Online multiplayer has seen a few innovations in recent years, a lot of those changes even taking place just this past year. But one upcoming title’s goal is to change the face of multiplayer, and the way combatants interact. Evolve, Turtle Rock’s upcoming shooter, pits four players against one, which seems like a grand disadvantage to that one lone player, but it is exactly the opposite. The team of four hunters must each play their role of either assault, trapper, medic, or support, and track down their monstrous opponent, who stalks the dark bushes, feeding on smaller creatures, slowly gaining strength.

Having participated in the PC beta and most recently the PS4 beta, I find the concept fascinating. Playing as a hunter, as a team, you have some sense of security and confidence, but it evaporates quickly as your towering foe emerges from the dark brush… breathing fire. Turtle Rock has successfully created a balance of teamwork against raw power.

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After first spotting your prey as a hunter, an elegant yet deadly dance begins as your trapper attempts to impair or at least slow the gigantic beast, while a medic provides speedy support to her comrades, the assault hunter charging ever forward with helpful buffs from the teams support player. Both monsters and hunters must also use the terrain to their advantage, another feature in which Turtle Rock seems to be turning the tables. When I think of multiplayer maps, most that come to mind are symmetrical, predictable. This is entirely untrue of Evolves maps, which feature deep valleys, massive cliffs, and a plethora of playable space in between, filled to the brim with wildlife.

Living multiplayer maps have been seen in titles as recent as Titanfall, in which massive creatures lumbered around the edges of maps, or fearsome bird creatures flew overhead. But this is different, you are living in their territory, they are not simply there for aesthetics but are inhabitants of each map.

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This begs the question will Evolve change multiplayer? In what ways? What would we like to see stick? Perhaps we will see even more games in which both teams don’t need to necessarily be evenly matched. Evolve may lead to a widespread of desire for more defined roles in multiplayer gaming. While most games do require some sort of teamwork and communication, games like Evolve seek to give players very defined roles within a team, a stark difference to popular games like Destiny. Speaking personally, I hope to see “living” multiplayer maps become the norm. It is much more interesting to share a game space with living creatures that could help or hinder the pursuit of my objective. It seems we will just have to wait until February 10th to see how multiplayer evolves.

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