Feb 13 2014 5:00pm

Gaming Roundup: The Creators of Left 4 Dead Take an Evolutionary Multiplayer Leap


The original Left 4 Dead brought us murderous zombie multiplayer mayhem polished to a sheen and on a scale gamers had never before experienced. The simple premise of a team-based survival horror game jam-packed with so many zombies that even Serious Sam sat up and took notice had a universal and lasting appeal—one that led to an equally successful sequel and whispers of a third game in-development over at Valve. How could Turtle Rock Studios, the creators of Left 4 Dead, possibly follow up their own act? Let’s take a look at Evolve.

Evolve doesn’t stray far from its developer’s co-op gaming roots, but it builds on them in significant ways. Turtle Rock’s sci-fi multiplayer shooter finds a team of four alien hunters dropshipped onto a planet. Their only goal: to survive and take down a giant, powerful alien monster who is also player-controlled. Each hunter is a different class, and offers up different skills that complement those of their team members. In order for the hunters to have any shot at taking down the monster, they’ll have to function seamlessly as a team, with each member knowing when and where to situationally use their particular skill.

The four hunter classes include Assault, Medic, Support, and Trapper. Each class plays differently from a strategic perspective and will present new depth to your gameplay style as you play each one. Assaults carry the big guns, but Supports are no offensive slouch and additionally offer shielding abilities, while Medics heal teammates and slow the beast down with tranq darts and Trappers snare a target for a certain amount of time, allowing the team to deal some heavy damage.

Meanwhile, playing as the monster gives you access to a metric ton of hit points and special abilities, including (in the case of the first monster debuted in the trailer above, named Goliath) throwing boulders, breathing fire, and charging at or performing a leap attack on your opponents. While it may seem unfair to be outnumbered 4 to 1, the monster also has the ability to level up, or evolve, so to speak, by capturing and devouring other wildlife he encounters in the level. Accordingly, the longer the match goes on, the more it swings in the monster’s favor, while it’s generally in the best interest of the hunters to end things as quickly as possible.

We’re looking forward to getting our hands on Evolve as soon as possible, but it sounds like we’ll have to at least wait until this fall, at which point the game launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

In other gaming news this week, release your inner goat, speculate on the death of Xbox, spend your Valentine’s Day gaming, and more. Read on!

  • If you’ve ever wanted to wantonly run around as a goat and “ruin parties and trash houses”, well, Goat Simulator (coming this spring to PCs via Steam for $9.99) is your kind of game.

  • The Thief reboot is coming soon, and Looking Glass Studios is amping up their media release. This week, we meet the Thief Taker General, who isn’t terribly keen on Garrett traipsing around the city.

  • Could Microsoft really be contemplating killing the Xbox? According to the Washington Post, a couple of influential shareholders are hoping so. Something to keep an eye on...
  • Warner Bros. doesn’t seem to be particulary concerned with maintaining a good relationship with their fanbase. Their latest Batman offering, Arkham Origins, suffers from some game-breaking bugs that have actively been preventing some players from completing the game, but according to their community manager, no patches are in the pipeline.
  • Rockstar wants you to spend your Valentine’s Day in Los Santos, and plan to encourage you to do so by releasing a Valentine’s Day Massacre Special free update for GTA Online.
  • Speaking of Valentine’s Day gaming (and judge not, because this is how us humble bloggers plan to spend Feb 14), remember that the hotly anticipated single player DLC for The Last of Us, titled Left Behind, launches this Friday as well. If you’ve been itching to revisit the game’s ruined America or shiv a few Infected, be sure to pull this down.

If there are games you’d like us to cover or other angles you want us to examine, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

Chris Nelly
1. Aeryl

OMG, this is honestly one of the BEST ACs, story wise. It ranks right up there with Brotherhood(my fave after 2).

It begins 15 years after Adewale and Edward Kenway part on Great Inagua. He is shipwrecked off the coast of Haiti, and steps straight into the Maroon revolution that leads to the founding of the Republic of Haiti.

