To show people that there is much knowledge in Sun Tzu’s wisdom, even as it applies to a video games, I will list many of his quotes and explain their relevance in Evolve.
“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”
“All warfare is based on deception; When able to attack, we must seem unable; When we are near, we must make the enemy think we are far away…”
This is about deception. Psychological warfare. The act of fighting is almost autonomous at times. We are confident in our resolution to fight; focused. But when you have been subjected to psychological warfare, doubt creeps in. And doubt wreaks havoc on confidence. This has an adverse affect and can make us hesitant to act, or highly ineffective when we do so. In Evolve, subterfuge, false flags and other forms of mind games can keep your opponent on their toes, and prone to mistake.
“To know your enemy, you must become your enemy.”
In Evolve, to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a Monster, you should play as that monster. Nothing is a substitute for experience, to walk a mile in someone’s shoes; an act we can only emulate in reality, but can come to past in a game. Play as the Monster, and you’ll know what he can and cannot do. Play as a Medic, and you’ll be better able to counter them and handicap them in their weaknesses.
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, where defeated warriors go to war first, and then seek to win.”
This has to do with being prepared. Having a gameplay. Not just running in and seeing how the cards fall. Strategize, come up with a gameplan and work together (or if solo, just stick to the plan). If you’re a Monster, do not go to war against your enemy until you have strengthened yourself to do so. Build the tactics you’ll employ based on that strategy.
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”
Even in the throws of battle, you should be ever-wary of an opportunity to strike a strategic blow. Do not be mired by chaos, do not allow it to engulf you and cause you to throw reasoning to the wind in favor of embracing the carnage. Keep a sound mind, watch for exposed weaknesses and make the attack to handicap the enemy at every opportunity.
“In war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and attack that which is weak.”
This is about capitalizing on a handicap. There is no strategy in throwing an incapable force against superior forces. You win by whittling down where you can succeed; where the enemy has left themselves exposed or weakened. You play to your ability’s strengths in order to capitalize on the enemy’s weaknesses.
“He who is prudent, and lies in wait for an enemy, who is not, will be victorious.”
The element of surprise acts as a form of psychological warfare in that you throw your opponent off by being the dictating force that chooses when to engage the enemy. In the same way a Monster attempting to flee gets domed off, their flight response is turning into a fight response. It is at that point, the mind turmoils and you should seize the opportunity to attack. As a Monster, being evasive and attacking the enemy who is unaware of you and not ready for engagement can earn you a free kill and vastly stack the remaining battle in your favor.
“Thus, the expert in battle moves the enemy; and is not moved by him.”
“If the enemy is to flee, make a golden bridge for them to escape upon.”
When you have mastery in battle, as in a game of chess, you set the field for the unwise enemy to take opportunities that you have set which are enticing to the needs of your enemy. In this way, you control the flow of battle by either permitting them where you want them, denying where they should not be, or coax the enemy into taking an action you are prepared for.
“He will win who knows when to fight, and when not to fight.”
Battles are not “to the death”. Be you outclassed by the current engagement with the Hunters, or a Hunter witnessing too many of his allies falling, the smart and decisive player knows when to haste a retreat, regroup, recoup, and continue a new plan of attack. There is no strategic value in fighting to the last man if retreat is an option.
“If his forces are united, separate them.”
As the monster, if you feel you are in a position where the Hunters are too powerful, do not engage until you can do so at immediate odds that you can better handle. 2 battles of 2v1 does not have the same effect as 1 battle of 4v1. In the former, success is more attainable, in the latter, defeat is more probable.
“Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility for victory in the attack.”
The best defense is a good offense. To withstand an attack allows you the affordance to continue the attack. But only in fighting do we have a chance to win. These are 2 sides to 1 concept. Pressing the attack without defending one’s self is as futile as defending one’s self without pressing the fight. It is like form and function, yin and yang. Success lies in both being put to use, not either or.