The planet is overrun by strange monsters. Humanity needs to be saved, but it will take five days until we can evacuate. It’s up to you, a motley band of hunters to find and kill the monster to ensure as many people survive as possible. It’s up to you to save the world. Unfortunately, most of you aren’t interested in that.

Evolve is a tightly built asymmetrical multiplayer game, but what does that mean? The idea is actually fantastic – four distinct hunters must go against a player-controlled boss monster. Each hunter must play to his or her specific class, and even among the classes there are differences. With alternatives for the Medic, Trapper, Support and Assault hunters, the game should provide plenty of variety for each role, ensuring that no player ever gets bored. Add to that the range of monsters and ideal hunters to use against them, and it becomes a glorious combination of tactics, teamwork, strategy and plenty of action.

Jumping in with a group of friends, the game feels mostly balanced as you cooperate to take down your massive foe. With a medic to keep players alive, support to buff the other players, tracker to find and contain the monster and assault to deal the heavy damage, it feels like your group of friends are really teaming up. Unlike previous multiplayer games, you just can’t do it without the whole group. But together, you can unite and take down an intelligent and powerful enemy – what could be better?

Evolve wraith decoy

Unfortunately, that’s not what the game actually entails most of the time. Unless you have a team of friends who you know you will enjoy playing with and who are happy to play in the various roles, it becomes a bit of a mess. Random match players simply don’t communicate most of the time – barely any random match players that I played with even bothered to have headsets plugged in. Those were often the better ones, unfortunately, as those with headsets would often scream orders at the various roles without knowing what they were even talking about. Sure, it’s standard fare in online gaming, but for a game that requires intricate and constant cooperation and communication, it makes the game untenable.

It’s not just the communication that causes an issue, the grind of the game causes even more trouble. In order to level up your hunter and unlock new ones, you need to reach certain milestone with each ability. Not only does this make the game feel like a grind, it ends up undermining cooperation. Why would the randomly matched medic choose to heal you if her Medgun is already maxed out? Instead, she will focus on tranq darting the enemy so that she can level up – who cares about actually playing to her role?

Evolve medgun

The grind is equally frustrating as the monster. It’s not just about winning a certain number of matches, or leveling up your character progression. I ended up taking on entire maps with only one skill upgraded in the hopes that I could max it out and finally unlock further progression. Yes, that’s right, if your Fire Breath reaches that first milestone but your Charge ability still needs upgrading, you won’t be able to gather any more experience for your Fire Breath skill – using it becomes a waste of time. You know, unless you like using the skill and playing the game. Depending on the skill and cooperation of the hunters pursuing you, even playing as the monster can feel slow – it’s exciting when you are striving to evolve while being hunted down, but if your hunters are lost and confused, it takes away from any tension or climax that you might feel as the hunted boss.

The only thing that’s truly poorly designed is the progression grind. It’s a meta-game that undermines the core gameplay instead of enhancing it. Rather than encouraging players to play more and try varied strategies, it forces players to act against their preferred modes of gameplay and be penalized for having favoured abilities or techniques.

Evolve wraith supernova

The design of the game is superb. Beyond the core gameplay which is stellar when it actually works, the maps are beautifully rendered with a range of unique wildlife and level design. The best part is the audio, though – as the Hunters, you can hear when the monster is stomping around nearby, or even just breathing. The controller rumbles with his footsteps and the immersion is fantastic. The monster and character designs are also unique and detailed, showing the love and care that went into each one.

However, loading that experience isn’t quick. After everyone has accepted their roles and characters, it’s time to jump into a game. Unfortunately, the load times are ridiculously long – long enough to get a drink, use the bathroom and have a conversation with a friend or loved one before you actually need to get playing. Added to this is the drop ship animation, where hunters are shown preparing to enter the map and having casual banter so that we can actually understand that they have unique personalities. The reason for this may be to give the monster a head start, but it ends up making the game feel dragged out and slow. You even need to repeat this if your hunters die and grab the dropship back into the game – watch that countdown clock tick by before players can re-join the game, but add an extra 10-15 seconds due to drop ship animation.

While load times could be acceptable if it were for the entire range of missions in evacuation mode, it actually just takes that amount of time before each and every map. This makes the five back-to-back missions feel interminable and causes hunters and monsters alike to feel like there is a loss of momentum and excitement to the game.

Evolve Kraken

Under ideal circumstances, Evolve is an absolutely fantastic game. It’s fun, it’s unique and it allows a wonderful combination of cooperative and competitive multiplayer all in one package. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world of ideal circumstances. All it takes is for one player to not be working well as part of the team and the whole thing falls apart. And even if everyone plays well together, I’m just not sure how long that excitement will be maintained – how many times can you kill the monster (or be killed by the monster) before you’re over it? I worry that Evolve simply won’t have the longevity people are hoping for. Turtle Rock gave us a beautiful gem of a game, but they simply didn’t count on the reality of most gamers. If even the smallest element doesn’t align well, Evolve becomes an un-evolved mess.

