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Evolve review-in-progress: The most dangerous game

Hayden Dingman | Feb. 11, 2015
Hemingway might've loved Evolve.

One of the main issues with Evolve is it takes forever to unlock new characters. You're put through a series of hoops (deal X damage with Y weapon, use Z ability V times) with each bottom-tier character before you unlock the next, and it takes altogether too long to do so.

This is aggravated by the fact that you're unlocking class-by-class, but the game won't necessarily stick you in that role each time. You basically say "I prefer to play this class" and hope the game slots you in, but if it doesn't you're stuck chipping away at a different class's unlocks instead. It took me three hours just to unlock my first new character. That's out of eight unlockable characters total, plus two monsters to unlock. That's...a long time.

It's also not very useful because it coerces you to play each class in Evolve a certain way. There were plenty of skills I found pretty useless in certain contexts — try being a Trapper in a non-Hunt match and the game telling you to "follow Daisy" even though it doesn't make sense — but found myself using just to rank up, which is frustrating. There are going to be players who never unlock all twelve characters. I'll probably be one of them.


So we come to the crux of the issue.

I'm worried Evolve is going to be this year's Titanfall. They're both multiplayer-focused shooters that have brought something new and interesting to the scene — in Titanfall's case a renewed focus on mobility and the dual mech/soldier mechanics, in Evolve the four-on-one asymmetric monster-hunting. They're both games that I was extremely excited about the first time I played.

And they're both games I got more and more bored with as time went on.

Now, that's true of all games of course. Even if you're one of those people that puts thousands of hours into League or Civilization or whatever, you've probably come across games you get bored with.

The problem with Evolve (and Titanfall) is the speed with which I got bored. The first few matches of Evolve everything seems fresh — almost overwhelming, to be honest. There are a dozen mechanics to get a handle on, and it's easy to feel lost. I've had fellow players literally apologize in the chat with, "Sorry, first time playing this character. Please don't hate me. Don't know what I'm doing."

But the game feels like a grind long before it should. The maps are gorgeous, but don't have a ton of character. No matter the setting (jungle, desert, more jungle), you're still basically running in circles — either as the monster trying to escape pursuit or as the hunters trying to track down your prey.


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