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Evolve or die: ‘Turtle Rock Studios’ announces new IP

Is this a video game or a summer blockbuster?
Is this a video game or a summer blockbuster?

Evolve, developed by Turtle Rock Studios and published by 2k Games, is available for preorder. You may not know why you should be interested or even what Evolve is unless you have a subscription to Game Informer but Turtle Rock’s next game is still available for preorder. Commentary about preorders and exclusivity agreements in the modern video game industry aside, just what is Evolve anyway?

Evolve is the current name for the latest project from the people behind Counterstrike and the original Left 4 Dead, a 4v1 cooperative FPS set on the sci-fi world of Shear. Similar to a formula being experimented with by a few promising independent titles on Steam Greenlight, Evolve is a multiplayer game consisting of five players; four players taking on the roles of four human hunters that must stick together to survive while the fifth player takes the role of an alien “monster” that tries to slowly pick them off one by one. The alien monster starts out weak but gradually grows more powerful over the course of the match. Meanwhile the humans start out fairly powerful but gradually lose their edge the longer a session goes on.

At present, the developers have revealed one gameplay mode and one monster before implying that there will be more of both as well as several hunters per class (implying a class system similar to Splash Damage’s Extraction, where there are only four character classes but dozens of characters with their own spin on those four classes.) Gameinformer also revealed the four Hunter classes (Medic, Support, Assault, and Trapper,) however, at the time of writing, only the Assault class has been described in any depth. Of what has been officially announced on the monster’s side, the Goliath is an enormous brute that invokes memories of the Tank super-zombie from Left 4 Dead… if the Tank had the ability to breath fire in addition to the usual strength-based attacks that is. “Hunt” is the core game mode and sounds similar to L4D’s versus mode, where two teams of players alternated between playing as the survivors and a troop of the game’s super zombies. Other modes exist and allegedly build upon the mechanics defined in “Hunt” but nothing concrete has been formally released at the time of writing.

At present, the assault class has been revealed in depth with the support, medic, and trapper classes promised over the next couple days. Markov, the one-eyed cyborg with the tesla-coil backpack seen in the promotional art, is revealed to be the “iconic” Assault Hunter, the character in his respective class that is supposed to be the easiest to pick up and play. For fans of first-person shooters, Markov’s role needs no real introduction. Equipped with a lighting gun, arc mines, an assault rifle, and a class-standard energy shield, he is a short to mid-range combatant designed to take and deal the majority of the team’s damage. While a considerable threat on his own, Markov is not designed to last very long as a lone gunman and reportedly functions best when working closely with the rest of his team.

For further information, be sure to check the game’s official website as well as Gameinformer’s month-long coverage of Evolve here. While it’s too early to tell if Turtle Rock is justified in thinking they have another hit on their hands, gamers will know for sure when Evolve releases sometime later this year for PC, PS4, and the Xbox One. If gamers are lucky, then perhaps Evolve will be the game Aliens: Colonial Marines should have been and help spawn a new trend in first person shooters much as Left 4 Dead started much of the zombie craze of the last decade.