 

Last Updated: February 12, 2015

Evolve
While it shows moments of brilliance when played with the right group, Evolve simply can't consistently promise that level of experience. Play with good friends or play as the monster - but anything else will leave you feeling irritated and unsatisfied.
7.2
Evolve was reviewed on PlayStation 4
76 / 100

71 Comments

  1. Sgt. M

    February 12, 2015 at 13:36

    This looks good, but it’ll remain on my maybe pile for a while.

    Reply

    • CAE9872

      February 12, 2015 at 15:16

      Yeah my sentiments exactly – maybe…one day…in the future…when the price is right!

      Reply

      • Sgt. M

        February 12, 2015 at 15:57

        Somebody call Bob Barker!

        Reply

  2. Hammersteyn

    February 12, 2015 at 13:40

    To enjoy Evolve you’d need to play with the right group, that’s like trying to book a raid in Destiny in advance. If I had bought this and needed to grind out a particular skill I’d switch to the SP and level up from there. But they could have really planned that better. What happened to earning XP and molding your character the way you want?

    Reply

    • Wraith

      February 12, 2015 at 13:46

      Does playing SP contribute towards character progression?

      Reply

      • Her Highness the Hipster

        February 12, 2015 at 13:47

        yes. you can choose to grind in single player and then join MP with your leveled up hunter/monster

        Reply

    • Lord Chaos

      February 12, 2015 at 13:49

      Would have been an amazing games yonks back in the time of LAN parties.

      Reply

      • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

        February 12, 2015 at 13:50

        it will still be amazing for lans.

        Reply

        • Lord Chaos

          February 12, 2015 at 13:54

          True, but back then it was all we had.

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            February 12, 2015 at 13:58

            It was all we needed

        • Lord Chaos

          February 12, 2015 at 13:59

          And how many games actually come with offline Lan support? Now everyone has to connect to internet to play. Even when everyone is in the same room.

          Reply

        • Kensei Seraph

          February 12, 2015 at 13:59

          So does it actually have proper LAN support?

          Reply

          • Novakaine

            February 12, 2015 at 15:34

            I’m wondering the same thing. If so it would be awesome.

          • Novakaine

            February 12, 2015 at 15:34

            I’m wondering the same thing. If so it would be awesome.

  3. Aries

    February 12, 2015 at 13:43

    Was going to buy it this week, but ya now I’m two minded again

    Reply

  4. Hammersteyn

    February 12, 2015 at 13:44

    Also bwahahaha (It’s a parody,they’re not serious)

    Reply

    • Tosh "Did he just say that?"

      February 12, 2015 at 13:47

      hahaha

      Reply

  5. Tosh "Did he just say that?"

    February 12, 2015 at 13:48

    Right, that’s settled. Not for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply

  6. Kensei Seraph

    February 12, 2015 at 13:49

    So is there is only 1 monster that is threatening the entire world?

    Reply

  7. Lord Chaos

    February 12, 2015 at 13:49

    Where’s Ryanza now?

    Reply

    • Nikola

      February 12, 2015 at 13:50

      Sure he is lurking around somewhere waiting to go all anti-DRM on us:)

      Reply

      • CAE9872

        February 12, 2015 at 15:18

        And promote The Witcher 3 (is coming).

        Reply

    • Ryanza

      February 12, 2015 at 14:13

      ? Am I the wise review score man? You know, I might just be.

      Reply

      • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

        February 12, 2015 at 16:47

        Who said his name three times in front of the mirror? Don’t you people know this summons him?! Pssssht.

        Reply

        • Ryanza

          February 12, 2015 at 23:12

          Mirror, Mirror on the wall who has the fairest hair of them all?
          Mirror, Mirror on the wall, what is being released on 24th May 2015 with No DRM?
          Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who does not support drm?

          DRM = the poison apple.

          Magic Mirror on the wall, can you get Candyman to kill off DRM?

          Reply

  8. Nikola

    February 12, 2015 at 13:50

    Honestly a great review I read the one IGN posted this morning and this one and it’s such a huge difference. They don’t mention anything about what happens when you play with randoms which in my opinion is VERY important as you can’t always really on same group of friends to play with you everybody plays at different times and so on. I won’t be picking up this simply bcuz it has not story campaign and I worry that playing with randoms will make me pull my hair out and the I will lose interest in a month, which is ok if I was buying a single player game and finished it but a multiplayer needs to keep you entertained in a long run.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      February 12, 2015 at 13:52

      Lagz played more than 10 minutes. IGN went back to COD

      Reply

      • Nikola

        February 12, 2015 at 14:36

        Hahahaha most likely dude those guys reviews are getting more and more ridicolus:)

        Reply

    • Nikola

      February 12, 2015 at 13:52

      aaaand the don’t mention loading times at all definetly not reading IGN reviews anymore lol

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        February 12, 2015 at 13:53

        *they
        sorry if I don’t then @Tosh “Did he just say that?”:disqus will. Rather me than him right?

