Spotlight : Evolve. Past And Present :
Evolve or should I say, Evolve Stage 2 has garnered much attention lately. Evolve went free-to-play a while ago as an attempt to revitalise an almost dead game. Since then the game has seen unbelievable growth. But the grass isn’t all that greener on the other side. We shine the spotlight on Evolve and try to find out if free-to-play is the answer to all problems.
Spotlight On Times Past :
Why ? Why did a game with such stellar critic reviews fail like this ? Why did a game with 4 E3 critic awards fall on its face after launch ? Let’s look at some of the major issues that led to its demise.
Major Issues :
- Lack of content : The game promised much. But fell woefully short of that promise. Lack of true variety in-game modes, lack of character depth, rehashed cut scenes ( Yes ! Win or Lose, Excavation mode would play you same cut scene ). Though the concept was rich, the bare bones aspects and equally lazy execution did not earn praise from the player base. Especially at AAA game pricing.
- Microtransactions : The microtransaction trend has never been well received by the gaming community. But it’s a recipe for disaster when you include microtransactions in a $60 game ( $100 with pre-order bonuses ). Evolve had cosmetic DLC, around $80 worth, which added no real value to the game and naturally, this angered players.
- Game mechanics : Though it was not as major as the other two I mentioned, botched up balancing and a weird progression system, was an issue reported by most players. A monster evolved to stage 3 would almost always spell certain doom for the hunters, some monster abilities would also give them an unfair advantage. This lead to long, dragged matches, while on the other hand, a stage one monster caught early in the game, would stand no chance at all.
In YouTube-r Angry Joe‘s review (below) from when the game was still new, he discusses the problems in more detail.
Spotlight On Present Times :
Now that we have established some the main reasons as to why Evolve’s ship sunk, let’s talk about present times. Now that Evolve is back up on steam as a free to play title, the player base has exploded to life. Turtle Rock has promised complete dedication, patches and interaction with the community. People who previously bought the game have been given ” Founder ” status, and extra in-game bonuses. Truly, it commendable, to not run out on a game because it failed, to dedicate time and passion in reviving it again. But is it all rainbows and sunshine ? Well, here is where things get a little sketchy. The overall rating on steam is still – mixed.
- Treatment of ” Founders “ : Head over to steam and you’ll see. Turtle Rock may have given previous owners Founder status, but the reward is highly disappointing, so much so that some steam reviews claim that the same amount (3000 silver keys) can be earned by playing for one hour. Their character progression has been completely reset as well. Is this really how they are going to replay people who spent, $60, even $100 on their game ?
- Balancing issues persist : Yes, they are still there although feedback is mixed. Some say the monster is now boss, while others are claiming that the Hunters are overpowered.
Well, it’s not a glorious revival. But, this is not the end. The devs are trying hard, updates are being launched, active maintenance is being done. With every new patch, something or the other is being fixed. Lot’s of content has been promised for the future. The Founders have received more free ” Silver coins ” and it seems they’ll get more stuff in the future too. Evolve is not perfect, there are issues still, but it’s being worked on. Turtle Rock has refused to let something they worked for and something people liked, die. This is commendable. Free to play may not be the answer to everything, but it surely is a start. It’s easy to let something die, but it’s hard to make it better and Turtle Rock is trying. An example all developers should follow.
That’s it for today. Here is Evolve’s Steam page. See you on the next edition of Spotlight.