Evolve: A trip to Turtle rock uncovers four new kinds of Monster Mash

This month we flew out to southern Los Angeles to visit Evolve developer Turtle Rock, and in one day uncovered more new information about Evolve. And if that wasn’t enough we sampled it all first-hand in a five-hour session.

Those four new characters posing at the bottom of the page seem like an obvious place to start: they make up the third and final tier of Evolve’s 12-strong launch day hunter roster. From left to right they are Parnell (assault), Caira (medic), Abe (trapper) and Cabolt (support). Like the previously-revealed hunters, they all boast unique skills and weapons for the game’s asymmetrical four-vs-one scraps.

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Parnell’s packing an auto-shotgun, an auto-rocket launcher, and an experimental suit that injects him with supersoldier serum and lets him significantly increase his already-blistering firing rate and reload speeds albeit by sacrificing a notinsignificant slice of his health bar.

Caira, meanwhile, carries just the one grenade launcher, but two energy packs. When the first is plugged into the weapon she fires napalm grenades to dish out fire damage. When the other’s inserted, those pineapples become health grenades for splash-healing. And if that’s not enough, her jetpack comes with a nifty acceleration module that, when activated, emits an energy field, speeding up the movement of every hunter by her side.

Abe’s main weapon is a combat shotgun with an electronic choke that kicks into effect if you slow the firing rate down, converging its projectiles and turning the shotty into a sniper rifle. Abe’s also got slo-mo grenades and tracking darts designed to tag wildlife and be ingested by the monster player.

And Cabolt boasts a rail cannon (for shooting throughwalls), a damage amplifier gun and orbital drops that scatter radioactive dust, highlighting every nearby creature.

But far more important than the new hunters are Evolve’s new modes. In the last year we’ve only known about the track-and-kill gametype Hunt. This issue we play Nest (hunters must destroy six eggs containing AI Goliath babies; the monster must protect them and can hatch one for aid), Rescue (hunters must save and extract the majority of nine lost AI civilians; the monster must eat them), and Defend (a level-three monster and waves of AI friends have to break through two walls and destroy a civilian refuelling station; hunters must defend it).

And all of these modes combine in Evacuation a five-part ‘campaign’ where victory in one round activates different game modifiers in the next, utterly changing map features and balance.

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