Evolve Lets You Be a Monster, Eat This Cowboy

The most creative shoot ‘em up is also a tear ‘em up.

For anyone who thinks big game hunting seems fun, but rhinoceros seem overly cuddly, there is Evolve, which might best be described as the “Most Dangerous Video Game.” The asymmetrical, four-versus-one game from Turtle Rock Studios gives gamers the unprecedented chance to be the angry hunted. A different way to think about it: The human characters brought guns to a tooth fight.

The makers of the game had their work cut out for them in the balancing the solo monster gameplay with the hunters’ team dynamic. Extensive user-testing allowed the developers to maximize the monstrous threat while also giving the homo sapiens a fighting chance. The final result of sifting through over 350,000 hours of amassed beta feedback? A game so balanced that monsters win 48.5 percent of the time (in the early stages, the number actually get’s closer to 50 percent over time). And the balancing act wasn’t done for a single monster but three different variants.

The three monster types are the Goliath, the Kraken and the Wraith and the differences between them are stark. For you Godzilla fans, the Goliath is a bruiser with flame breath and close-quartered melee attacks that make for satisfying squishes of hunters under foot. The Kraken, besides being the ugliest monster in the game, is better for ranged players who want to use the Kraken’s elemental electrical damage to destroy enemies from a distance. It’s not the balls out attack style you’d expect of a monster but Evolve aims to deliver an experience that’s more personalized. The early frontrunner for favorite monster, though, is the Wraith. Getting around the jungle environment of Evolve is a huge part of the game and the Wraith takes that to an entirely different level, literally, by being able to fly and scale the high verticals of Evolve’s levels. Couple that extreme agility with warping and bombing abilities and you’ll see why the Wraith is your entry-level horror show.

But the choice is up to you (or your opponent depending on preference). What that means is that the game is always competitive, never predictable, and sometimes terrifying. Turns out that nothing is scarier than a monster with a human brain.