Zero Punctuation: Evolve - One vs Multiplayer

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Wouldn't "Re-Evolve" be the name of the remake rather than the sequel?

Well, this happened to me with Destiny. True, it has a story, but it's not very engaging and I just sort of...lost interest in it. Evolve looked like the same type of deal to me, so I will give it a pass.

garjian:
You say that, but there are no level grinds in fighting games and I happily play them for years after release.

Indeed. I better enjoy games based on execution than grind.
The thing about "grind" though, is that it can be added to virtually any game.

Some grind is OK, as long as the challenge is derived from the player's approach and choices rather than some arbitrary wall of numbers. (and I don't mean the kind used by the game's geometry and texture engine)

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 happy that I've learned things.

I get that, actually.
There is satisfaction in self-improvement, including technical ability.
When I get my ass kicked in a properly difficult game, I don't feel the need to get mad, but improve.

It's why I used to attempt Speed Runs in games (which itself opens competitive opportunities even if the base game isn't PvP), or play higher challenge oriented titles.

Well, before my career and university beckoned.

I want to say that Yahtzee should give The Hidden mod a try. Since it does seem to pull off the method of 1 vs group model quite flawlessly besides a steep learning curve and well. Hackers.

Actually... It was Halo that came up with this basic idea originally with the Juggernaut gametype. Everyone seems to have forgotten about it though.

Also, multiplayer-only games have been around for a very long time, Yahtzee. See: Unreal Tournament/Quake 3. (Although, to be fair, the multiplayer in those games was much more fully featured.)

What I think is a bit odd is that some of the console games that have had some longevity often have a proper singleplayer game to go with them. Halo 3, Three of the Call of Duty games (CoD 4, MW2 and Black Ops II), Gears 3 and Battlefield 3 all have singleplayer campaigns that don't necessarily intrude on the multiplayer, and vice versa.

I suppose if you're going to market to the consoles, you best have something to keep them playing when their friends are offline is all I'm saying.

Arnoxthe1:
Actually... It was Halo that came up with this basic idea originally with the Juggernaut gametype. Everyone seems to have forgotten about it though.

Also, multiplayer-only games have been around for a long time, Yahtzee. See: Unreal Tournament/Quake 3.

I remember the custom mode "Fat Kid", a hybrid of Juggernaut and Infection in Halo 3, and it was amazing. I was so disappointed that you couldn't play it properly in Halo: Reach.

Evonisia:
I remember the custom mode "Fat Kid", a hybrid of Juggernaut and Infection in Halo 3, and it was amazing. I was so disappointed that you can't play it properly in Halo: Reach.

Oh yeah, I remember that. I saw a Halo 3 youtube video once of a whole bunch of people playing it. Was pretty funny.

They are certainly more permutations for a 52 card deck than there are atoms on Earth, but this doesn't come anywhere close to the number of atoms in the universe.

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

Creme Eggs are produced in both the UK and Canada. The ones being made in the UK have stopped using Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate. Canada's creme eggs are produced by Hershey, and use Hershey's milk chocolate.

Ok - I won't be looking at birthday cake in the same way for quite a while thank you very much...

I work in a toysrus as the R-zone guy, so I spend my day surrounded by video games. A couple days ago during a slow period me and a co-worker went through the playstation and xbox games to see if we could find any games with multiplayer content. We found that almost all of them did, indeed the majority of them had it as the primary feature, BUT with the exception of some of the sport and lego games nearly all of them only had ONLINE multiplayer! That means you can't play the game multiplayer with your friend on the couch next to you, only with people online. It leads me to wonder what Sony and Microsoft think of gamers, do they assume we're a bunch of reclusive shut-ins who only interact with people online and not face to face? Plus my internet speed isn't fast enough to play games online in real time, nor could I get faster internet because my building doesn't have the infrastructure needed for higher bandwidth, so I'm pretty much excluded from these multiplayer games entirely even if I WANTED to play them. Of course I can understand that, the AAA gaming industry holding contempt towards poor people who can't afford high speed internet and therefore probably can't buy their $400 console makes perfect sense, but why do they assume we don't have any friends?

So what's the sequel going to be called?

I'm hoping for a Shinji Mikami-helmed title dubbed rEVOLVEr Ocelot where the monster makes those cat noises he made in MGS3.

The GDC comments were gold! This review was funny as always.

I don't get why the lack of level progression once you max out is used as a downside when games like Counter-Strike have gotten along just fine without the need to shove fake, meaningless levels in your face in order to be interesting.

But then, I don't get the arguments about a clearly multiplayer game lacking a single player game. Might as well say that Wolfenstein: The New Order wasn't worth full price because it had no multiplayer, and therefore wasn't "complete".

Single player campaign doesn't equal content, and its inclusion is not necessary to be worth full price.

