Evolving multiplayer: an interview with 2K

4 min read

Evolve multiplayer

Yesterday, I got to play Evolve in an awesome preview event. You can read all about what Geoff and I thought of the game, and you should. We also talked with 2K’s international producer, Iain Willows, and he had some cool tidbits to share with us.

While there isn’t much he could share about the narrative of Evolve, we did get hints:

It’s all based on a planet called Shear, an outer reaches planet way back in the galaxy, so it’s sort of a hostile place. The monsters are not native to Shear, that we can say, which kind of adds some intrigue to the story. The hunters themselves are actually specialist hunters – they’re brought in especially to hunt these monsters. Each hunter has a backstory, it’s why they have a name, they have a personality, and there will be more details on that to come.

Yes, that’s right, there will be different hunters. The core concept of 4v1 will remain, as well the class composition, but there will be different hunters with unique personalities, load outs and styles of play. This adds even more variety to an already varied game – playing as hunters is a completely different experience to playing as the monster.

Of course, the previous game made by Turtle Rock was Left4Dead, and they learned quite a bit from that experience that was “evolved” in the making of this game:

What they did this time that’s completely different this time is to give each person on the team a particular role, so they have the class system. Whereas in L4D everyone had a similar role – everyone had a gun, you can revive your teammates, that’s it but you’re helping each other. Here, with the class-based system, it gives everyone that really massive responsibility to make a difference and that’s what they’re going for.

And it certainly is a massive responsibility. Each role is vital – without any one of the hunters, the group simply doesn’t stand a chance. But it’s not just the hunters that are important; the game wouldn’t exist without the monster. So what gave them the idea to make a game in which players could play as the monster – not just in a limited way like in L4D, but to make it a truly integral experience?

It’s a unique game, there isn’t anything like it on the market if you think about what’s out there. The idea came from the guys at Turtle Rock and it came actually before they started doing Left for Dead so this was germinating in their minds. This idea of the boss battle – Boss battles in game generally become quite a scripted affair even if it’s a cooperative game that you’re facing the boss and you tend to just follow the script. You know when he’s going to attack, you know when to jump out of the way and all of a sudden this big yellow or red bulb appears and you shoot at it and that’s the damage and the boss goes down.

So the idea was to flip that on its head and give that a new perspective. And that perspective is to put that boss in the hands of the player. So what Evolve turns out to be is like a bit epic boss battle with a difference because you’ve got four hunters on the one side and you’ve got a player on the other side controlling that boss. So it becomes a different game every time because the player can adjust their tactics depending on what’s going on. And that’s the beauty of Evolve.

For those who are wondering, there are dedicated servers for Evolve. We also asked about lobbies, but it wasn’t something that could be disclosed at this time. However, they did say that there will be some sort of match making in place. They expect that people will like the different roles that they can play, but of course they want to avoid that initial rush where they have 20 monsters and no one wanting to play the Medic. That shouldn’t happen, though, because each role is truly a blast to play.

For those who want to hear more, we helped Graeme Selvan (Xbox PR) record a Podcast at the event, so you can hear more from 2K reps Erica Denning and Iain Willows, as well as Megarom’s Devon Stanton:

Last Updated: April 17, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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