Evolve’s 4v1 Trailer Turns Hunted to Wanted


As much as we enjoyed Left 4 Dead, we really weren’t sold on Turtle Rock’s new project until we watched the recent 4v1 trailer.  Don’t get me wrong.  There was never much chance of Evolve being unenjoyable overall; it just didn’t look like much fun for the player being hunted.  The original pitch sounded a lot like a schoolyard game of “keep away,” which is only considered a game by the kids doing the keeping.  It seemed like a blast for the bullies, but we could not imagine gamers lining up to play as the dweeby hyper ventilator who really needs his inhaler back.  Ultimately, we just expected one player to be upset upon the load screen and the results screen, each and every game.

We needed to see the balance in action before we could truly become invested in this type of title.  Evolve’s premise is intriguing, and it was always apparent that the hunting would be enjoyable, but that only accounts for 80% of the experience.  The other 20% of the game involves being shot at while you try to eat dinner.  If players can’t get enthusiastic about that half of the battle, the game will not be fun for anyone.  Contest demands commitment on both sides of the pitch.

The blue footprint mechanic seemed like the most ludicrously unbalanced of the game’s features, so we were excited to see it in action.  For the uninitiated, the monster is given a slight head start, and part of the challenge for the hunters is tracking him down before he becomes too strong.  They are supposed to use their abilities, in conjunction with their observations of environmental clues, to cunningly track and corner the elusive beast.  However, none of those skills are really necessary, because the monster’s footprints take the form of smoldering, bright-blue beacons, which are about as hard to spot in the dark as a mid-yawn alien from Attack the Block.  The announcer in the trailer even points this out.  When the Trapper places his sound beacon to help pinpoint the monster’s location, the announcer states that the beacon will not prove necessary, since the players can just follow the trail of Bunsen burners directly to their target.  In the video, it takes them 40 seconds and 0 abilities to catch up to the monster.  This is about the point in the video where we said, “Yeah, that’s what we thought.”



Searching for the monster in Evolve is as easy as following its prints.


However, as the video continues, the fight appears more and more balanced.  Ultimately, it does not matter how instantaneously the hunters catch up to the monster.  The beast is tanky enough to limit the impact of any one fight, and most importantly, it is mobile enough to engage or disengage at a moment’s notice.  This means that most of the meaningful fights occur on the monster’s terms.  The trapper seems to be the most useful of the hunters, since he has the power to reverse that advantage.  His mobile arena skill and harpoon can effectively shrink the size of the battlefield, allowing the hunters to control and extend encounters.

This mobile arena should definitely be considered both a gift and a curse.  The goal is to trap the monster in a box with the hunters, but all things depending, it may actually do the inverse.  Although the hunters have a 4 on 1 advantage, if any of them go down, the fights can go to Hell really quickly.  In the video, the trapper lands his harpoon and deploys the mobile arena, only to immediately step into a puddle and be eaten by a fish.  Suddenly, being trapped inside a cage with the monster is not such a promising proposition.  This is a game in which entire matches can be lost because the Trapper makes an error in judgment, or because the Medic’s pizza shows up.  If you have a toaster, you better also have thick skin.  If you like pizza, it might be time to try DiGiorno.

All in all, we are more excited about the game than we were a few weeks ago.  If the goal of the trailer was to prove the game can be a fair, fun contest, then it succeeded.  I would still rather play as a hunter, but I can see the appeal of either side.  When the game is released, we will see how the win ratios turn out.  It will not be 50/50, but it should be closer than 100/0.




Thomas Shamburger
Thomas is one of the original creators of "What's Jump?" As a lifelong gamer, writer, and comedian, his goal is to provide readers with humorous, entertaining, and thought-provoking perspectives on current gaming news and culture. His early career successes in the business world helped to pave the way for the site's launch in 2012. As the Editor in Chief of "What's Jump?" he combines his passions for gaming, writing, entrepreneurship, and comedy.
Thomas Shamburger
Thomas Shamburger

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