Wednesday 21 January 2015

Thoughts & Experiences on Evolve Closed Beta

Or should I say Closed Technical Test..

While the PC and XBox One tests were called Beta Tests.. the PS4 Test was weirdly named a 'Technical Test'.

The 'Technical Test' had a little less content than the other platforms but I suspect there is more to that. Screw you Microsoft!

I played alone on Sunday night, trying to get more hands-on with the Monster, especially Goliath.

Thankfully I haven't lost my touch since the Big Alpha. Used the same tactics to good effect, though I got lucky in 1 of the matches when I finished off the 4th Hunter by luck. Went for a Leap Smash on some Wildlife with the last Hunter surprisingly cloaked just nearby, Got a victory screen when I was expecting some food!

Played a bit of the Support & Medic class as well, though I need to get used to aiming with the Sniper rifle and Tranquilizer. It's easy to heal or shield an ally by aiming in his general direction but extremely tough to hit a rampaging Monster.

I didn't notice any difference since the last test, gameplay-wise. It was a pity that they blocked the PS4 recording feature however. Would have liked to share some gameplay videos with you guys but oh well.

Monday night, I managed to get a few friends to join me and test out the party system. According to them, the PC version had no problems with playing in a party but based on our experience, the PS4 still had problems with playing in a party. Therefore, the reason why it was called a 'Technical Test'?

If we join a party and search for a game, it was almost impossible to find a game.
So, what we did was to search for a game individually and then invite friends in.

Defeats the purpose of playing in a party, but I guess it would be fixed before the game releases.

One of the games matched me up as Goliath while my 2 other friends were using the Support & Medic classes. This was what Evolve was all about. Having your friends up against you, while in a PSN Party chat, can be stressful but at the same a whole lot of fun.

Tried to do the nice thing by not attacking them first but they wouldn't stop healing or shielding my other targets. The hunters were also constantly on my trails and it wasn't easy shaking them off. Managed to squeeze in to Stage 2 before being caught again. Things weren't going too well and I needed to get away. This is when one of the disadvantages of not having communication with your team came into play.

The Trapper deployed his dome trap but I managed to avoid it. So, with the rest of the hunters calling out to him to take down the dome, he didn't take it down fast enough and I had ample time to get away and regen a lot of my armour. That was the break I needed! With more than enough armour and enough feeding, I was almost ready to evolve to Stage 3 but not just yet. This time, I went for the Hunters, did plenty of damage and retreated to evolve.

They caught up with me just as I was finishing my evolve process but no matter. It was time to bring down the house. Had to go for my 2 friends first. The Hunters put up a good fight and my 2 friends were annoying with their healing and shield but the Goliath's Stage 3 was just too strong. Build Strategy working good so far.

The rest of the games were co-op as Hunters. Louis, Leon & myself have been playing together over the 2 Tests and I can say we aren't too bad together. I'm pretty sure we can take down some formidable Monster players. 

Akilen joined us for the last 2 games, one of which was against the Kraken. We won but I really need more game time against the Kraken. It's a totally different challenge against the Kraken when it's flying all over the place. Only had a few games against the Kraken so far so hopefully will learn I'll get used to him soon.

I have been intentionally avoiding playing the other classes for a reason. When the game releases, I don't want to feel like I have played most of what this game has to offer. There has to be enough elements in the game to explore to keep it fresh, considering I have played quite a lot of tests and demos.

Barely played the other Assault & Trapper classes, and the 2nd & 3rd set of Hunters and Monsters. Never touched the other game modes as well, so the game should have enough to make me feel like I'm trying it for the first time.

The game looks all set to go, on Feb 10. Apart from a few issues, like random badges appearing next to your name in the lobby and the above-mentioned party matchmaking, it looks all ready. Servers seem stable and I didn't experience any disconnects during the game. 

However, I noticed quite a number of games starting with bots and then filled with players later. I definitely don't want to be playing against or with bots.. though this might be a problem with people quitting rather than a server issue.

So, if they fix these little issues, we should have a smooth start on launch day, come Feb 10.