Evolve is certainly something different enough to labeled as new, and for that developer Turtle Rock Studios, makers of the massively successful Left4Dead series of games, needs to be applauded.
Left4Dead didn't invent the idea of co-op, it just thrust the genre into the mainstream with a force that changed the way games were made forever. For most gamers' money, Left4Dead is one of the best co-op experiences of all time. After Left4Dead, any title released without a co-op mode of some sort seemed like it was lacking something.
With Evolve, Turtle Rock Studios is back doing what it does best. But instead of zombies, teams of four players take on a ultra-powerful monster that evolves over time. Best of all? You can play as the monster. Evolve features a variety of maps for players to hunt down and ultimately kill the beast, with separate classes for each player.
On the surface, the game doesn't feel as approachable as Left4Dead, mostly because of the amount of complex customization and alternative weapon choices at your disposal. This makes the barrier to entry that much more to surmount. After about 30 rounds, I felt I was finally starting to put it all together. Be warned, though, there's definitely a learning curve.
To that point I discovered a breakthrough with the game early on. After a handful of frustrating online matches, I began to play offline, as a sort of practice mode before I jumped back into the online arena. I can't stress this enough: try Evolve offline first!
There's just as much -- if not more -- fun to be had playing the game yourself. You're afforded the ability to instantly warp to any member of your team, which can be overwhelming in times of chaotic action, but endlessly fun nonetheless.