a player’s perspective, but I’m hoping it does at least cause some discussion at the office.
- Shared is good, but deployment is not.
As much as I loved being the one with the dome as the Trapper before, I have to admit it was frustrating to have a player who didn’t have as much experience on trapper faced with the challenges and dilemmas you have to make in a split second in order to be successful. I wished Hyde would just yell “Give me that thing!” several times, so allowing anyone to throw it is great. Having to pull the dome out of your pocket however, added a sense of importance to it, being a physical piece of equipment you were carrying rather than a magic spell. It also meant you were without a weapon whilst you deployed the dome, making you vulnerable while setting it up. The dome’s size is fine as is, the raised roof definitely helps out the Kraken, especially considering that some of the domes could be very unfair on select maps to him. Where it deploys is not, centering on the monster isn’t fun for the monster because you know you have no chance to escape it, and for the hunters, it doesn’t come with the euphoric rush of knowing that you just caught it with your own skill. I haven’t leveled to the point where I can do ranked, but allowing it to be used even if the monster isn’t around is a nice touch, if painful due to trolls(a report system could fix this).
Turning it into a physical object for everyone who uses it, along with centering it on the thrower, would definitely make it feel like a real tool, and one that is important to master, whilst still making it more approachable with it’s shorter deploy timer once launched. A new player notification for when the monster is in range should still be kept however, and these changes might be best applied in ranked.
The new timer on the dome feels fine due to it’s reduced time when damaging the monster, though I would like to see a increased penalty for the timer if you down the one who deployed the dome.
This is a far more brief comment, but I do like the new health of the creatures as the monster, but less so as a hunter. Make the creatures tougher for the hunters to kill, as being the monster and leading the hunters through dangerous territory added a layer of danger and depth to your pathing through the map. As is, even the toughest of Shear’s creatures feel like they’re made of paper, and there’s no reason to run anywhere but just ‘away’. I used to quite enjoy leading the hunters through every Reaver den I could and towards as many difficult creatures as possible.
- Planet Scanner
I know it shouldn’t be the main source of tracking the monster for a hunter, but it’s become exactly that for every single trapper. Once you get close or spot the monster is when you swap to other methods now. It’s a very strong crutch for trappers, and one that I feel will harm the class in the long run without some changes. I’m going to lift the two suggestions I had for it out of another thread.
A scan every thirty seconds of this strength is too much, and removes the need for a trapper to pay attention to the game(the fantastic sound design, little details of monster travel like broken vegetation or corpses) It overall makes the game feel a little bit more shallow and not as engaging for that class.
This is already implemented in the red pulse around the compass, and I’d like to see the scan shift a little bit more towards a vaguer system. A single second of the ability to see through walls would be a good change, rather than the full five(?) second it has now, more like a pulsing radar scan(This would nessecitate the outlines remaining a couple of seconds after the scan happened). The highlighting through the wall could also produce more of a vague reddish blob for the monster instead, nondescript in size and a little fuzzy to confuse if it’s truly the monster or a different hostile creature.[/quote]
Overall these are the major problem points I’ve had with the game so far, but despite these, I am enjoying playing the game again. I do feel like this is a lot of radical changes to be making, especially since I personally believe the thing that ‘killed’ Evolve in the first place was wholly the pricing and DLC fiasco, which drove away potential customers and made the playerbase feel inferior for not buying DLC. Rather than sticking around, if you don’t want to buy the DLC, yet don’t want to have less things to play with than everyone else, chances are they’ll find something else to play.
I do feel like the longevity of the game will be reduced without the ability to create some of the more tense moments before a fight where you’re moments away from catching the monster, or inches away from rubbing noses with it. Overall however, this update has seemed like a step in the right direction, albeit maybe more of a leap in the right direction, possibly overshooting the mark.
Some good, some bad, but a certain spark is gone.