I’ve already been called a n00b in Evolve. Well, not me specifically… but rather the team I was on. The insult-er in question was clearly an experienced player and, to be fair, our team was frustratingly bad. Up until that match, I had won every round I played (apart from the first one which caused my PC to crash). So, what are my first impressions?

I like it.

Evolve’s concept is very simple to grasp. Each match has four player-controlled hunters (one tracker, one healer, one support and one assault) and one player-controlled monster. The job of the hunters is to find the monster and then kill it. The monster, on the other hand, wants to hunt down local wildlife to increase its defense and eventually evolve, which will grant more abilities and strength.

Regardless of who you play, there’s always a sense of tension. When I was the monster I found myself continuously on my toes as I hunted other animals and avoided the hunter. As a hunter tracking down the monster was pretty exciting because the moment my team managed find it, everything suddenly became incredibly dangerous.

The balance between the two appears to be relatively fair. Individually hunters are weak, however as a group they’re a force that shouldn’t be underestimated… provided each member successfully plays their role. When I first played as the monster, I was worried that I would be weak compared to the hunters. I mean, there’s four of them and only one of me. Thankfully this was not the case.

During one of my first matches I got trapped very early on, and found myself struggling to run away from the hunters. After getting pounded with bullets, I decided to fight instead of run. I targeted their healer and through everything at him, managing to knock him down. After stopping the other hunters from reviving the Medic, causing him to bleed-out and die, I quickly turned on the remaining hunters, taking them out one by one. After a long fight, I managed to kill all of the hunters and win the game. It was pretty exhilarating.

It’ll be interesting to see how the game evolves as more players get used to the various hunter roles and the dynamics of the monster. I’m sure that as gamers get a better grasp on the mechanics, the game will become increasingly more complex.

With regard to the free-to-play aspects of the game, players earn coins by playing matches and completing challenges. Players can then use these coins to unlock new hunters, monsters, weapon skins and perks. The rate of earning coins is clearly very front-loaded, that is to say that you get a lot of coins very early on, so it’ll be interesting to see what the rate of earning coins will be once I’ve played it for a bit longer. I was initially concerned about perks giving those who pay real life money for more coins an advantage, which could still be the case, however players can also earn perks naturally from playing as their favorite character.

It appears as though Evolve’s free-to-play transition is off to a good start (apart from some minor server issues). If you have the time then I do recommend giving it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. As for me, I’m definitely going to be playing the game some more.