Tuesday 19 August 2014

Evolve Preview Event Round 2 - Part 1

What awesome luck! I managed to win a contest to preview Evolve again at the 2K Asia's office in Singapore.

Why am I so greedy? Because this time, attendees will get the preview the 2nd set of Hunters against the Kraken!

Here's my posts about my first preview where I got to play the 1st set of Hunters and Goliath..
Evolve Preview Event Round 1 Part 1
Evolve Preview Event Round 1 Part 2

My 2 friends, Jerome and Abhi also came and I brought a new friend, Louis, to check out the game. (Gotta bring new friends.. to give 2K more reasons to keep choosing me.. lol!)

Started the session with the introduction, afterwhich we were ushered into the game rooms. We got to try the new hunters first. After my disaster the last time round with the X-Box controller, I decided to go with the mouse and keyboard.

For this post, I'll give you a feel of how it was playing as the new hunters, their skills and how it compared to the first round of Hunters. Finally, Ill close with which Hunter I prefer from each class.

First round, I played as Lazarus, the new Medic.

Just like Val, the first Medic.. Lazarus is equipped with the Healing Burst. Just use the Healing Burst near allies and they recover lost health. 

However, Lazarus doesn't always need to be at the back, looking for allies to heal. Instead, you can do quite a bit of damage with the Silenced Sniper Rifle. Hit the Monster and  you can track it, allowing your allies to see where the Monster's position is.

And there's a reason why he is awesomely named.. Lazarus. While the other hunters will need to revive a 'downed' hunter within a period of time, Lazarus can equip his Lazarus Device to resurrect dead hunters. So, if you fail to revive an ally before he 'bleeds out', there is still a short period of time, after an ally dies, where Lazarus can resurrect him/her and it doesn't count as a 'strike'. As 3 strikes/deaths will take you out of the game. 

Finally, he has his own Personal Cloak. Super awesome to hide or to resurrect your fallen ally while under the effects of the cloak.

With these abilities, I feel that he is very, very crucial to the team. The guys at 2K also kept stressing that as a Monster, we would want to take Lazarus out first.

In comparison to Val, I feel that this new iteration of the Medic Class is more offensive. You won't need to be on the constant lookout for allies to heal and can focus more on doing damage.

My Preference: Lazarus - A very close fight between the two but I just like the offensive very slightly better than having to run around healing my allies most of the time. Besides why would I need to heal when I can just resurrect?

When I played as Lazarus, the team consisted of two 2K staff, Louis and me. With the 2 experienced guys.. I got my first Evolve match win! Chris, one of the staff whom I have regularly met on my visits, has been giving me stick for it. As soon as I met him, he was like, "Hopefully you get a win today". 

So, yea.. First win, baby!!

Next up, I tried the new Assault Class, Hyde.

At medium-long range, he has the MiniGun to do lots of damage but it's up close where he is awesome. Armed with a Flamethrower, I just burned the Monster's health away.

The Personal Shield is the unique skill for the Assault Class and using it together with the Flamethrower can really piss off whoever's playing as the Monster.

Hyde isn't all run and gun though. He also has the Toxic Grenade which can be used very tactically. Basically, it's a grenade that releases toxic gas.. How and when to use it? That, I'll leave it to you. I'd like to think that I have some tricks up my sleeves from my early experiences..

I can't really compare between the 2 Assault Classes as I didn't get to play as Markov, the last time round. Skills are very similar with the only significant difference is where Markov has mines while Hyde has grenades.

My Preference - Hyde. A little biased here but I had lots of fun playing as Hyde. He was a blast!  He felt really powerful as I bombarded the Monster from all angles. Will have to work on keeping him alive though.

Lost this match but Abhi and Jerome just joined us. Guess, they needed to warm up a bit. But yes, I felt I did tons of damage with the Assault Class.

3rd round - Trapper Class, Maggie.

The highlight of Maggie is her pet, TrapJaw which is one of her skills. As soon as the game starts, you can release her pet. TrapJaw will follow the Monster's tracks and try to lead the way for the Hunters. However, TrapJaw doesn't go right up to the Monster but instead hangs around in the vicinity of the Monster. The last bit will be left to you to spot the Monster.

TrapJaw can also revive fallen allies. (However, I read on the forums where one of the developers mentioned that TrapJaw will not revive if Lazarus is in the game.) So, rather handy to have around if your allies are being kept busy.

Mobile Arena is the default skill for both Trappers; Griffin and Maggie. Great to force the fight between the Hunters and the Monster. Good use of this is key to winning the game.

While Griffin has a Harpoon Gun and has to do the aiming by himself, Maggie can lay Harpoon Traps that will immobilize the Monster. Quite an advantage, if you can strategically lay out the Harpoon Traps. Maggie will then be able to help out in the assault with her basic weapon, the Machine Pistol.

My Preference: Griffin - The Harpoon Traps do seem to be an advantage over Griffin's Harpoon Gun and the TrapJaw pet is great for hunting down the Monster. However, for some strange reason, I prefer Griffin. Something just feels good about harpooning the Monster with a gun and watch it trying to squeal it's way out.

Deploying Sound Spikes around the map to track the monster also seems to be a more 'skilled' way of doing things. I may be judging but Maggie seems to be more for newer players while Griffin is for the more experienced ones. I would prefer to do it the experienced way ;)

We lost this match again but it could have gone either way. It was down to Jerome 1-on-1 with the Monster and it only had a small fraction of his health left. Very, very close fight.

Last of the Hunters, the Support Class, Bucket.

Support is still my most favourite class and Bucket's a very interesting character. Maggie (Trapper) has a wonderful pet, TrapJaw that is very useful to hunt down the Monster but sometimes, even TrapJaw won't be able to keep up with a fast-moving Monster like the Kraken.

That's where Bucket comes in. Bucket is a robot, so he can do stuff than the other hunters can't. For example, he can remove his head that acts as a UAV and you can fly it all over the map to hunt and track the Monster. Once, you are done, you cancel and you get back control over Bucket. Very awesome stuff!

Bucket also has a Guided Missile Launcher, which you can fire from long range and guide it towards the Monster. 

Oh and Monster Players, watch out for Bucket's Sentry Guns, which can be deployed to do some pretty good damage if you are too close.

Being a Support Class, Bucket also has the default Cloaking Shield. 

I find that between the old and new classes, the Support Class is the most varied. Bucket can help a lot with tracking and defense, while Hank is more about shielding your allies as well as providing damage support.

My Preference: Hank - Deploying a floating head that acts as a UAV is fun and guiding long range missiles at the Monster is satisfying but nothing beats getting a perfect hit with Hank's Orbital Barrage. Almost, always sure to bring cheers from the rest of the team. Probably the single most powerful weapon in the game. 

His Shield Protector can also be very frustrating for the Monster, forcing it to switch targets. I chose Support as my favourite class because of my hands-on time with Hank during the previous session, and I will be sticking by him.

We won the game! Second match win, and first win without the 2K staff! The match dragged into the countdown but we had it under control. Even at Stage 3, the Monster had to run away to survive. The area around the generator was well-defended and the Monster had to come to us, with the time ticking away. Good match!

I'll continue with Part 2 about my hands-on with the Kraken, what is always great about 2K Asia, what's next for Evolve and what the others thought about the game.