I grew up loving and playing football, one of the most team oriented sports there is. My coaches, my family and even to a point my teachers preached one thing: “no one is bigger than the team”. It was so engrained into me through my childhood and teenage life that it’s been a driving factor in how I live my life. So that’s most likely why I am so in love with Turtle Rock Studio’s first person shooter, monster hunting game Evolve.
I’ll admit that when it comes to gaming I tend to prefer things that are outside of the norm. In World of Warcraft I hate being DPS (a damage specific class) and yet the majority of players prefer this role. In fact I would much rather play as a tank or healer.
When playing Battlefield I tend to be more focused on the objective than achieving an eye popping kill death ratio and prioritize reviving fallen teammates over raking up kills.
I find more enjoyment in doing the little things that others succeed. More importantly I enjoy winning more than gaining personal achievements and in order for that to happen. Someone needs to be the tank or heals in a raid fort my group to take down that boss and someone has to capture and defend objectives during a conquest match in Battlefield in order to achieve victory.
Recently developers have continued to walk a fine line between, forcing gamers to be team players and allowing them to have their own fun. Most games will reward you for being a team player, but very few punish you for not. Evolve decided to throw that notion out the window and forces you to learn to work as a team and I love it or you’ll find yourself losing/dead constantly.
There is no lone wolfing in Evolve (aside from being the monster… obviously). No class or character at any point in the match can run off and take the monster down by themselves. All four members of the team are needed in order to succeed.
If one hunter goes down the monster is at a serious advantage and if your medic decides to run off and search for the monster alone and can’t quite make it to the fight, things will go very badly. In the famous words of one Jack Shephard “…if we can’t learn to live together, we’re going to die alone.” And die alone you will in Evolve if you decide you are bigger than the team. That’s the type of gameplay that excites me. It is a huge enjoyment for me to band together as a group in order to accomplish a task and not just as a group of individuals who managed to succeed.
Sure, Call of Duty has objective based game modes and Battlefield does it’s best to force the idea of team, but it is still possible and to win with a team of individuals doing their own thing. To be honest the majority of the time this is how most “objective” based game modes work in CoD and Battlefield. That doesn’t happen in Evolve.
The entire team must stick together, support one another and communicate or you will lose and unlike Call of Duty and Battlefield losing really sucks. In CoD you can go off on your own, post a good KD Ratio and lose but still feel satisfied. In Evolve if you go off on your own you’ll likely die to wildlife or find the monster and get killed and spend most of the match spectating rather than actually playing.
The game enforces this notion that no one is bigger than the team so much so that after every match the only information you are provided with is how you performed. There is no final score screen showing that maybe your Assault class did way less damage than the global average or that your healer decided not to heal at all. It’s like the game is saying did you pull your weight? Don’t worry about the others because, guess what? You lost or won as a team.
That to me is what multiplayer is all about. Banding together with others to overcome an obstacle and achieve victory and I can’t think of a game that has done that as beautifully as Evolve. Grouping with my friends or finding a group of people willing to communicate and work together to take down a monster has been the most enjoyable online multiplayer I have experienced in years.
Trust me I understand this type of game is not for everyone. In fact Turtle Rock Studio’s took a huge gamble creating their game this way. I have already seen frustration and experienced it myself with how the game plays, but I love it.
Evolve gives me that feeling of joy that comes with being part of a team. After every hunt that is successful I feel satisfied and connected to my fellow hunters. We accomplished our goal together and it wouldn’t have been possible without all of us. There aren’t many games out there that provide that feeling and I for one love Evolve more for it.
Happy hunting all! I look forward to seeing you online!