        Reply

        • Kensei Seraph

          February 12, 2015 at 13:58

          But what if it would have been me or Admiral?

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            February 12, 2015 at 13:59

            Lately Tosh has been on the grammar mistakes like Ryanza on Witcher articles.

          • Lord Chaos

            February 12, 2015 at 14:00

            Lol

          • Kensei Seraph

            February 12, 2015 at 14:00

            Haha.

          • Ryanza

            February 12, 2015 at 14:09

            I’m not on the Witcher articles anymore. So that should mean Tosh can let grammar mistakes slide.

    • CAE9872

      February 12, 2015 at 15:20

      Is Tosh off duty? Nazi grammar-commissioner going to have you for breakfast for that paragraph, specifically:

      “randoms which in my opinion is VERY important as you can’t always really on same group of friends to play with you everybody plays at different times and so on”

      Sheesh

      Reply

  9. Blood Emperor Trevor

    February 12, 2015 at 13:54

    Meh. tl;dr. Only 7.2? I knew it would be a bad game!

    tee hee topical humour!

    Reply

  10. Kensei Seraph

    February 12, 2015 at 13:57

    Thanks for the review.
    I might get Evolve if it has PC LAN support but somehow I doubt that they thought it would be “profitable”.

    Reply

  11. Ryanza

    February 12, 2015 at 13:59

    My 7.2 comment yesterday made me laugh so much. I know stupid shit makes me laugh. And now Evolve getting a 7.2. lol.
    Evolve should get a 7. But the graphics look nice. So 7.2 is fair, But the game was built around DLC. And Evolve’s DLC costing more than the game itself, 5.2 – buy at own risk rating.

    Good job Lazygamer.net.

    Reply

    • Lord Chaos

      February 12, 2015 at 14:00

      Fortunately all that dlc is cosmetic.

      Reply

      • Kensei Seraph

        February 12, 2015 at 14:01

        Except for the ones that contain exclusive characters and monsters and the inevitable exclusive maps.

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          February 12, 2015 at 14:01

          Thy promised the maps will stay free…. will have to see I guess.

          Reply

          • Lord Chaos

            February 12, 2015 at 14:02

            *They

            ๐Ÿ˜›

          • Hammersteyn

            February 12, 2015 at 14:03

            hahahaha noooooo!

          • Lord Chaos

            February 12, 2015 at 14:21

            And too think, just 8 minutes after you corrected Nikola

          • Kensei Seraph

            February 12, 2015 at 14:09

            Revenge is sweet.
            Revenge is a dish best served cold.
            Icecream is sweet and is best cold.
            Revenge is icecream.
            I hope you enjoy your icecream. ;P

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            February 12, 2015 at 14:18

            *ice cream

          • Kensei Seraph

            February 12, 2015 at 14:21

            Icecream, ice-cream, ice cream.
            Potato, potato.
            Tomato, tomato.
            Vase, vase.

            This would work better if it was spoken.

          • Lord Chaos

            February 12, 2015 at 14:21

            Don’t worry, the voice in my head read it as you meant it.

          • CAE9872

            February 12, 2015 at 15:22

            I think he meant “Thy” as in “You”…… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Ryanza

        February 12, 2015 at 14:01

        And should have been in the game in the first place.

        Reply

        • Lord Chaos

          February 12, 2015 at 14:30

          Meh, the less useless clutter the better. If someone really wants to pay to look prettier then that’s their prerogative.

          Reply

  12. Futureman

    February 12, 2015 at 14:17

    I enjoy the game but its not as good as i thought it to be, i think i bought the hype of the game above anything else, well still fun running around being a monster

    Reply

  13. BurnZ

    February 12, 2015 at 14:31

    Damit i said i would not be pre-ordering games anymore! And what did i do….
    Well anyway, i played for about two hours yesterday. Was quite cool going through the motions / getting use to the layout, but the loading times are really ridiculous! The camera angle, when playing with the monster was horrid as well. i could hardly see when doing the rock throw (when close to the walls or mountains), but im sure as i jam more i will get use to it. a hour or two later and i did not really feel gripped by the game at all (hope that changes soon).