I've just recently begun immersing myself in the work of H.P. Lovecraft, and 24 hours ago would not have appreciated the mention of Nyarlathotep. It's pretty cool stuff. In fact, I should go back and watch all the ZPs again. He seems to reference Lovecraftian mythology all the time.

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...Umm, Evolve looks dumb. Yes, that will do.

Yes because nothing says sustainable fun and closure like being lost in Bioshock 1 like its Vault 101 (only in 2007) for 3 hours to get to the end and wonder why a bad N64 boss has appeared. Or the slow march towards nothingness that was Bioshock 2's ending (the only impact is how screwed up the girl I didn't care about was) and more dastardly of all was Bioshock Infinite "it was 5 hours be we stretched it to 9 hours and ending on a walking sim so you couldn't say it was overpriced". At least my $5 (which I paid around for the prior three games, $2.50 each for 1,2 and $7.50 for Infinite with Pass) for Titanfall got my 50 hours of actual "fun".

So the entire first minute of the video was yahtzee's typical spiel about how multiplayer games are the bane of the mediums existence...again.

Also Yahtzee, not that you're reading but I'm to lazy to word it out like I'm speaking to an audice. I'm pretty sure these games keep happening because as far as game publishers are concerned as long as they're making money that's all the reason they need to do half the things they do. It's up to the Game Developers to figure out what is and what isn't working in their games, and their job to either fix what doesn't work or stop doing it entirely. And honestly I don't think any developer has the foresight to know just how long their games going to continue to keep players.

As soon as I saw Evolve in the title I knew I was in for a treat. I did not leave disappointed.

I can only play two MP games CS:GO and occasionally TF2. Both games aren't about grinding for equipment. They're just fun on their own. L4D2 isn't about grinding, and I tried getting into it because I got it for free but it was too boring. There's nothing of interest there. It's just a painfully boring zombie game. Evolve looks like it's even more boring. I don't even know how do people stay interested in so many MP games that are out there. And the biggest problem is that these games won't last forever. Single player games are designed to provide you with a fun gaming experience without having to rely on other people and online servers. Just give me a good SP, preferably with a good story and I'm all set. And I can play it over and over again until I die basically. Like all the books and movies that I own.

Aerith:
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.

Yep.

Weirdly enough the one multiplier game I really got into was Assassin's Creed Revelations. The aesthetic was great and you actually unlocked a sparse though effective story as you leveled up. As soon as I hit max level, the game was like "now you can prestige several times to unlock all the hats and stuff!", but I had reached the end of the story, which was what was most interesting to me; I was done and never played it again.

remnant_phoenix:

Aerith:
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.

Yep.

Weirdly enough the one multiplier game I really got into was Assassin's Creed Revelations. The aesthetic was great and you actually unlocked a sparse though effective story as you leveled up. As soon as I hit max level, the game was like "now you can prestige several times to unlock all the hats and stuff!", but I had reached the end of the story, which was what was most interesting to me; I was done and never played it again.

The only AC multiplayer mode I have much interest in is Assassination (or whatever it's called). No targets, you pick em, you kill em. It's everything AC should be and it's just fun to do.

Yahtzee hit the nail on the head with out going on a rant like Jim needed to. A hundred bucks of DLC... On bloody freaking launch.

I've gotten away from the Multi-player options more and more, because the most fun thing about MP is having a group of buddies you can chat with while screwing around, and not caring about the objectives. At least in basically any CS style or modern MP...

The only games that ever did Multi-Player right as a pure concept were Tribes, and Tribes 2. Because you had the vehicles, before anyone else was doing them mind you, you also had jetpacks, before Titan Fall, and everyone doing their own thing still somehow managed to contribute to objectives. Then Tribes: Ascend happened and killed the franchise because Hi-rez had to give up to grind SMITE... But I Digress.

At least the Juggernaught style game can be fun when the monster is a really big threat. But I am not paying for a full game and then a ton of launch DLC just so I can have fun.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Yahtzee hit the nail on the head with out going on a rant like Jim needed to. A hundred bucks of DLC... On bloody freaking launch.

I've gotten away from the Multi-player options more and more, because the most fun thing about MP is having a group of buddies you can chat with while screwing around, and not caring about the objectives. At least in basically any CS style or modern MP...

The only games that ever did Multi-Player right as a pure concept were Tribes, and Tribes 2. Because you had the vehicles, before anyone else was doing them mind you, you also had jetpacks, before Titan Fall, and everyone doing their own thing still somehow managed to contribute to objectives. Then Tribes: Ascend happened and killed the franchise because Hi-rez had to give up to grind SMITE... But I Digress.

At least the Juggernaught style game can be fun when the monster is a really big threat. But I am not paying for a full game and then a ton of launch DLC just so I can have fun.

