Turtle Rock Studios' "asymmetrical first-person shooter" Evolve hit shelves in February, giving players the chance to face off in a battle between massive alien beasts and heavily armed hunters. The game launched with three monsters and a dozen hunters, but the lineup is about to expand with the release of a first wave of new DLC characters.
Evolve's first major update goes live on March 31, adding the Behemoth monster and four hunters: Torvald (assault), Crow (trapper), Sunny (support), and Slim (medic). While the new additions fit into the pre-established roles, they each bring their own unique skills and style to the table. IGN got to playtest the new characters and has provided some further details that should help players decide if the DLC characters are worth the investment.
The monstrous Behemoth is the new monster in the pack, joining the Kraken, Goliath, and Wraith, and bringing Evolve's lineup of playable beasts to four. As the name implies, the Behemoth is big -- massive, heavily armored, and capable of rolling up into a ball and careening around the map. IGN's write-up suggests there's more strategy to playing the Behemoth than players might expect. The Behemoth's rock wall ability does what it sounds like: it creates an indestructible wall the Behemoth can use to block off passages or split up the hunters, making them easier to pick off or escape from.
Similarly, the fire bomb is an AOE effect that sets a swath of ground ablaze for 15 seconds. Behemoth also has a tongue lash that can drag one hunter in close for the kill. Divide and conquer could be the rule of the day for a skilled Behemoth player.
The first of the new DLC hunters is Torvald, an assault specialist. He comes packing an automatic shotgun that fires its entire clip in one burst, which should make him brutal up close. His shrapnel grenade can open up weak spots in the monster's armor, and his mortar cannon can launch four shells up and over cover. Those latter two skills should be particularly handy up against the armored Behemoth. His mortar cannon can also be used more frequently than Hank's similarly powerful orbital strike. Check out a match using Torvald below.
Crow, the new trapper character, brings a pet to the table. While Maggie has her ferocious dogbeast Daisy to sniff out the monsters, Crow sticks with the aerial associations of his name and sports a pet "batray" named Gobi that can take to the air and track the monster. Gobi has a range of 200 meters in any direction, and once the monster has been spotted, Crow can slow it with his stasis cannon.
Both his stasis cannon and kinetic long rifle have dual functions, allowing players to fire a quick shot or charge things up for a more powerful version -- slowing the monster longer or doing more damage, respectively. The charged shot on the rifle also cuts straight through the monsters' armor and damages the beast's health pool, which doesn't regenerate without a buff. Crow's rifle should be a lethal combination with Torvald's shrapnel grenades.
Nothing says "support" like a mini-nuke grenade launcher, and that's exactly what support character Sunny has in her arsenal. Like most grenades, however, they have a slight delay rather than detonating on impact, so players will have to keep that in mind lest they waste the considerable punch of her nuke-thrower. She can also set up a shield drone that will protect one area, but her most interesting ability may be her jetpack booster, which she can attach to one hunter and use to zip them toward or away from the monster, depending on the situation. Bonus points if the player in control of Sunny launches another hunter at the monster while screaming the name of Leeroy Jenkins.
Slim the medic can launch a healing drone to patch up another player over time, but the effect can be interrupted if the hunter takes damage in the process. As far as weaponry goes, he's got a Leach Gun that both drains strength from the monster and powers up his AOE heal burst ability. Finally, he can make the monster's life much more difficult with his spore cloud, which negates the monster's ability to smell within a 40-meter radius, as well as preventing the creature from seeing the hunters' health bars.
Evolve's reliance on DLC is still likely to irk some, but this first batch of downloadable characters bring enough new skills to the table that players should have plenty to experiment with during the month of April. All four new hunters and the Behemoth will be available for purchase separately, or the full set will be available as part of the Evolve Hunting Season Pass.
Evolve is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.