    Reply

  14. hairyknees

    February 12, 2015 at 15:13

    Good review ๐Ÿ™‚ you picked on the exact same things that have annoyed me. I do still feel that there are some balancing issues that could be smoothed out too.

    For example, the hunters jetpack just doesn’t seem to last long enough. I know it’s all about managing it correctly, but I find it unfair that you can scale a cliff without fuel, and scaling it WITH fuel drains the bar anyways O_o all the monster needs to do is climb something and hide (if caught in a trap), and smack off any pursuing hunters. This slows down their momentum in a big way, because they have 0 fuel to “boost” up the cliff and it takes a while to recharge.

    Also, playing with a trapper who refuses to trap or misses their traps… PAINFUL.

    ALSO, losing track of the monster and trying to corner it with a team that have no clue on the concept of flanking or you know, NOT following Daisy and finding an alternate route to take the beast down ๐Ÿ˜› ANNOYING.

    I agree with 7.2 ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply

  15. CAE9872

    February 12, 2015 at 15:27

    Seems to me 2015 is getting off to a slow start; Dying Light has mixed reviews; Evolve = mixed reviews; etc. By now into this generation we should be having some absolute stonkers and instead in last year or so Dragon Age Inquisition is probably one of the highlights (haven’t played it myself but many seem to like it).

    Developers need to start pulling out the stops as gamers will become where I am now – disillusioned in this hobby. Between poorly executed games, downright broken games, DLC/microtransactions, online always, etc there will come a backlash.

    So word to the wise – the very people that made you, can break you dear MS, Sony, Activision, EA, etc etc etc.

    So to quote a member of this here community – “don’t support” any more broken promises. Go play your backlog. The future is coming ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply

    • Jonah Cash

      February 12, 2015 at 15:30

      If The Order is shit I am quitting till Uncharted 4, and if that is shit then I perma quit!!!

      Reply

    • J_Joestar

      February 12, 2015 at 18:07

      well there is another Monsters + Hunters game that is getting almost universally positive reviews.

      Reply

  16. Jonah Cash

    February 12, 2015 at 15:28

    I can see this hitting the second hand shelf at BT Games in a months or so’s time, will have a look at it then if I have nothing else to play!! Almost bought Sunset Overdrive second hand the other day, then I remembered that I don’t own a Bone yet… close call!!

    Reply

    • CAE9872

      February 12, 2015 at 15:29

      LOL

      Reply

  17. Brady miaau

    February 12, 2015 at 16:27

    And the supposed SP part of the review?

    Were we not told the game could be played SP?

    Reply

  18. SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

    February 12, 2015 at 16:44

    Atilla calls me home. We must raze Rome to the ground! A pox on this monster and its hunters!

    Reply

    • Brady miaau

      February 12, 2015 at 16:45

      Not so much. Rome 2 still stings a bit

      Reply

      • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

        February 12, 2015 at 16:49

        I have faith. After every Total War that burns, the salve of the next one is instantly applied. Rome II failed, so that Attila might succeed. The named titles (i.e. Napoleon) have yet to disappoint! Bring forth the almighty raze mechanic so that I can purge Rome the way they purged Carthage from the Earth!

        Edit: Totally fair to wait though. Rome 2 did a little more than just sting. It tanked so hard I cried about as hard as Leo. ๐Ÿ™

        Reply

  19. nick

    February 12, 2015 at 17:48

    it sounds very much like it should be half the price it is. if that was the case i would buy it, but as it is i won’t

    Reply

  20. Guest

    February 13, 2015 at 11:43

    Hi guys you can find cheaper Steam games on g2a u can also earn money selling games and use earned money to buy them g2a.com/r/gaming-promos hope help!

    Reply

  21. Guest

    February 15, 2015 at 12:35

    Hi guys you can find cheaper Steam games on g2a u can also earn money selling games and use earned money to buy them: g2a.com/r/store-deals hope help! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Reply

  22. Michelle

    February 16, 2015 at 10:57

    I’ll wait for a massive mark down in the months to come.
    I was skeptic on getting this cause I always wait for reviews and have learnt the hard way on pre-ordering a game(Watchdogs).

    Reply

  23. ScorpioLA

    February 17, 2015 at 01:25

    Eh she’s rather harsh in this review. Yes the random nature of the matchmaking sometimes hurts you, but its a multiplayer game. You can’t take points from a game for that. But after a round or two everyone figures out the game…alot of this seems like cherry picking annoyances rather than actual negatives. The game is incredibly well balanced and polished. I also found the evacuation mode to be very thrilling with the back and forth quality of matches…so again it seemed like she was stuck with a bad team or played the monster poorly…usually the Evacuation matches were some of the most intense.

    Reply

  24. God Hand

    February 17, 2015 at 04:12

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