My friends and I had a wonderful time playing the “Evolve” Beta earlier this month. The graphics seem strong, the control scheme seems fair, and (although there wasn’t in the Beta) there seems to be a lot of variety in monsters and in characters alike.
But reflecting on the many hours of gameplay I experienced I had a sinking feeling: I may get bored of this fast.
A few years back my friends and I downloaded the demo for “Aliens vs. Predator” and logged multiple hours in the online matchmaking. It was fun, you could be the Alien, Predator, or a human. It was chaotic fun, but when the final game released it received mixed reviews from game critics, receiving a 68 on Metacritic, criticizing the games replay value. Critics praised the multiplayer, but there wasn’t much more to the game after that.
Counter that with our experiences with “Left 4 Dead” and “Left 4 Dead 2.” We were obsessed with the first “Left 4 Dead” demo, and all of us bought the game once it was released. We binged the hell out of that franchise, and we still return to it often.
“Left 4 Dead,” like “Evolve” is squarely meant for multiplayer. You have a couple game modes like “Vs.,” “Campaign,” and “Survival” and you can either game alone, with friends offline, or with strangers offline.
I’m not solely concerned about “Evolve’s” variety as it relates to its replay value, more or less its repetitiveness. Hunting and being hunted both exist in all of the game types. I’m concerned that the game types are too similar. There have been a few videos out about how entertaining “Evolve’s” single-player is, but it looks like it’s the exact same as multiplayer just with AI.
We’ll have to see if the final product delivers the kind of variety it has in its monsters, maps, and characters that it does with its game types. Despite the “creators of “Left 4 Dead”” stamp that “Evolve” possesses, I’m nervous about how this game will ultimately turn out.