Monster and human hunting game Evolve is starting to look like one of 2014’s most interesting titles. In attempt to remove some of the mystery haze surrounding the game/pump up the hype train, the artists from developer Turtle Rock took to Reddit to conduct an Ask Me Anything.
Revealed were a small but tantalising collection of factoids, detailing why the CryEngine was the tool of choice for the game’s designers, and the kind of content that’s being piled in to ensure a heavy amount of replayability.
The CryEngine is well known for it’s stunningly beautiful vistas, but aesthetics wasn’t the core decision behind using it for Evolve. “The design of Evolve requires a lot of places to skulk and hide,” explained the team. “Best place for that is in a big alien wilderness. CryEngine is really great with environments with lots of vegetation. Simple as that.” Looks like we’ll be hiding in bushes and jumping out screaming “RAAGGHHRR!” a lot.
Whilst you’re out in the wilderness playing as the monster, you’ll need to be constantly guzzling down wildlife in order to evolve into stronger forms. One Redditer was concerned that areas would be depleted of food for the monster before they had a chance to evolve. Turtle Rock assured them that this wouldn’t be the case, but don’t expect animals to parade themselves at dinner time: “A big part of the game is hunting and eating wildlife, there will always be enough food for the Monster, though it won't always be served up on a silver platter.”
You’ll have to find and dine on that wildlife with haste though, as the average match should only last around 10-15 minutes. Each map is generally half a kilometer in length, but whilst there may not be a massive amount of terrain as the crow flies, the amount of vegetation will no doubt make these dense and interesting arenas.
Left 4 Dead still has a massive following on Steam, and Turtle Rock are looking to replicate a similar kind of long-running success. In order to keep Evolve as replayable as possible, a procedural system like Valve’s AI Director has been used. “Much like L4D, we have a lot of procedural systems that make it so that every match isn't the same. Combine the procedural systems with multiple maps, multiple hunters, multiple monsters, multiple wildlife species...you end up with a game with a crap load of diversity. Years later people are still playing a lot of L4D, and straight out of the box Evolve will have A LOT more content than L4D shipped with...pile on some great post launch support and content...we feel like we're making something people will be playing for a long time to come.”
Also like Left 4 Dead, each of Evolve’s human hunter characters will have a history. There may not be a detailed cinematic campaign to reveal their past lives in, but a bit of battle chatter will gradual reveal their stories: “Every hunter has a back story. You'll get to know the characters just by playing the game and listening to what they say.”
Evolve will release later this year. Our Steve got to take one of the beasts for a test-drive, and found it a deeply tactical experience.