Thursday 19 March 2015

Thoughts on Evolve after a month..

It's been a month since Evolve released, and I have been playing lots of it.

So what do I feel about the game, after all these weeks?

It's.. great! Everything that I felt that was good about this game, was really good.

The real fun with Hunters is when I play with friends. I haven't had the opportunity to play with a full team of Hunter friends but many times there were 3 in a team.

The communication I have when I play with people I know (or at least with people who do use the mic) is essential.

Without the communication however, all hell breaks loose. It's frustrating when a team member is fighting wildlife, when we are hot on the tracks of the Monster. And plenty of times, I really have no clue what the other guy is doing (or maybe he doesn't know what I'm doing), without the communication.

I feel that is what turned many gamers away from Evolve.

It isn't that bad actually.. The 'pinging' system is a great way to communicate for those who don't use the mic. Sometimes, all you need to do is just 'ping' the location of the Monster and the rest is mostly common sense.

Unfortunately, that isn't always enough. But.. it isn't a problem with Evolve only, to be honest. Like a lot of co-op games, the game just isn't the same without proper communication or friends.

However, if I'm playing as the Monster.. Then, I don't have these problems.

Here, it's all about me. The tension is a lot more but the wins are so much more satisfying!

This just doesn't get old. It's immensely satisfying to take the victory when it's 1v4, no matter how powerful you are.

I have already unlocked all the Hunters and the Monsters, but I'm mostly playing as Goliath when i get the Monster class.

I told you it doesn't get old.

As for the Hunters, I'm playing a mix of it right now. Hank as Support will always remain my favourite Hunter, but I have grown to enjoy all the other classes and the different Hunters. 

Progression-wise, I absolutely hate it. There are 3 tiers for each hunter to unlock, with 3 (or 4 for the monster) different skills that I need to spam to complete the progression.

To go on the to next tier, I will need to complete all of the skills progression for that tier first. 

For eg: Hank has 3 skills; Shield Projector, Orbital Barrage, Laser Cutter.. I have to complete the progession for all those 3 skills before unlocking the next tier.

So lets say, I have completed progression for the Shield Projector & Laser Cutter, I will still be stuck in Tier 1 until I have completed progression for Orbital Barrage.

It isn't that bad for the Hunters, especially with the Evolve Mobile App, but for the Monster, there's 4 skills and I tend to mostly put my skill points in 3 for most games. When I'm playing Goliath, I tend to use Leap Smash, Fire Breath & Charge and skip Rock Throw. 

But because of this, right now I'm stuck at Tier 2, trying to complete progression for Rock Throw which I absolutely hate. It just messes up my tried-and-tested build and at times when I feel I could have finished the game off.. I'm there throwing rocks which miss completely, because that's just not they way I play.. resulting in me screwing up and even losing!

There are ways to workaround this I suppose, like playing solo against AI but that's not what I want to play!

I guess I just have to be resigned to the fact that I really have to complete progression for all skills to attain 'Character Mastery' but that's just rubbish. I want to play as Goliath with a build that I'm confortable with, not be forced to use skills I don't like..


Ah yes, the DLC that accompanied the release of Evolve. Extremely bad timing..

Yes it was bad timing.. Was it bad DLC? No.. it was just bad timing.

Releasing that much DLC on release date unannounced was a huge surprise for gamers who thought that pre-ordering whatever edition would net them all the content available for the game. But no.. Bang! On release day, more DLC drops and all that smugness disappears in a second. 

It's just skins I thought.. Not bad DLC but redundant DLC. It wasn't going to affect gameplay in any way. But.. its just the way a lot of us gamers think..

You want the 'full experience', the sense of completion of owning everything the game has to offer.. Which is why people preorder just for that extra piece of content.. But telling people on release day itself, that whatever you paid for is just half of what Evolve has to offer, just didn't sit well with gamers..

And ultimately, that led to a lot of bad press for Evolve. I felt that a lot of people who were sitting on the fence about the game saw this bad press and decided against getting the game. 

Which was annoying! Shit! This game's good.. Yea sure, some people may not have liked it but the disgust with the DLC saga made them blast the game, when otherwise they would have not been so critical. 

If they had just postponed the DLC to maybe a couple of weeks later, people would have seen the game for what it really is and not a money-grabbing milk cow. 

The publishers argued about the value of the content, which is up to you and me to decide if it was worth it. My argument isn't about the cost of the DLC or whether it should have been included for free, but rather the timing. Day 1 DLC just doesn't go well with gamers.

What I thought about the game modes... 

To be honest, I hardly play the other game modes apart from Hunt. Which was also a huge complaint from many. I'll have to agree, the other modes just didn't weigh up but if your main mode is fun enough, why do you need more? 

Games like Dota strive on 1 game mode and I feel that Evolve is the same. Everything about Evolve is in Hunt. I have played the game over & over again and I'm still not bored of it. 

While I think the DLC was a bad move, 2K should be applauded for their willingness to allow gamers access to the game long before it was released. Evolve was available to play in so many events all over the world. Alpha & Beta access were freely given. So many publishers these days seem to be afraid of letting people try their games.

And all these turned out in their favour, Evolve was winning awards across the board. The servers were put to the test and on launch day, it went smoothly. How many games have we seen having launch issues, servers not being able to support the stress etc etc.

It's a pity that one of my most anticipated games for the year had to shoot themselves in the foot, because of the DLC saga. 

I focused a bit more on the negatives in this post because I have been raving good stuff about this game in all my previous posts, so I didn't want to repeat myself. Reading back on those posts, everything good I have said about Evolve is still relevant so do check those out to see why I think this game's awesome..

Looking forward to Evolve

Thoughts from the Closed Beta
Thoughts from Big Alpha (Part 2)
Thoughts from Big Alpha (Part 1)
Preview Session in Singapore (Part 2)
Preview Session in Singapore (Part 1)

I'm thoroughly enjoying the game, and one of the reasons why it took so long to come up with this post was because I just wanted to keep playing the game. I urge everyone who skipped this game, because of what they have read, to reconsider. Check out the gameplay that I'll be putting up soon and hopefully you will give it 1 more try..