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Hunt or be hunted.
There's no denying the first-person shooter genre is beginning to get a bit stale. In an industry cluttered with Call of Duty clones and uninspired Battlefield knock-offs, there are far too many games that slap a gun on the screen and hope for the best. So why should you be excited about yet another first-person shooter in 2014? I'll tell you why. There's this game called Evolve that takes traditional FPS multiplayer and turns it on its head, melding co-operative strategy and competitive asymmetric gameplay into an experience that will have you hooked for hours on end.
Turtle Rock Studios, the team behind the highly-acclaimed co-op shooter Left 4 Dead, has managed to craft an experience unlike anything you've ever experienced before. Instead of pitting two teams against one another to see which one can rack up more kills, Evolve takes a team of four Hunters and tasks them with tracking and hunting down a massive beast known as the Goliath. Each Hunter has its own role to play, so teamwork is key if the four ever hope to take down the empowered fifth player controlling the hulking beast.
First is the Tracker, who is equipped with sound spikes and a harpoon to help locate and reel in the massive creature to allow the rest of the team to give it a healthy beating. That's where the Assault class comes in; the player in this role has a lightning gun, rifle, and mines, all of which deal massive amounts of damage to the Goliath. But what would a good offense be without a solid defense? The Support class has that covered with the ability to shield the team, cloak, and protect from stealth. Finally, there's the Medic who, equipped with a healing ray, is responsible for making sure the team stays alive. This player also has a sniper rifle with rounds that create weak points on the Goliath when contact is made with its thick exterior.
Let's not forget about that fifth player. You know, the one who's controlling the Goliath. This ferocious foe roams the map in third-person, hunting to increase its power. As the beast levels up it becomes more and more dangerous, making it especially difficult for the Hunters to take it down. When the player controlling Goliath is inevitably spotted, he or she can hurl rocks, breathe fire, and unleash a slew of devastating melee attacks on the other players.
During my time with the game, I was put in control of the Medic, the character class you may think would be the least exciting. However, I'm happy to report that sniping from a distance and healing my pals was incredibly intense and rewarding. Turtle Rock has done an excellent job at empowering each character, all while making sure there's a healthy balance between everyone in-game.
I must admit, I went into Evolve a bit skeptical, having been burned by so many uninspired multiplayer shooters lately. But instead of coming away with fears affirmed, I left pleasantly surprised. Fans of cooperative class-based gameplay will have an absolute blast here. Plus, there's always the option to mix things up and play as the Goliath, should you wish to indulge that power fantasy of yours.
Evolve is unlike any other multiplayer shooter out there and undoubtedly one fans of the genre should keep on their radar when it hits Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC this fall.