I know it’s been a long while in the making, but the time has finally come! I’ve been working with @Shika to create fan art of the canceled characters we heard about in the “Goodbye Evolve” Livestreams and Q&A sessions. I’ve made a point to compile everything that has been discussed, and I have worked meticulously to get all the details in order so Shika could help bring the best visual representations of what could have been. The intention of this project was to give some closure to the universe of Evolve with some visuals, mechanics, plot, and to get all the general public information in one place.
This process takes a little while, so I’ll be uploading stuff one character at a time with Shika’s art and a blurb regarding what the character was about and how they would have played. Some characters were more developed than others, so I’ll be splitting things up into three waves.
First, characters that were further along in development and concept phases - these characters already had pretty full concepts. I intend to be very pure in how these are depicted, and I will not add in any fan-created details to flesh them out since they really don’t need it. If information is missing, it is because it hasn’t been openly discussed.
Second, characters that were purely in concept phase or distant development - these characters were more partial concepts due to their distance from potential release, and will need some fan inspired concepts to flesh out both mechanically and visually
Third, pure fan based characters - there are some open slots on the roster during each era that had no concept. For these, I’ll be making some fan art of what I imagine it may have been like based on concept art and backstory.
Also, please bear in mind that everything here was early in development and unfinalized. This is just a depiction of what things could have been like based on what has been openly discussed with the community.
But first, let’s see some art and adaptations, shall we? So without further ado, let’s get started!
Because sculpts were released, it was pretty easy to get the idea for what Phantom Wraith would have looked like. For color scheme and VFX it was shared that “She was going to be black with ghostly spines. Green I think. The decoy texture was the actual texture. At least one part of it.” This is the result of putting together everything we know:
Significant Reference Images Used For This Art:
As stated on the Artstation, this was the most recent version of the Phantom Wraith, and likely the one that we would have seen down the line.
Textures re-used in the reworked decoy ability “phantom”
- ??? (Supernova Variant) - A slow powerful punch that could be charged up for greater damage and knock back.
- ??? (Warp Blast Variant) - An inverted version of warp blast that pulls hunters in instead of blasting them away.
- ??? (Abduction Variant) - a one way abduction with limited directional control. Hunters caught in its path are grabbed and taken along for the ride.
- ??? - ???
Passive: ??? - ???
Traversal: ??? - ??? (Probably unchanged)
Developer Quotes On Abilities"like a falcon punch from smash, that you could aim, to smack people out of position" "There was an inverted warp blast that worked like darkseer." "[[the abduction variant]] would propel her in a straight line like charge, while allowing her limited air control. Any character she hit, she would grab and would be along for the ride.” [[From the End of Evolve Q&A and Streams]] ( https://talk.turtlerockstudios.com/t/the-final-evolve-livestream-q-a/106172?u=takran )
The Phantom Wraith hunt is the era named for none other than the Phantom Wraith herself. The first Phantom Wraith was originally the vivisected Wraith caught in the wraith trap, mutated from its constant mistreatment by Ebonstar’s scientists. After adapting to the tortures from the facility, it escapes containment and begins to terrorize the colony and hunt the Crew. It is the first monster to canonically kill hunters. Caira dies from the encounter and Parnell is put in critical condition causing Abe to take up the mantle of assault as seen in the hunter variant Renegade Abe. It may or may not be responsible for the death of Griffin Halsey and other hunters that haven’t been announced dead before the cancellation. Blitz Markov, Rogue Val, Tech. Sargent Hank, and an unknown trapper variant are sent to hunt it down and kill it. Though they likely defeat the original phantom wraith, the monsters now know the genetic code to spawn new Phantom Wraiths, which uniquely do not need to use monster eggs to cross the dimensional weak points of Shear. This accelerates the rate of monster attacks and ultimately ushers in The Cataclysm.
Developer Quotes and Details on Story
"The Rval, SHank, Blitz group gets off and goes hunting for the Phantom, which is some kind of special Monster that appears throughout the colonies without warming. Doesn’t need an egg to slip through (I swear, we came up with this before Stranger Things). This is the bugger imprisoned in Wraith Trap, when it escaped it was super pissed off. It’s also responsible for taking down Caira and her death sends RAbe into that Cataclysm mood he is in before falls as well as his whole variant group "
[[From the End of Evolve Q&A]] ( The Final Evolve Livestream Q & A )
Phantom Wraith is not the Ajax monster. There was no plan for the Ajax monster yet, though it would probably be its own thing with a unique design. Sort of like the white whale in Mobey Dick.
