Zero Punctuation: Evolve - One vs Multiplayer

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Evolve - One vs Multiplayer

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Evolve.

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Why are you advertising cream eggs when they've been made shit this year!

I'm surprised he didn't take a few more shots at the game modes only being accessible through the Campaign, so that if you wanted to go smash up a nest you have to commit to a long series of matches.

Edit: From zero to self-aggrandizing drama in only three posts. Must be a new record.

Good point on the progression model and it does leave me to wonder if many people are still playing L4D/L4D2.
I remember getting it for free one Christmas when Valve was literally handing out copies of the game to install, never got the chance to really hop into it with a few friends though.

Still, sounds like he had fun while it lasted, I wager there was a lot of salt in the chat rooms after he got the monster :P

Diablo1099:
Good point on the progression model and it does leave me to wonder if many people are still playing L4D/L4D2.

Nope, barely anyone. L4D lost its players because Valve didn't give a damn about the game (there are still bugs that had been fixed in the sequel - despite said bugs being added with the same update! And let's not mention the broken mapping tool, where Valve needed EIGHTEEN MONTHS to fix - but only one week for the sequel - and then claimed they didn't know. Despite the forum bringing that up basically on a daily basis) and the sequel doesn't have any players anymore because it's still the same broken mess it originally was in terms of gameplay.

"Eventually your interest peters out and you just stop. Here, I'll show you what I mean."

Well that was fucking ominous.

Bindal:

Diablo1099:
Good point on the progression model and it does leave me to wonder if many people are still playing L4D/L4D2.

Nope, barely anyone. L4D lost its players because Valve didn't give a damn about the game (there are still bugs that had been fixed in the sequel - despite said bugs being added with the same update! And let's not mention the broken mapping tool, where Valve needed EIGHTEEN MONTHS to fix - but only one week for the sequel - and then claimed they didn't know. Despite the forum bringing that up basically on a daily basis) and the sequel doesn't have any players anymore because it's still the same broken mess it originally was in terms of gameplay.

Ahhhh, Fair enough.
They were going on about making a 3rd game right? I remember reading something about it having a largely japanese cast or something like that sometime last year.

/inb4 HL3 jokes

Thunderous Cacophony:
I'm surprised he didn't take a few more shots at the game modes only being accessible through the Campaign, so that if you wanted to go smash up a nest you have to commit to a long series of matches.

Edit: From zero to self-aggrandizing drama in only three posts. Must be a new record.

Considering I will be gone and no one knows who I am and all I did was aggrandise others. I hope people on the site will be more vocal about their displeasure. The Mods are working overtime to keep things together.

This game has all the hallmarks of a multiplayer only game which will be dead in 3 months.

Just like Titanfall.

I basically played Evolve years ago, except it went by the name Left 4 Dead 2 survival mode, with mods. Seriously. Throw in a few aliens for the special zombies, a few new weapon skins and replace the survivors with your favorite characters from Mass Effect and its the same damn game!

Sounds about right. If there's nothing to be gained anymore, my interest in multiplayer fades away like it was forgotten by Leonard Church. Once I got all the good weapons in Modern Warfare 3, for example, it didn't take me long to fudge off to greener pastures. Same goes for Uncharted 3, really. So, an entire game based around this model is beyond insane. The only MP game like Evolve that ever fancied me for a long, long while was Counter-Strike. And, let's be honest, Evolve is nowhere near the same level as Counter-Strike.

Caramel Frappe:
Regardless as to how funny Yahtzee was in this entire episode.. seeing him hitting the nail by the end blew me away.

Without a proper story, without a stable campaign or challenge- it's just all based on your determination to play. Good luck wanting to continue if you've got no friends interested in Evolve. As some mentioned already, it feels like a Left 4 Dead mod except it costs $80-100 to play which is ridiculous.

Really good episode you have here Yahtzee. I must say, even my IRL friends were excited about this until it came out... than immediately lost interest. I saw that coming when they wanted to charge you DLC that would make up for two fresh games. Like are you kidding me??

Well, turns out they were all mostly cosmetics rather then "Content", though I really do wonder how much they could have added if they didn't spend so much time and effort on add-on content that could have easily been used as rewards for progression.
Could have even helped that determination issue by providing extra challenges with decent rewards for it.

Though to be honest, I'm not really sure how they would even go about building a campaign for this, seeing how the gameplay is so focused on the 4v1 stuff.
And would this game REALLY be improved with a COD style story mode?

"Who is still playing Titanfall?"

*Raises hand*

What? It's a fun game! Sure, I'm not playing it 24/7, but it still gets a dusting off every couple of weeks...

Evolve, on the other hand... Yeah, I might give that a miss.

@Thanatos2k I wish there was a way to check how many people are still playing Titanfall; I can see threads where people say "nobody's playing the game anymore" but no hard data.

