Any competitive shooter worth playing forces you to work together with your teammates. Even Andy can’t win every game of Halo if he has a bunch of potatoes on the other end of the controllers. Note: Andy is very good at online shooters and can probably still win even if there are a bunch of potatoes on the other end of the controllers. For Evolve games are won and lost based on your communication with players on your team. But Evolve is different when you play as the monster, you have no team.
I just wrote an article about why I can’t stop playing Destiny (hint the controls are awesome), but Evolve has drawn me in as one of the most unique games in my library. I initially thought that the game was too unique to be sustainable in the long run because of the 4v1 gameplay. After a marathon play session today, I have a new respect for the longevity of the game. A very unique meta game develops at high levels of play based on the abilities of the monster and the make up of the hunter team. This meta game really drew me in, as the hunters try to counter the monster and vice versa.
There are a few tricks that even casual Evolve players can learn to up their game as the monster. The most important thing for a level 1 monster is to pick good starting abilities. You do not want to spread out your ability points across different attacks, spend them all in the same place. The current meta has Goliath focusing on Flame Breath or Rock Throw, Kraken focuses on Vortex, and Wraith focuses on Decoy. This allows the monster to have a max level ability right from the start. With a max level vortex blast or decoy, the monster will be doing high damage right from the start.
Incapacitating hunters is one of the most important aspects of playing the monster. Each time a hunter goes down and is revived, they receive a strike and lose a portion of their health for the rest of the match. They retain this strike even if they die and get dropped in via the dropship. Each hunter can receive a maximum of two strikes, each strike represents roughly a quarter of their maximum health. If you get into a fight early on as a level 1 monster, you can still impact the rest of the game by placing strikes on the hunters. Note: The only kink in this plan is Lazarus, but really Caira is a better healer.
My last piece of advice revolves around the use of the sneak ability. Sneaking has many benefits, including not leaving any tracks as you move around the map and avoiding Griffin’s Sound Spikes. The most important part of sneaking is the pounce attack. The game teaches you early on that the pounce is useful against creatures, but the ability can also be used on the hunters. If you can just hide around a corner and move behind a hunter you can pounce him and damage him until he is incapacitated. This move is very useful as the Wraith immediately after using Decoy.
Competitive shooters, like Evolve, force you to work with your team. However, when you are on a team of one, you need to be able to outsmart your opponents. Remember to use your ability points wisely at the beginning of the match, put strikes down on the hunters, and sneak and pounce. Playing the monster is extremely satisfying, but don’t forget to snarl into the microphone as you sneak around, it really adds to the experience.