Because Adewale is a former slave on a slave island of the edge of
revolt, the guards are ALWAYS aware of him, which limits his actions
considerably. He cannot openly carry weaponry, so he only has a
machete, his assassin blades, a blow pipe, rope darts, and later a
blunderbuss. If you never used the rope dart much during combat in AC3 or AC4, you WILL use it now, it's just too damn useful.

Free running and combat are pretty much the same, but the game highly prizes stealth. As you go on missions to free slaves and strengthen the resistance, discovery will cause the overseers to begin killing slaves.

For once, I have no qualms about the indiscriminate killing of poor saps walking around doing their jobs, because they are all slavers*. The
sailing aspects of the game aren't as in depth as AC4, the map is fairly
small and not as detailed, but there are still things to do, plantations to liberate and slave ships to hijack.

*My partner asked how come I wasn't allowing people to join me, like
Edward did(you still can, btw, I just wasn't), and I told him that I
didn't have no time for white people. The racial politics in this game
are not joking.

Reposted from the last GR
Chris Nelly
2. Aeryl
Bing as a search engine sucks, but I use it for the free Microsoft money I used on XBox Live, so I hope it stays.

Everything I've seen about Windows 8 needs to be killed with fire, so dumping Surface probably wouldn't hurt. I still haven't bought a new laptop after my last took a dump because I am refusing to use 8. It's so stupid and counterintuitive. 7 was nearly perfect, I cannot for the life of me understand why they screwed that up

And well, I'm a die hard Xbox fan, but the roll out of the XBone sucked, so I can see why they feel that way.
Eric Saveau
3. Eric Saveau
@Aeryl - "Everything I've seen about Windows 8 needs to be killed with fire,"

I agree with you about Windows 7; it was everything I ever wanted a Microsoft operating system to be. Windows 8 actually has some substantial improvements under the hood - but they're all under the hood. Safely assuming that your complaints have to do with the "Metro" interface, I have simple and effective solutions.

I use a nifty little program called Classic Shell. It's a free utility that gives you a normal start menu (in the style of Windows 200, Windows XP, or Windows 7; your choice) and will boot you directly into the desktop and allow you to shut down from the Start button. Once you change the file associations to use desktop programs rather than Metro apps, you can use a Windows 8 computer exactly as if it were a Windows 7 machine with a slightly different desktop theme and a much faster boot time. Classic Shell is a very widely used and highly regard program. My gaming laptop runs Windows 8, and after I decided I was done trying to accomodate the Metro interface I installed Classic Shell and never looked back. Happy as a tribble in grain silo.

Clasic Shell is trivial to configure is you are any sort of power user, but some prefer even more simplicity. In that case, the respected publisher and developer Stardock has a nifty little program to sell called Start8. It's only five bucks, does all the important things that Classic Shell does but it's even easier to configure and a tad more slick in its presentation. I know several people who use this and love it.

There's another program called ClassicStart8 that I have heard works effectively and is also a free program like Classic Shell, but I don't personally know anyone who uses it so I only have third hand info. Based on roundups on other websites it seems to work the way people want without causing trouble.

So, there's no need to avoid a new Windows 8 machine. With a quick download and a few mouse clicks you can make it work like a Windows 7 machine.
Pritpaul Bains
4. Kickpuncher
@Aeryl - Thanks for your thoughts on Freedom Cry! Sounds like a game that'd be right up my alley if I can get back in gear with AC IV again. Adwale's one of my favorite characters so far and I love games with a stealth-based focus.

I'm halfway through the Left Behind DLC for The Last of Us so that'll probably take me through tonight. I think I need to institute a "What are you playing right now?" section into the GR going forward. Love hearing what everyone's getting into.

MS seems to get it right on every other iteration of Windows, for whatever reason. I've got a download key for Windows 8 that I picked up cheap during their "Upgrade from 7" promotion over a year ago that I've never put to use. Just had zero reason/desire to switch, but got it beause I figure I should keep abreast of things. Maybe on a secondary computer... someday. With the UI changes Eric Saveau noted.

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