Evolve – Review
Follow Genre: Asymmetrical FPS
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Tested on: PlayStation 4

Evolve – Review

Site Score
Good: interesting gameplay, solid atmosphere, variety
Bad: not enough endgame
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Evolve launched a while back surrounded by controversy about the amount of day one paid-for DLC and overpowered pre-purchase only monster. Regardless of using the same business practices used by EA, Evolve manages to deliver a new experience, setting itself apart from the pack with interesting asymmetric dynamics.



Evolve is set on a strange planet called Shear, telling the story of humanity colonizing far-away parts of the galaxy and encountering strange and powerful alien wildlife. When said wildlife turns out to be more of a threat than originally thought, an evacuation is started. In the game, you will take on the role of either the monster fighting to protect its natural habitat, or a squad of hunters hired to defend the civilians while the evacuation is underway.

Don’t expect riveting story telling though, there is some, but it’s only there to set the right mood. That being said, there definitely is some short but pretty hilarious dialogue. Although the hunters are pretty over-the-top stereotypical, they look and play very different, giving the player the right incentive to unlock them all opposed to just having reskinned versions of the same character.



Evolve isn’t the absolute pinnacle of graphical fidelity, but it definitely does look nice. What it lacks in graphics is more than made up for in character and world design though, the monsters are original and different from each other, with all body parts and animations looking believable. Which goes for the maps as well, they all feel very alien but yet realistic, with the untamed flora and fauna in sharp contrast with the man-made structures. Shear is populated with all kinds of wild animals and plants making it feel very much alive. Although maps are varied in layout, they all look quite alike, although the one notable exception to that might be a certain map called ‘Aviary’, where a giant birdcage that reminds of the iconic Jurassic Park scene dominates the view.


Except for the occasional one-liner from the hunters, you’ll be mostly listening to environmental noises. Especially in the later stages of a game, the monster’s stomping around becomes an important cue in the hunt, as well as birds upset by it. The ambient music is atmospheric with plenty of bass, but not particularly impressive.



Evolve is an asymmetrical first-person shooter in which a team of four hunters will combat one monster in a variety of game modes. The hunters must try and survive Shear’s monsters while fulfilling objectives, while the monster must eat as much wildlife as quick as possible to become more powerful by evolving to stage 3. This way the monster can unlock skills depending on the type of monster you’re playing by allocating skill points, which mainly focus on utter destruction. The hunter equipment is pretty varied, and not just different ratios of damage vs recoil and such.

Every team of hunters consists of four specialized classes, each one vital for a successful mission. The default medic is responsible for healing the team, drugging the monster and piercing it’s armor, support can shield teammates or call in orbital barrages for extensive damage. The trapper can put down an arena and lay down harpoon traps to stop the monster from escaping and track it with her pet Daisy. The last class, Assault, is responsible for bringing the monster’s health down. But unlocking the next character from a class will totally switch it up, with the next support character for instance being a robot able to launch its own head as a UAV to track down the monster, as well as launch five automatic turrets. As a hunter, you can be downed just two times by the monster or Shear’s wildlife before being out of the game. Every time you get downed will result in a permanent health debuff and will require either your teammates reviving you or respawning by dropship which takes two whole minutes. Big walls can be climbed or jumped on/over by using the X button, which is limited to three successive jumps for the monster, or until the jetpack meter runs out for the hunters, which both recharge over time.


Over the course of a game, hunters and monster alike can encounter rare albino versions of creatures which will drop a significant random buff when killed. The dynamic of a monster starting out weak and growing progressively stronger works quite well, keeping it interesting for both sides. As a hunter, you follow the monster’s tracks or Daisy, while keeping an eye out for environmental cues like disturbed birds to track down and damage or kill the monster early while it’s still weak. Meanwhile the monster tries to outrun the hunters, not giving away its position and eating as much as quickly as possible. Sadly this doesn’t always work in multiplayer, where any weak hunter will result in an easy match for the monster, and the other way around, a weak monster will be caught and killed early, resulting in a short and not very fulfilling match.

A variety of game modes is available, with the first and most common being ‘Hunt’, where the hunters must kill the monster while the monster tries to kill all hunters or reach stage 3 and destroy a relay to win the game. Then there’s ‘Nest’ in which the monster must protect a number of eggs while the hunters try to destroy them. There’s ‘Rescue’ which revolves around civilians that need to be found, revived and evacuated by the hunters, and ‘Defend’, a mode in which hunters must protect power generators from the monster and it’s minions. Evacuation mode consists of five stages of varying maps and aforementioned modes, made interesting by giving the winning side of a stage an advantage in the next one, e.g. a ship circling above the map showing the monster’s location, or more abundant wildlife for the monster to feed on.


The controls take some getting used to, as the four abilities for the monster and items for the hunters are mapped to L1, R1, square and triangle. This goes for the jetpack as well, as in many instances of close combat you’ll want to fly in the air while shooting, but doing this involves pressing both the X button to maintain altitude and using the right joystick to aim. Long loading times seem to be another minor annoyance mostly exclusive to the console version.

Singleplayer is exactly the same as multiplayer, with the exception of having AI controlled teammates instead of real people. Surprisingly enough the AI does a very decent job, to the point of some people saying it’s too effective. When playing solo, or if someone in your online match drops out, you can take over their character with the arrow keys, and achievements and unlocks are shared between multiplayer and singleplayer.



Evolve manages to set itself apart in a saturated market with refreshing mechanics and a good variety of roles to play. While quality of the graphics in itself isn’t that impressive, it manages to convey an ever-changing hunter-prey dynamic very well, across interesting albeit slightly repetitive maps. The ability to enjoy every aspect of the game on-line as well as alone with more than decent AI is certainly another plus. Story isn’t much more than just providing some backdrop to the great atmosphere, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although it is a very enjoyable experience, levelling up and unlocking things is pretty easy, with not much else except some cosmetic badges left as incentive for playing more after that. Online experience is very much dependent on other people possibly resulting in the occasional unsatisfying easy win or frustrating inevitable loss.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Evolve - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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