Left 4 Dead launched just over six years ago, but the impact it had on the gaming landscape can still be felt today. Developer Turtle Rock Studios delivered a new standard for co-op multiplayer done right, but are now looking to push the envelope further with their next IP.
Enter Evolve—a multiplayer shooter still involving a team of four taking on monsters, but of a very different nature than L4D’s swarming zombie packs. Evolve works off of a 4 vs 1 concept, in which four hunters take on one very large, very powerful, and very angry monster. Unbalanced multiplayer is a tricky thing to pull off, but early indications suggest that Turtle Rock succeeded.
We last played Evolve at SDCC 2014, and while some aspects of gameplay and balance have changed, the fundamentals remain the same. A team of four hunters (composed of one member each of four different classes—medic, assault, support, and trapper) lands on a planet to sweep the terrain and clear it of any potential hazards to human operations, while a team of one (the monster) stands its ground against this encroachment, looking to demolish both the hunters and the sites they were sent to protect.
There are now a few different types hunters available to choose from in each class, and each hunter contains gear and weaponry both suited to their class but also to their individual style of dealing with monsters. For example, one medic might carry a healing ray and a tranquilizer gun to slow down the monster, while another might carry a short-range resurrection device and a grenade launcher. This kind of flexibility within classes ensures that those forced to play outside of their usual classes will still be able to choose a playstyle that suits them.
The monster class features fewer options, but no less diversity in style. Whether gamers choose the fire-breathing, hard charging Goliath, the airborne, tentacular Kraken, the stealthy, teleporting Wraith, or the slow, smashmouth Behemoth, there should be enough variety available (and more, no doubt, coming down the DLC pipeline) to keep the game fresh for months to come.
Evolve launches on February 10 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
In other gaming news this week, Kingdom Hearts 3 may launch this year, Nintendo launches new hardware, and the Writers Guild of America looks at the best of video game writing in 2014. Read on!
- Commander Shepard was a woman from the start. No wonder FemShep was so fun to play.
- Mortal Kombat X’s new gameplay trailer looks… well, it looks goretastic, but also very impressive. Goro!
- Nintendo’s new 3DS XL hits the US market on Feb 13. In other news, Nintendo has really been on a cold streak lately when it comes to naming their hardware.
- Goofy’s voice actor, Bill Farmer, may have accidentally leaked some huge news with respect to Kingdom Hearts 3. According to Farmer, Square Enix’s hotly anticipated game is due out this year. As Keanu would say, whoa.
- The first trailer for Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect hit last week, and show creator Kurt Sutter seems… excited.
- There’s now a Princess Bride iOS game! But… it apparently sucks.
- The list of nominees for best video game writing of 2014 as chosen by the Writers Guild of America is highlighted by The Last of Us: Left Behind (which gets our vote), Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry (a close second), Alien: Isolation (a bit of an odd choice), and Assassin’s Creed Unity (ummm… why?).
- According to Naughty Dog, any work on The Last of Us sequel is on hold until Uncharted 4 is out the door. No big surprise there, and we’re looking forward to both.
- The Order: 1886 channels a little Nightmare on Elm Street in its latest trailer.
- Finally, Assassin’s Creed Unity’s first DLC, Dead Kings, appears to be as uninspired as the game itself.