Except he was 100% wrong about the DLC. There isn't $100 at launch, there's $60 worth of optional cosmetics and then the $25 Hunting Season pass, which is for content that isn't created yet. And if people are really going to carry on about day one cosmetics, they need to get a life and read up how game development works. Day One cosmetic DLC is completely and utterly fine, and it doesn't effect anybody at all.

It's true about what you said at the end with interest. Especially with MMOs.
Which is why in multi-player games you should try and enjoy and find satisfaction in the sessions of play you do.

Enjoy that match of DotA2.
Or enjoy running that raid in WoW.

Just don't end up farming for flowers and eventually one day decided to never log back in.

While I'm no fan of Evolve (it can be fun to watch, but I have exactly 0 interest in actually playing it), I do think it's a mistake to call out multiplayer focused games as being lacking in long term appeal. Sure Evolve is looking to be TitanFall 2.0 in terms of it's staying power, but there are a ton of multiplayer focused games that are still being played and loved now by sizable communities. DOTA, LoL, Counterstrike, Starcraft, a whole whack of fighting games, etc. Heck, even MMOs could possibly be counted given how most of them rely on community and group activities for the veterans of the player base. Of course, none of that matters if you're not into multiplayer games but there's also a lot in those experiences you can't get in single player games so it's not black and white but instead what your preference is. In short, Evolve may be a multiplayer experience that grows stale quickly but that doesn't mean all multiplayer games do assuming you actually like them.

Quite possibly Yahtzee's funniest episode yet! I really liked that bit where he just blew up at the AAA publishers and brought up GDC. I hope that means he's going this year, because I sure am (again).

Interestingly enough Order 1886 was released not long after and it seemed to be its complete opposite in almost every way

And we're probably going to see a lot more akin to Evolve as it got a 78 in metacritic while Order 1886 got 66

And before anyone points out the ridicolousness of metacritic scores, yes, they are fairly asinine, but it seems game publishers these days use them as the primary quality gauge

Another interesting point though is that in user ratings the Order 1886 is better received by the public compared to the critics, while Evolve is the exact opposite

Loved that last minute shot at my country's schools, the sad thing being I'm sure there are parents who will genuinely hate the game for having that title. Yes this is the south where I actually got a flyer from a car dealership advertising that I could win two shotguns and they spelled it as "shorguns".

Wow, so this is pretty much the Versus Saxton Hale mode in TF2 but with less color, smaller team size, and more face-eating monsters.
I think I'll just stick with VSH.

I've played the game for two hours and banned it from my PC afterwards. It's just awful.

Prankman:
Except he was 100% wrong about the DLC. There isn't $100 at launch, there's $60 worth of optional cosmetics and then the $25 Hunting Season pass, which is for content that isn't created yet. And if people are really going to carry on about day one cosmetics, they need to get a life and read up how game development works. Day One cosmetic DLC is completely and utterly fine, and it doesn't effect anybody at all.

Day one cosmetic DLC? Fine. 60 bucks worth? (That is $100 AUD btw) We're entering bad territory.

It's bad enough games like STO which I barely play charge me 50 bucks for 3 end game starships which all behave differently and have a place in a varied play style. Am I saving 25 bucks buying the trio? Sure. Still I'm getting things that have a function... Cosmetic enhancements... if it were 10 bucks maybe 20 that'd be fine. 60!? That's a pretty blatant cash grab. 60 bucks cosmetic DLC that's as much as the game costs! Heck I'd swallow 120 bucks DLC if it had a gameplay function that could justify the cost...

This is at least as bad as what MWO has been doing with each mech release.

I like Evolve's concept, but I don't think I like it enough to put up with what seems to be all the baggage.

BUT thanks the concept of Evolve, here is an idea:

Dear Capcom,

Monster Hunter Vs. -- One of the players is the monster. Make it happen.

Very good review. I thought Yahtzee found more silver linings than usual, considering his despise for only-multiplayer games.

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?

Well, I spent years playing Counter Strike before I got bored, though even today I feel like playing sometimes.
The real question is how long before servers are shut down. Because there will always be at least 2 people who want to play a multiplayer game.

Johnny Novgorod:
Very good review. I thought Yahtzee found more silver linings than usual, considering his despise for only-multiplayer games.

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?

Well, I spent years playing Counter Strike before I got bored, though even today I feel like playing sometimes.
The real question is how long before servers are shut down. Because there will always be at least 2 people who want to play a multiplayer game.

It seems some are mistaking my little quip to include ALL multiplayer action games (my fault, and I can see why), so 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 as ironclad as the industry thinks it is.

Diablo1099:
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

ppl still play L4D2 its realy is not as dead and some would say

The_Darkness:
"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.

because one is consistently exciting while the other is a mixed bag. Also, wall-running and blowing up fools never get old. Granted, I've only played 15 hours of the game over the 6 months I had it.

I swear, it's good. It costs no more than $20 and is often down to $10 or even $6 like right now from Amazon.

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