Hello, this is an article I wrote for my website. I didn’t think people would like me posting a link in here so I have copied and pasted the article over to here. It’s pretty long but hopefully worth a read. Basically it is my feedback from playing the Evolve beta. Enjoy!
Super powered Monsters, underpowered Hunters
The Evolve beta has been out for little over 24 hours, and me and my fellow wolf pack have been busy hunting down two of the monsters available in the beta. Or at least trying to anyway. After only a few short hours of game play one thing is crystal clear, the game has some balancing issues to work out.
In almost every game I and my fellow team mates have played, each round plays out almost exactly the same, and that is for 95% of the round, we attempt and fail to chase down the enemy monster , and the remaining 5% is spent trying to defend the relay against the level 3 monster, which usually fails. So essentially the average 20 minute long game is a lot of running around with little to no action, followed by a swift but still painful death by a super powered beast.
You see, the problem is that the Goliath and the Kraken have multiple abilities that enable them to cover a huge distance in an incredibly short time, whilst the Hunters need to sprint and use every ounce of fuel they have in their jetpacks to be able to get within firing distance of the beasts. And by the time you have finally got a glimpse of the opposing player, their abilities have reset and they catapult away, leaving you in their wake and scrambling to try and keep up once again. So, you can’t really chase the enemy down. So, we thought if we can’t chase them, maybe we can trap them? A good idea, but unfortunately the monsters in Evolve have the ability to sense or ‘smell’ you, and are fully aware of where you are and what you are doing. So you can’t chase them and you can’t trap them.
So next we thought, maybe we can fortify the relay and take him down when he comes to destroy the objective. So we went about placing mines and harpoons and every gadget we could muster to make it as difficult for the big bad beast as possible. But, once again, we soon found out that once the monster has hit level 3, there isn’t really much you can do against them, despite how well fortified you have made your last stand.
What I am trying to say is that the Hunters feel so under powered in comparison to the Monsters in Evolve that when you are playing as one it becomes a very tedious and unfortunately boring game of cat and mouse that you have very little chance of winning. The player who is the Monster has no incentive at all to engage you early on, and will run away until he feels he is powerful enough to take you down. And it is not just the Monster the Hunters need to worry about. The games environment is a hostile and brutal place, with death around every corner if you are not careful. This would be a nice feature and would add to the sense of danger if the AI monsters didn’t blend in with their surroundings so well, to the point that you can’t see them until they are ripping your face off.
This again slows the Hunters down and creates another obstacle they will need to traverse in order to close the gap with the enemy Monster. As for the levels, each one is beautifully created with some truly amazing visuals and effects, but they are all so vertical. Every map features mountainous terrain that both the Monster and the Hunters must carefully navigate, but the difference being that the Monster can leap, bound, climb, and in the case of the Kraken can actually fly over these obstacles, but the poor Hunters must use their jet packs, with its limited fuel and short range to get up and over the same terrain. As you can imagine, the Monsters can clear these obstacles and escape in mere seconds, but it takes what feels like an age for the Hunters to accomplish the same feat. And even once the Hunters have reached the top of the obstacle they will have spent all their fuel and must wait for it to recharge before they can start pursuing their prey again. By this time the Monster will be at the other side of the map.
Luckily this is only a beta, and hopefully Turtle Rock will be able to tweak and change a few things to better balance the game. The Monsters feel fine, they are as big, powerful and fast as you would expect them to be. The Hunters need to be buffed, and I think all they really needs is a movement speed increase along with a fuel boost to their jet packs. That or some other way to traverse over the terrain so that they still have fuel in their jet packs to close the gap between them and the enemy. If it is possible at this stage it would be interesting to see some form of grappling hook added for the Hunters to use when climbing over the environment. This would prevent them spending all of their fuel before they have even reached the enemy but would still provide them a fast and easy way of covering the ground.
Overall I think Evolve will be a good game, but with a few tweaks it could be great.