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'Evolve' Becomes Free-To-Play After Massive Update

More than a year after the initial release, Turtle Rock Studios is relaunching Evolve, the four-versus-one hunting game as Evolve Stage 2, a free-to-play game. In addition, the developers made numerous changes to game, from the amount of content available to how each player class (that is, Hunters) and Monster acts in a round.

A New Chapter

The shift to the free-to-play model was announced in a forum post by the studio’s co-creators, Chris Ashton and Phil Robb. In the year since the game came out, it seemed that the game wasn’t as popular as the studio thought. The main focus of frustration from players was the high amount of paid downloadable content (DLC) offered at launch. With Evolve Stage 2, Ashton and Robb want to bring back some of the game’s veteran players and attract newcomers at the same time.

The post read, in part:

“We want that magic back and we aim to make it happen. We’ve made a lot of changes, improvements and additions to Evolve over the past year and we’ve got a lot more coming. In short, we’re giving this game a vigorous overhaul!”

“Here’s how it’s going to work: We’re going to make Evolve free on PC as a Beta starting on July 7. This is going to allow us to hit our new server infrastructure really hard and we need your help testing. Stuff could break, and that’s our hope, because that will give us time to improve things as we go. We’ll parse out major Beta revisions, updates and features over a period of weeks and months -- a plan we're going to continually communicate here. This allows us to test new features and major changes to make our game more accessible and ever closer to the joy we saw when we first showed our baby to the world. Just as importantly, this Beta plan gives us the flexibility and time we need to keep fixing bugs and making Evolve more stable.”

If you bought the game before the launch of Evolve Stage 2 and purchased some of the offered DLC, the developers are awarding you with a Founder Status title. This status provides you with 3,000 Silver Keys, the new in-game currency; past and future variants of the Hunters and Monsters you own; weapon skins; and four unique Founder badges.

Changes

The main attraction of the game is still Hunt mode, wherein four Hunters try to track down the fifth player, a Monster, and kill it before it takes out the hunting party. If you’re looking for a tougher challenge, you can try your hand at the ranked version of Hunt. For a faster match, you can play the Arena mode, a smaller version of Hunt. You can also create your own custom game or watch others in Spectate mode.

EVOLVE STAGE 2 CONTENTModesHuntRankedCustomsArenaSpectator24 HUNTERSAssaultsMarkovBlitz MarkovHydeParnellTorvaldLennoxTrappers MaggieWasteland MaggieGriffinAbeCrowJackMedics ValRogue ValLazarusCairaSlimE.M.E.T.Supports HankTech Sgt. HankBucketCabotSunnyKalaSeven MonstersGoliathMeteor GoliathKrakenElder KrakenWraithBehemothLurkerFour Redesigned and Rebuilt Maps Orbital DrillWraith TrapDistilleryWeather ControlNew Perk System27 New Monster Perks32 New Hunter PerksCosmeticsNine Hunter Skins48 Hunter Weapon SkinsNine Monster SkinsMore to come with weekly updates.

In order to avoid another DLC fiasco, Evolve Stage 2 uses Silver Keys to purchase new Hunters, Monsters, skins and perks. You can earn Silver Keys by logging in, completing challenges, playing matches and gaining a new level on your account or character.

Speaking of perks, the game includes a new system to manage each of your abilities. Perks are split into three categories--Minor, Major and Superior--and you have to choose an ability from each category. Each perk also has three levels, so you can upgrade each one's effectiveness with Silver Keys or when your characters gain a new level.

The major shift in gameplay is the shared Dome. In the past, only the Trapper class could deploy it and trap the Monster inside the small space (hence the name). In Evolve Stage 2, any character can launch the Dome. Once it’s up, the Dome will stay active for five minutes. However, the Monster can further decrease the Dome’s activation time by incapacitating Hunters. Likewise, Hunters can also shorten the Dome’s effect timer as they deal damage to the Monster. When the Dome is down, the Hunters will have to wait 80 seconds until it can be deployed again.

