I feel like by now everyone and their grandmother has played Evolve, 2K's upcoming four-versus-one monster hunting game. It certainly feels that way, especially with how many people jumped into the alpha last month.
But 2K had a few last things to show off prior to the game's February 2015 launch — namely, a third monster and an entire singleplayer mode. Well, "singleplayer mode."
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the first monster 2K showed off, Goliath, is the central focus of Evolve. After all, it's the one 2K pushed for months before showing off the Kraken, and it's the only one most people have played.
But the other two monsters in Evolve's repertoire are just as important, and in fact I think I like playing the newly-unveiled Wraith the most.
2K explained the Wraith to us in traditional RPG terms. If the Goliath is your fighter class, the Kraken is your wizard, and that makes the Wraith a rogue. High damage, low health, and lots of trickery — those are the basic tenets behind this third monster class.
It's a class designed to get in, cause a lot of damage, and then get out again. Instead of leaping or flying around, the Wraith teleports into action and uses scythe-like claws to tear people apart. Or it teleports into action, snatches one of the hunters from the group, and then darts back out again to kill the hunter in solitude. Wraith can also turn invisible while sending out a duplicate of itself, allowing it to go back into hiding while the Hunters are stuck fighting, or it can unleash its Supernova — basically a big dome that makes Wraith attack faster in a blur of arm-knives.
It's the psychological mind-games of Predator mixed with the fury of the Alien, and it's terrifying. A good Wraith player can absolutely wreck an uncoordinated team, darting in and out and picking off the Hunters one by one.
Of course, it's balanced by the aforementioned low health. A well-coordinated team can take down the Wraith quickly, limiting its effectiveness.
One is the loneliest number
On that note, I played a bit of singleplayer Evolve. Now, I'd like to point out that it's less a "true singleplayer campaign" and more like "playing the game with bots." Considering how few games implement bots these days, however, I'm pretty happy that Evolve has them. I only played as the monster against four Hunter bots, and while they didn't play exactly as I'd expect real humans to play it was close enough you could probably fool an unwitting player.
The mode that's most campaign-like (or like Left 4 Dead, for that matter) is Evacuation, which stitches five maps together into a "story" of sorts. The first map is always the standard Hunt gametype, the last is Defense, and the middle three are up to the player (or a vote, in multiplayer).
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