As a big fan of the Left 4 Dead series, I was very happy to hear about the pending game Evolve as the years of waiting for more Left 4 Dead have become frustrating.
The game has four players each playing an assigned class, Medic, Trapper, Assault, and Support. There was the possibilities of more classes teased, but for our gameplay session, we were assigned one of the four classes and given a wristband to assign us to our play groups.
Naturally one player would have to be the creature so after seeing an introduction video, we were taken out to the floor and in the shadow of a very large statue of the creature, we would get our first chance at the game. The evolution stage known as the Kracken was what was being featured as we were told that should the creature evolve to that level, ranged attacks and flight would be common and that we needed to work with each other in our assigned roles in order to survive.
Playing as the Trapper I dropped into the combat zone and following our tracker pet Daisy, we made our way through the dense and dangerous animals and plants of the planet. We had a guide tell us via headset to watch for birds as flying creatures who have been startled are often a good indicator of the creature as are the telltale tracks the creature leaves.
As we searched we were updated that the creature had evolved to level 2 prior to our encounter. When we located the creature I was required to throw a device that trapped the creature in an area via a force field. This allowed the other players to attack the creature and prevent it from running away. The amount of damage the creature takes is staggering and when I accidentally hot a controlled that disabled the force field, I had to wait for it to recharge which allowed the creature to attack us and do tons of damage.
The medic was the one best suited to revive and some who died found themselves out of luck, but thankfully Daisy came to our aid and saved the last of our party. Like Left 4 Dead, ding players are on the floor and able to use a pistol as they wait for revival.
Once our group recovered, we were told that the creature had evolved to stage 3 and would be attacking a reactor which game us added incentive.
This time upon locating the creature we acted line a well tuned unit and I deployed the harpoon traps which fired into the creature and helped restrain it while I was able to unload on it with my weapon while the rest of the team did the same.
We were told that we were doing well as the creature had run out of armor and we continued to press home our advantage.
Sadly the creature regrouped amazingly fast and in a well planned attack was able to take out our entire team in one well planned attack.
While our time was limited, I must say that Evolve made a real impression on me and was one of the best looking and most enjoyable games I saw. The graphics were solid and the gameplay was very enjoyable. I do wonder how the game will play out over time as I wondered if all we do is hunt the creature how much replay will the game have when players becomes skilled in taking down the creature as it seems as if the challenge will depend upon being able to find a player who can play as a challenging creature.
We were told that new creatures would be announced soon so obviously this is something the developers have thought about and are committed to making Evolve a great looking and playing game that is worthy of the legacy of Left 4 Dead and also allows a new level of cooperative play and I look forward to seeing the final game.