Now that the Trapper doesn’t have its unique Dome ability, the developers gave it a new talent called Planet Scanner, which detects where the Monster is located on the map. Other new abilities include the Shield Burst for the Support class, which protects Hunters in a 30-meter radius, and the Defense Matrix skill for Assault players, which blocks 75 percent of damage around the character for a short period of time.

A Focus On PC

There are more changes to the game, but the overall list is long and takes more than a few minutes to peruse. If you want to see all of the major changes, you can take a look at the latest patch notes.

Even though Evolvecame out on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One,Evolve Stage 2 is available for PC players only. According to a tweet from the official Evolve account, if the beta tests on PC are successful, then the developers will move on to a console release of the game. For now, the main focus is on the PC.

NameEvolve Stage 2 (Beta)
TypeShooter, Multiplayer
DeveloperTurtle Rock Studios
Publisher2K
PlatformsWindows
Where To BuySteam
Release DateJuly 7

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  • bwohl
    I do know a couple dudes bought for consoles - but did anyone buy this for PC? Nobody I know....
    Reply
  • atavax
    IDK. For multiplayer, its like, it has to compete with a lot of games and if it does, i'm going to spend so much time in it, that monetization doesn't scare me. The two main problems i had with Evolve at launch:
    1. leveling to unlock new gameplay mechanics is a shitty mechanic. Everyone will probably have a favorite weapon to use, some people have theirs from the start, others have to grind their asses off to get it. Others will never find a weapon they like.
    2. None of the weapons looked particularly fun to use. I think probably because of the gameplay revolving around killing an ultra strong monster, it meant gameplay mechanics couldn't be very tight because the monster is just a bullet sponge. Things like a small clip size can have a huge positive impact on a gun in a traditional shooter, but in Evolve, its like, well, the monster is going to have to take like a billion of your bullets regardless, the weapon just looks like a sponge. Asymmetric fps multiplayer is a great concept, i just wish it was done in a way that didn't sacrifice on tight fps gun design to accomplish it.
    Reply
  • kyle382
    18243022 said:
    IDK. For multiplayer, its like, it has to compete with a lot of games and if it does, i'm going to spend so much time in it, that monetization doesn't scare me. The two main problems i had with Evolve at launch:
    1. leveling to unlock new gameplay mechanics is a shitty mechanic. Everyone will probably have a favorite weapon to use, some people have theirs from the start, others have to grind their asses off to get it. Others will never find a weapon they like.
    2. None of the weapons looked particularly fun to use. I think probably because of the gameplay revolving around killing an ultra strong monster, it meant gameplay mechanics couldn't be very tight because the monster is just a bullet sponge. Things like a small clip size can have a huge positive impact on a gun in a traditional shooter, but in Evolve, its like, well, the monster is going to have to take like a billion of your bullets regardless, the weapon just looks like a sponge. Asymmetric fps multiplayer is a great concept, i just wish it was done in a way that didn't sacrifice on tight fps gun design to accomplish it.

    Titanfall 2 could be fun even if all of us are a bit skeptical. The only new thing it does to the genre is add mechs that somehow fall from the sky in an orderly fashion ever X number of minutes. This time there is grappling hooks too.... The concept of Evolve never appealed to me. It seems like Left4dead except you just fight the tank every round.

    Reply
  • williamcummins
    I was so salty at first when i heard the news. But then a friend of mine made me realize this : The game is fun when you play with people you know. Now that it's free to play, it'll be much easier to convince my friends to play with me. Because yes, I had fun with this game, even if I paid 90$CAD for it.
    Reply
  • Decends
    18241002 said:
    After a year on the market, the game is evolving into a free-to-play title with numerous gameplay improvements and changes.

    'Evolve'?rel=ugc]http://www.tomshardware.com/news/evolve-stage-2-free-to-play,32218.html]'Evolve' Becomes Free-To-Play After Massive Update : Read more

    I would like to state a correction for that post. The last Monster is called The Gorgon, not The Lurker.
    Reply
  • Kimonajane
    Too bad it DX10 only. They are either MS wh0res who let MS buy them into DX10 specific game or they stupid and shut out many players.
    Reply