A couple weeks ago, RTV’s Editor in Chief, Roberto and I went to the offices of Access PR to sit down with 2K Games and got a hands on looks with Evolve. Evolve isevolve_betainfo_sm3 an upcoming cooperative/competitive shooter, developed by Turtle Rock Studios and published by 2K Games. Turtle Rock bought us Left 4 Dead back in 2008 and redefined multiplayer games as we know them today.

Evolve is an asymmetrical multiplayer game, putting four player-controlled Hunters against a monster, controlled by a fifth player. Both Hunters and Monsters can use unique abilities during the game. The Monster player can kill other smaller creatures to evolve and become stronger by entering a transformation stage, leaving itself vulnerable for a short time.

In February, Evolve was available to select PC gamers along with Xbox One players who had Live From November 1st-4th in 2014 during their Big Alpha. A closed beta, starting on January 16th 2015, had also been announced for PC players, while an open beta for Evolve on Xbox One have been scheduled for January 15th 2015 through to January 19th 2015, and eligible Playstation 4 users gained access to the closed beta on January 17th 2015.

The Big Alpha gained mediocre reviews from several news outlets claiming that the game was “wonky” and “clunky” and getting into a game was “tiresome” and caused players to “lose interest very quickly”. Personally, the Big Alpha caused my interest to drop quickly as well. At one point I waited at least 40 minutes to get into a game to get booted out 3 minutes into the match. It was frustrating and annoying. I knew in the back of my mind it was an alpha test, so I took the who experience in stride. The games I did play, I had fun and saw promise in the game.

The beta, however, got rave reviews. In my opinion, the beta fired up my excitement for this game again. There was a decent tutorial on how to control the monster, and how the game works. Each class got it’s own breakdown and explanation. Waiting time for a game was a lot shorter, and games filled up quickly. The controls weren’t as clunky, and the flow was a lot smoother. You can definitely see increments of Left 4 Dead in the game, and Left 4 Dead is still one of my favorite games to date.

During our time at the Access PR offices we got to sit down and try out the Evacuation mode and play as the monster. Evacuation is a five-match multiplayer story mode. At the end of each match, the winning side is given an advantage the next match. The ending match is Defend, where the monster tries to destroy power generators that ultimately lead to the ship’s power source. This allowed us to try out all the different monster types, but also check out all the maps and game modes. Evacuation takes between 40-120 minutes to complete, depending on the skill of the player and the difficulty set. Its a good time limit for people who need their gaming “fix”, or simply want to get a quick game in.

Most people don’t know that the game can be played fully online or offline. Yes there are dedicated servers for online matches, but Evacuation is a nice touch for people who want to first start offline to try and get a hang of the game’s mechanics and controls. Personally, I like to play my multiplayer games offline so I get a full understanding of the game. Also, characters are customizable with skins and different characters for each class.

Many people were worried that even starting off that one side, monster or hunters depending on what the player chooses, would be too over powered. Offline modes allow you to customize the difficulty depending on the players skill. Virtually everything in this game is adaptable and customizable. No matter if a player is expert or beginner, every player can have fun. Also, during the beta, the split between hunter and monster was pretty even. Turtle Rock and 2K did a really good job at balancing the two.

From the hour we got alone with the game, Roberto and I found that it light a fire of excitement within us. Systems have been lacking a new game for people to be interested in, and since the holidays we haven’t had much. As an avid console gamer, I am personally very excited about the game. I love to play multiplayer games, and as a shooter enthusiast, this makes me excited. Missing Left 4 Dead has had me aching for a strategic yet fun game, and this is it. Speed runners to casual gamers, I feel this game will fit virtually every dynamic.

Below you will find a few videos that go deep into the bowels of Evolve. Are you ready? Evolve is out February 10th on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.