[[Not a direct quote, but discussed in multiple threads and streams]]
Warbucket was definitely further out on the development schedule, but the nature of his kit was fairly well solidified. Many aspects of what he was intended to be can be seen throughout various scrapped ideas in concept art. Though we only had one really good reference for what he may have looked like, Shika and I were able to infer a lot from his kit and descriptions. We did take some creative liberties in places we couldn’t find anything finalized. For example, to match the extinction era color palate and extend the details regarding his sword being made from the wreck of the Laurie-Anne, we fashioned his whole body from the ship’s presumed wreckage. While there is no specific reference for the jetpack, since his kit is so centered on staying in the air, we gave him mini-laurie-anne wings for his jetpack. We also connected his swords to his jetpack with a pipeline based on his melee mechanics and some concept art of hyde with a similar sword. Though there is no perfect interpretation of warbucket, I personally believe this is the best recreation possible given what is known:
Significant Reference Images Used For This Art:
“a giant bucket in a war suit similar to Lennox. His primary was one of the wings for the Loreann fashioned into a giant sword and he could use his jetpack to stay in the air”
[[From the End of Evolve Q&A and Streams]] ( The Final Evolve Livestream Q & A )
“Bucket would have multiple bodies his head could plug into”
[[from the end of evolve livestream]]
The most up to date concept art of warbucket. This was before the sword and jetpack combo was a thing, so he lacks these notable features.
Looks like Hyde was concepted to be the sword guy at some point! This is the sword we used in our version of the art
We themed warbucket after the Laurie-Anne since this is what his weapons are made from. Most of his coloration we lifted directly from the Laurie-Anne, then added whites to help thematically match him with Paladin Parnell since they share a plot era.
Paladin Parnell, the only other member of the extinction era actually released. We tried to make Warbucket look cohesive with him.
My photoshopped attempt at making a concept for Warbucket.
Though not visible in this image, I tried to base his jetpack on a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter propulsion system since he would sort of play like a jet with swords on.
- Melee Attacks - Warbucket’s primary move is like Lennox’s plasma lance, but instead of stacking a damage boost, each hit helps refuel the jetpack.
- Dash - Like Lennox’s jump, but straight and in the direction warbucket is facing
- ??? - ((Likely something that sustains him in combat))
- Assault Matrix - Standard Assault Tech, reduces incoming damage by 75%
Developer Quotes On Abilities“My favorite bucket though was WarBucket, a giant bucket in a war suit similar to Lennox. His primary was one of the wings for the Loreann fashioned into a giant sword and he could use his jetpack to stay in the air as long as he was hitting stuff.” [[From the End of Evolve Q&A and Streams]] ( https://talk.turtlerockstudios.com/t/the-final-evolve-livestream-q-a/106172?u=takran )
"warbucket had a directional dash and I don’t recall what else. I think it was something defensive, so he did the die in close combat. He was only on paper though”
[[From an old chat with TheGentlemanSquirrel regarding this project]]
Warbucket is part of the Extinction Era plot. After the worst happens in deepest dark, the remaining members of The Crew retaliate and use Kala to enter the monster home world and end the war once and for all. Little is known of this era other than the fact that Paladin Parnell, Warbucket, and Mecha-Sunny lead the charge using big bulky Mecha technology scrapped together in a last ditch attempt to defeat the monsters once and for all. It is speculated that some sort of Patterson effect is used to destabilize the Cherenkov space between dimensions, locking monsters and humans into their respective home worlds, at least for a time. However even though humanity wins the war through this risky maneuver, both the human and monster dimensions have both been damaged beyond imagining, and humanity re-enters a dark age as they prepare to slowly rebuild.
Developer Quotes and Details on Story"Is this the time period at the tail end of the war, where Palnell, WarBucket, and Sunnex hit them where they live?" "Yes" [[From the End of Evolve Q&A]] ( https://talk.turtlerockstudios.com/t/the-final-evolve-livestream-q-a/106172?u=takran ) "Yes, using Kala they would have traveled through the weak points. Paladin, Warbucket, and Sunnex's group would have given them a good sucker punched. " "Yes, they would have. But the Monsters would have basically have sent Humans back to the Dark Ages."
Next up: Kali
Also, as always, if you catch me with a wrong detail on any of these, please let me know. I’ll do the proper investigating and follow it up!
Also, as a tangent, I’ve also been sifting through dialogue and backstory to compile a full history of the evolve universe, which I plan update here from pregame to postgame as we go along since it meshes so well with each adaptation’s place in the stage 2 eras and storyline.