Evolve’s Big Alpha gave players a chance to hunt and become giant alien beasts over the weekend. There were lengthy waits and quite a few hiccups, it’s an alpha phase after all. But I loved the hunt, and I’ll be back in February to pick it up again. The selling point here is a battle pitting four hunters against one alien monster. At Stage 1, the creature is easily overwhelmed. Eating other local wildlife allows him to evolve. At Stage 2, the monster is strong enough that it’s a fair fight against a team of four. Stage 3 turns the monster into a destroyer of worlds, strong enough to kill all four hunters.
I fell in love with playing the monster, simply because I don’t need to worry about whether my team is any good. An effective team in Evolve is as important as it would be in Call of Duty or any other shooter. But playing with random gamers makes that harder to put together. Stage 3 of the monster is also a serious power fantasy. Tearing through the wild with a primal roar and bad intentions is fun in its purest form. Seeing four other players run in fear of you is an adrenaline rush.
But getting that perfect team dynamic is a magical thing too. This is a scenario that can easily happen with everybody coordinating. The assault soldier baits the monster in, then activates a shield making him temporarily invulnerable. A medic uses their armor piercing sniper rifle to light the monster up from afar. Things suddenly aren’t looking so good for the monster, so the trapper raises a force field that keeps him from getting away. The support trooper calls down an orbital barrage, ending the whole show with a bang and a hunter victory. Evolve is slated for a Feb. 10, 2015 release.