But I'm not sure I buy the argument that the game being multiplayer only and likely to have only a small community within a few months means that it's not worth full price. I buy plenty of single-player games, play them once to experience the story, then never touch them again; it doesn't mean the game is bad, just that I'm done with it. People complain about the number of hours you can get out a campaign, but how many hours does the average person put into Evolve? You don't get a big satisfying ending, but you do get fun for as long as the community supports it (provided you don't have a problem with playing as 4/5ths of the characters).

Evolve? it might as well be a Leonard Cohen record.

Silentpony:
I basically played Evolve years ago, except it went by the name Left 4 Dead 2 survival mode, with mods. Seriously. Throw in a few aliens for the special zombies, a few new weapon skins and replace the survivors with your favorite characters from Mass Effect and its the same damn game!

With just one monster who has one life, wouldn't it be a bit different? After all, the humans are the predators, not the survivors, this time. Do you mean it feels like playing the same game, like how the combat in Shadow of Morodor felt just like the combat in Arkham Asylum?

I've played some "familiar" mods for half-life 1 in my days.
Stop me if you've heard of them.

Natural Selection
Team Fortress
Counter-Strike (pre-1.6 I think..before Steam that is)

Oooh, and that matrix style slow-mo action one..yeah..that one. What a blast.

Anyway, there are probably a few more relevant ones I missed.
---
Putting away my colored glasses, I do have to completely agree about singleplayer.
I'm a singleplayer kind of guy, playing singleplayer by myself and preferring a solid singleplayer with multiplayer as bonus.
Otherwise I'd be playing some form of MMO or other.

Hmm.
Here's a thought experiment: How long it would take for Evolve or any other game like it to become routine and droll if there wasn't any level grind?

EDIT: Since people seem to keep mistaking my little quip to include ALL multiplayer action games (my fault, I admit), I'll be more specific.

"How long would it take for grindy-action games like Evolve to become droll without the grind to keep them busy?"

The fact that there are match-based multiplayer games that remain interesting for a very long time without mandating grind-mechanics suggests that taking that particular game design shortcut isn't such a good idea.

So, are monsters just really OP, or was Yahtzee actually good for once?

I still play Titanfall.

But Yahtzee's right, there's not a ton of people playing compared to launch. Which is a shame, because it's super fun. It's on sale on Amazon for like $6 for the base game right now.

I think sooner rather than later Evolve will also be heavily discounted, not because it's multiplayer only, but because of all the DLC everyone says the game packs in. The publisher can just lower the cost and make back their money with the DLC on offer.

IceForce:
So, are monsters just really OP, or was Yahtzee actually good for once?

I think all the forced human play. It built up pressure in his spleen (or other organ), so when he finally got the monster is was "You now have 1 minute to reach minimum safe distance" time.

Seems like a common trend these days. Create a fairly open-ended multiplayer game and then force people to progress through it linearly. Either give the game a solid narrative progression to tie it all together or cut out the restrictions, but it's just frustrating to be held back for no reason other than to give some sense of artificial progression beyond people's natural improvement in skill.

Here's an idea: make multiplayer games like Dota. You don't like the playstyle of that one hero? Try any of the other 109. You must have fun with one of them eventually right? Go nuts, buddy.

Atmos Duality:
Hmm.
Here's a thought experiment: How long it would take for Evolve or any other game like it to become routine and droll if there wasn't any level grind?

image

...holy shit I wasted a lot of time in Mass Effect 3's multiplayer.

cpukill:

...holy shit I wasted a lot of time in Mass Effect 3's multiplayer.

I know the feeling. Even recently.
*glares at Payday2 and sighs*

Meh I don't know.. this all sounded rather obvious and wanky..
Evolve isn't really a game to play for very long, unless that is if you have a team and you are willing to invest more in the competitive aspect than the progression.

I personally have zero interest in the game, and the progression does indeed sound slow, but I wouldn't fault other people for playing the game, not all art / entertainment must have lofty intentions to be eternal and keep you playing forever.
That is not a sin, and that doesn't really make the game bad, just really not my style.

Also Yahtzee, I believe you may be a bit confused as to what GDC is, because it is not AAA developers / Publishers showing off (and jerking off). It is mainly just penniless indies trying to get exposure, industry connections and experience. Your version does sound like more fun, though.

Now, all I can think about is wondering who would win in a fight between Gordon Freeman and Princess Peach for some reason...

Anyway, count me in on the single player front lines as well...

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the single player song?
It is the music of the player
Who will not be in the wrong!
When the beating of the health
Echoes the beating of your soul
There is a life about to start
The single role!

And I was so listening to the soundtrack just yesterday, too...

Sure, you don't get a big cathartic experience at the end of the game..
Although, you DO get a big cathartic experience every time you end a match; either by performing well and bringing down a huge hulking beast / four tenacious hunters, or by being obliterated and learning something new about the dynamics of the game.
I played titanfall a lot when it came out, and I think I put a couple hundred hours in it before I stopped. Yet, to reiterate Thunderous's point, I also play some single player games for 4-10 hours and then never touch them again. The quality of the experience isn't diminished just because people aren't currently playing it.

