After Turtle Rock handed Left 4 Dead over to Valve, (who now own the L4D IP) the developer needed a new idea that would still play to their multiplayer strengths. Evolve was born. A game that will perform at its peak when one player takes the role of its main antagonist – a dragon/demon that’s hell-bent on destroying anyone or anything in its path.

The biggest question of all isn’t how the hunters play. It isn’t even how the next-gen engine runs on consoles…it’s all to do with that monster. How on earth do you create an enemy that a player isn’t only going to want to try out, but keep playing as?

evolve tutorial monster

Let’s start with the main character – the Monster. The name of the game comes from the monsters ability to ‘Evolve’ (the term used when you level-up) during combat.

Evolve will require one player to take on the role of the beast for a rounds entirety. No player choice re-spawns (like L4D’s Hunters, Smokers, Boomers etc.). If you die, the round is over. This is the very reason why we’ve been so intrigued with Evolve’s new IP.

evolve monster fire

Turtle Rock have taken a huge leap with Evolve. If you want a single player to take the role of an enemy against 4 others, it better be fun and rewarding…or else that enemy simply becomes a bot. Lets see what Turtle Rock have up their sleeves…

Playing as the monster, you begin the tutorial deep within wild terrain. You’ll be at a basic stage at this point, as you’ll need to kill and feed on the wildlife to build and replenish armour (hunters will rip you apart if you go into battle unprepared). Basic training will have you leap and climb from various surfaces.

Evolve monster controls

As the monster, you can smoothly leap and climb from point to point with ease. But there’s more to think about than just carelessly making haste toward the action

Balance is the key to a game like Evolve. Despite the sheer size of the beast, it’s need to feed and progression can work against it. Feed too often and birds will try and nudge-in on the feed, alerting hunters to your position (striping you of valuable time to armour and level-up). Carelessly stomp your way around and hunters will easily able to track your prints through the terrain.

Monster Abilities

The first offensive ability you’ll be introduced to, is the leap attack. It not only causes major damage from afar, it looks freakin’ awesome! (especially when performed from elevated positions). You’ll have four abilities to your arsenal. Rock Throw, Leap Attack, Fire (dragon-style!) and the Lunge. All designed to make you lethal, no matter what your surroundings!

evolve monster leap smash

The Monsters abilities look amazing and are incredibly effective, especially when chained. Due to your need to hastily choose and quick-link them, console or control pad is a MUST for the dedicated Monster player

Each ability requires recharging after use but combination is possible as there is no charge between overall ability use. This not only makes close-encounters devastating for hunter players, but forces them to work together to take you down. They’ll be no match for you split-up!


With each feed and armour replenish, you’ll notice a blue dial gradually fill-up. Once this reaches its max, your monster will ‘Evolve’ (level-up) and you can choose to spend points to strengthen each of your abilities.

evolve monster level up

Turtle Rock have done a fantastic job with the Monster controls and abilities. The overall experience was smooth and fun to play. You really feel like something out of Cloverfield or Pacific Rim…and they’ll wish they had giant Gundam’s once you ‘Evolve’

Our time with Evolve’s monster was a really enjoyable one. I honesty didn’t expect to want to play as the beast at all (especially once I’d watched that awesome intro) but the fluid controls and devastating abilities (that are as fun to watch as they are to perform) give Evolve a running head-start over many other co-op games.

evolve monster wins round

Well designed movement and fun combat will mean Evolve’s rounds will always be a challenging and unique experience

Turtle Rock certainly seem to have created a worthy follow-up to Lead 4 Dead. The studio are now becoming renowned for amazing co-op game experiences. We can’t wait to see how this game develops over the coming months.