When Evolve was released by 2K Games and Turtle Rock Studios earlier this year, there was a lot of hype and interest surrounding its gameplay. Unlike most competitive multiplayer games, which put an equal amount of players on each side, Evolve goes against the status quo, pitting a team of four human players against one player who controls a hulking, supernatural beast.
The player controlling the monster doesn’t necessarily have a huge advantage either, as the monster will have to eat in order to ‘evolve’ to gain new abilities and become even more lethal. While the four human characters will have to work together and think tactically about how they can bring the monster down.
That gameplay was certainly a different take on what most gamers had seen before but unfortunately, this was somewhat overshadowed due to the confusing nature of Evolve‘s downloadable content. Prior to release, Turtle Rock revealed several different editions of the game, each with different benefits to the buyer. As a result, it was difficult for players to figure out which one they should buy to get the content that they wanted.
That’s perhaps why Evolve is now hosting a free to play event this weekend; in order to show people what the game is really made of and win them over once more. Turtle Rock and 2K Games have explained that over Labor Day, Xbox One and PC gamers will be able to play the game for nothing. Players on these platforms will be able to try out four of the game’s monsters, 18 hunters, and 19 of Evolve’s different game maps, with Turtle Rock and 2K saying that DLC and season pass content will be rotated during the course of the weekend.
Xbox One players can begin playing from 12:01am PDT on Friday, September 4th until Sunday, September 6th at 11:59pm PDT. For PC players, the free to play Evolve event begins on Thursday, September 3rd at 12pm PDT and ends at 10am PDT on Monday, September 7th. Any progress earned during this time can be carried over should players decide to buy the full version of the game.
The free to play announcement is certainly a good thing for players who had concerns about the game and its DLC structure, and for those who weren’t quite sure how the asymmetrical gameplay would play out. However, Turtle Rock and 2K will also be hoping that this weekend reinvigorates Evolve‘s playerbase. Following the game’s release, Evolve players racked up 108 years of play time between them, but then the game’s player base began to drop off.
Steam charts suggested that 75% of people who bought the game on PC had stopped playing it (at least regularly) with figures down hovering around 5,000 concurrent players (peak), down from 27,000 active players (peak) at launch. It’s true that recent content drops (such as the arrival of a spectator mode) may have reinvigorated the player base and the picture may also be different on consoles, but regardless, there’s no doubt that this free to play weekend will beneficial to the game’s figures.
Will you be trying out Evolve during the free to play weekend? Are you disappointed that the free to play weekend isn’t coming to PS4? Leave a comment and let us know.