Also, all of the cosmetic DLC in Evolve is bullshit, no one should buy it. It's literally just a weapon color change for the hunters. Maybe they'll release something better down the line, but for now everything in their store is basically awful.

Atmos Duality:

cpukill:

...holy shit I wasted a lot of time in Mass Effect 3's multiplayer.

I know the feeling. Even recently.
*glares at Payday2 and sighs*

Really? Damn...I was actually seriously considering that one.

QuadFish:
Here's an idea: make games like Dota. You don't like the playstyle of that one hero? Try one of the other 109. You must have fun with one of them eventually right? Go nuts, buddy.

While that business model has merit, MOBAs are kinda easier to design for several different characters then something like say, an FPS.
Think about how many "Classes" is in an average modern FPS, the game I think that had the most "Classes" was TF2 and that was because the entire game was designed around them.
The more classes there is, the harder the balancing act of keeping all classes fun and usable is.
Blizzard's Overwatch seems to have a good thing going, but for other game companies that don't get their income from WoW and COD, I don't think they would have the time or resources to put in THAT many different classes for multiplayer modes.
Closest that comes to mind is the old TimeSplitter MP characters and, fucking amazing as the MP was in that series, I don't recall many people enjoying playing against the Monkey characters...

sageoftruth:

Silentpony:
I basically played Evolve years ago, except it went by the name Left 4 Dead 2 survival mode, with mods. Seriously. Throw in a few aliens for the special zombies, a few new weapon skins and replace the survivors with your favorite characters from Mass Effect and its the same damn game!

With just one monster who has one life, wouldn't it be a bit different? After all, the humans are the predators, not the survivors, this time. Do you mean it feels like playing the same game, like how the combat in Shadow of Morodor felt just like the combat in Arkham Asylum?

Obviously its not 100% the exact game, but it'd pretty damn close. The gameplay is the same(depending of what map you play), depending on what weapon mods you have, the weapons are the same. Ditto for the creatures and survivors and sound effects.

To go to your Shadow of Mordor/Batman comparison, the likeness between Evolve and a modded L4D2 would be the equivalent of replacing Talion's model with that a Batman, replacing the Orks with gangers and changing the Mordor desert to a grey/brown urban environment. The exact same? No, but pretty damn close, and for $60 less.

cpukill:

Really? Damn...I was actually seriously considering that one.

Well, I don't mean to come down on Payday 2. What it offers for heists are pretty damn fun, especially with other people.

But holy HELL is there is a lot of grind. You need exp for levels, then Infamy (where you reset to level 1 and grind back to 100 again; gaining new permanent bonuses in the process), and money for EVERYTHING ELSE.
Several million dollars at least for one full skill build; plus 10-20 million more in weapons with mods (depending on what you require for your build; ~7 million if you're a penny pincher with INSANE card-drop luck).

But eventually, you reach the tipping point where you don't really need more money and exp; so you're just grinding through random heists, hoping for ultra-rare Infamous item drops (you get one crack at the end of each successful heist), while waiting for the next content patch/DLC to drop.

(FAIR WARNING: Payday 2 has a metric ton of DLC; most of which is paid, with some Free/Community stuff.)

Basically, I encountered a problem similar to what Yahtzee described; once I had done the heists, my interest just sort of petered out because there's no explicit closure. But while I'm also being fair: There are a lot of challenges presented in Payday2, so it's not directly interchangeable with Evolve's scenario.

But it sure FELT the same to me.

(My friends also stopped playing out of boredom, and a number of those challenges require 4 human players equipped in specific ways so...that didn't help.)

On the upshot, it didn't run me $80 bucks; not even with all the DLC (I think I paid around 30 - 35 USD for everything; thanks Steam Sale!)

Ironically enough I started playing titanfall today since I could play it for free, I like it enough that I might decide to buy it tonight since its on sale on origin.

Unlike yathzee I'm not against multiplayer only games as a concept, but I do think that companies need to stop trying to sell those games for 60 bucks, considering how popular free to play have become I would argue that having a entry price is a bad business decision if you aren't call of duty.

Atmos Duality:
Hmm.
Here's a thought experiment: How long it would take for Evolve or any other game like it to become routine and droll if there wasn't any level grind?

You say that, but there are no level grinds in fighting games and I happily play them for years after release.
I find most FPSs frustrating if I'm losing, which to me means I'm just stringing myself along on some sense of gratification more than enjoying the actual game I'm playing... where as I can pick up some fighting game I've never played, lose for hours, and come out the other end still enjoying the matches, and happy that I've learned things.

Titanfall was a good FPS, but it didn't have enough going for it. It seems that Evolve has the same problem as Titanfall. I'm just going to pick it up on sale.

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