Turtle Rock’s Evolve is Struggling, Here is Why

By   /   Mar 16, 2015

Prior to its release, Evolve had the hype of a triple-A title that would give games like Left 4 Dead 2 a run for their money. Evolve certainly had an intriguing gameplay mechanic, but throughout its heavy marketing campaign, players and critiques alike had a streak of doubt about the depth of the game.

Post-release, we can say with confidence that doubt about the game’s impact were not unwarranted. Mind you, Evolve is a pretty good game, with nice mechanics and an interesting multiplayer concept, but the real problem is that its charm only lasts for a few hours.

You’ll play for a day or two as the randomly assigned Hunters; then you’ll spend the next few days trying out the handful of monsters available in the game. What then? Well, that’s the question Evolve has no solid answer to. One could argue that future content would come to rescue, but the fact cannot be ignored that the title wasn’t released without controversy either – there were questions asked about its DLC pricing and the way progression was handled within the game.

What Evolve truly lacked right from the start was re-playability. The shooter game certainly has a concept that works well initially, but it rapidly dies down as becoming repetitive and unexplorable. There isn’t much content in the vanilla release itself, and the way the DLCs are heading don’t really offer much either.

This is in direct contrast to Left 4 Dead 2. Valve is a very smart publishing and game-governing company, because they make sure their games have a simple foundation, yet enough in them to ensure players are hooked. This is why we still talk about seemingly ancient titles like Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, and of course our own dear Left 4 Dead.

There’s one thing or the other being offered by Gabe’s company that will pull gamers back to these titles, and that is the secret to the company’s immense success. You could say the same about Blizzard, but that’s an entirely different genre of games, which already have a rich foundation that can be worked on.

Gameranx explains Evolve’s diminishing impact in the multiplayer-focused genre through statistics. According to them, at release Evolve had a concurrency of 24 thousand players. That’s pretty low for a game which was backed by a huge marketing campaign prior to its release, but the forecasted trend would only be a positive slope, right? Wrong.

At the time of writing, there are only 5,000 concurrent players in Evolve. Compare that to Counter Strike which has 463K concurrent players and you know that Turtle Rock’s title is really struggling. The fact that there are so many characters in the game and you have almost no control of which one you choose at the start gives the players a lack of association when playing as the Hunters.

When playing as the Monsters, the exact opposite happens. There are simply not enough monsters in the retail version, and the ones that are available have limited upgrades and progression system. There aren’t enough customization options either – be it aesthetic ones or those that would vastly enhance the gameplay. Evolve has the basics of a good game, but it lacks the finishing touches to make it interesting for more than a few hours.

There’s also the problem that multiplayer is exclusively versus mode. Left 4 Dead is simply about killing zombies and that’s about it, but what makes the game truly immersive is the co-op mode. I’ve only played a few days of Left 4 Dead 2, but when playing with friends we chose not to have a break for 8 hours of playing time non-stop.

The co-op experience of Left 4 Dead 2 may go against Evolve’s basic concept of hunting and being hunted, but it is one that should’ve been incorporated into the game in some way or the other, as often such small-scaled multiplayer games (restricted to five or so players in a single match) are best when played amongst friends.

Of course, the questionable DLC pricings further add insult to injury. A player who has paid $60 for Evolve would hope that its gameplay would diversify as future DLCs are added, but his/her hopes would be tarnished by the fact that additional money would be required for content that should’ve already been in the game at the time of release.

For this reason, 2K Games needs to decide if they want more money through DLCs, or better longevity by encouraging their consumers through free content. The latter is obviously the better choice if the publishing company wants Evolve to survive for more than a few months.

What are your thoughts about this matter? Are you disappointed by what Evolve has to offer, or do you see all this from an entirely different perspective? Let us know by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.

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