Evolve ALPHA Review

Evolve-logo

So I recently got this fancy new alpha key for this fancy new game called Evolve, so I decided to give it a whirl. Here’s my only-one-hour-in thoughts on the game. OK, so it’s not a full review yet, but I like to save those for fully released games anyways.

The game looks so fucking beautiful. I wish I could have sex with the game, when the textures decide to pop in, that is. Yes, this game has a wee bit of optimization issues, and everything is… well, how do I put it? Everything is really shiny. Really shiny. Like that early 2010 era “hd” graphics that was the step up from brown-n-grey: loadsa bloom template everyone had. OK, maybe I don’t want to have sex with the graphics, just some light fondling ending with some cuddling.

Onto the game part of the game. First, a big disclosure:

THIS GAME HAS A CROSS-MATCH LEVEL UP SYSTEM!

Now, I haven’t played the monstah, but I do know that the hunters all have upgrades they can get, which irks me to no end. The support, my class of choice, has 2 characters. One is a bearded Duck Dynasty reject, and the other is a robot. They both have different skills and different stats, but I think the robot would suit me better. But guess what, I can’t use it! I have to grind for a couple hours to unlock that yellow bastard. As soon as I got in the game, and I saw that mythical “customize” button, my hopes got raised. Maybe we could change our characters right off the bat, but no. We gotta play for hundreds of hours to even begin to see all of the choices.

What does that accomplish? I’ve asked this of many games before, and I still can’t figure it out. I know that RPG mechanics are in every single-player game now-a-days (even, sadly, the roguelike genre), but that shouldn’t be in the multiplayer games. Look at 2 of my favourite online games, DOTA2 and Counter-Strike. None of those have any of that shit that’s in these newer games. Having that time sink does nothing for the actual gameplay, it just artificially extends the gametime. But to what end? It’s not like you are ever going to “beat” a multiplayer only game. The replayability comes in the challenge from fighting real people and developing your own personal skills.

This is the same problem I had with Minimum, and is probably going to be a reason why I don’t purchase Evolve. Having this sort of level up mechanic isn’t just lazy, it tells me that the designers are not confident with their product. Disregarding any implications for the competitive side of a game, if a designer implements something like this, they are hoping the allure of rising numbers will be a hook for the players, not the game content itself. I get that for MMORPGs like WoW, where that is the whole drive of the genre, but something like Evolve is not like WoW.  Evolve is an instanced game where the results of one game do not affect the outcome of another. There is something pure about just playing a game for the sake of playing the game, not trying to “work” towards a specific goal.

But hey, that’s just me. I’m sure I’m just a freak that prefers gameplay over mindless grinding.

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