It seems like only yesterday Turtle Rock unveiled the first details about Evolve through Game Informer, introducing the world to the Goliath as well as human characters Griffin, Hank, Markov, and Val. Now to build up hype for their E3 2014 showing, where it is rumored that Turtle Rock will debut a second Monster in their 4v1 multiplayer game, the developers have revealed a new location on the planet Shear and four new hunters.
The “Dam” map is an arid region of Shear topographically similar to the American Southwest. The map is centered on a hydroelectric power plant and the caves and canyons surrounding it. New wildlife, including a creature that actively preys on other animals in the region and subsequently steals the resources the monster needs to develop his abilities, ensures that the environment remains fairly hostile to both the monster and the hunters.
As previously stated, the new hunters are not simply alternate “looks” with the same equipment. Similar to what Splash Damage is doing with Dirty Bomb/Extraction, Evolve is designed to ship with four distinct classes and either two or three unique characters per class (only eight have been confirmed however some gamers speculate there could be as many as twelve at launch.) While the original four that have been plastered all over promotional material up to this point are presented as relatively balanced representatives of their respective classes, evenly split between offense and defense for new players and for when the monster manages to throw the other team a curveball, newcomers Maggie, Hyde, Bucket, and Lazarus appear to be designed for advanced players favoring an aggressive stance.
Introduced as a surprise of sorts for female gamers lamenting the fact that Val was the sole female character revealed so far (at least according to Turtle Rock’s pre-E3 interview with Gametrailers,) Maggie is a more aggressive Trapper compared to Griffin, trading his harpoon gun and sonic spikes for “harpoon traps” and her own personal hunting “dog” in the form of an alien lizard named “Daisy.” While the harpoon traps require some active thought on the player’s part for best placement, Daisy appears to require very little player involvement beyond keeping up with her once she picks up the monster’s trail.
Hyde is an Assault class like Markov. Unlike the Russian with a fairly balanced collection of weapons, this foul-mouthed, possibly Australian heavy weapons specialist brings a short-range flamethrower, an inaccurate chaingun, and poisonous gas grenades for close-quarters combat. All this with about as much charm as a soccer hooligan that just watched his favorite team win the national championship.
Bucket the British android is an offense-focused Support character, armed with a rocket launcher, deployable sentry turrets for corralling the monster into a particular area, and the ability to detach his head to turn it into a UAV to search for the monster and mark him for the rest of the team; keeping the pressure on the Monster player with his “sarcastic butler” persona.
Rounding out the group, Lazarus is a combat medic more focused on the combat side of his profession then Val. Armed with a Lazarus device that allows him to instantly revive downed players at range, he lacks any other healing abilities beyond the group burst heal all Medics share but counter-balances his lack of defensive support with a silenced sniper rifle and a personal cloak that turns him invisible. It is possible he will take a bit more getting used to for players then Val. Fortunately, these characters can all be mixed and matched as well, allowing Hunters to be any character they wish as long as there is one of each class present.
With the attention of fans properly captivated, the question remains what Turtle Rock plans to reveal on E3. Interested gamers have been inquiring about monsters other then the Goliath since the game was revealed. At the time of writing, the developers have become fairly coy regarding the topic, briefly suggesting the possibly of a more stealth or speed oriented monster during a previous interview earlier this year and playfully dodging the question since then. Whatever it is, we can only speculate until they reveal it.