Many people were excited about Evolve, the 4v1 co-op video game in which you and three other players would hunt down a monster, an incredibly fast or large and powerful monster that would also be controlled by a player and would be trying to kill you first.
And why not be excited? 4v1 co-op games were big, and it looked like a lot of fun. But then came the dreaded pre-order bonus. Most games have them, and many anger fans—because games are often released broken these days, and withholding good content from those who don’t commit to a game before release is insulting—but few anger as much as Evolve‘s did. Of the pre-order bonuses the game offered, the most notable was another monster to play as, the biggest and arguably best of the monsters at the time. And if you didn’t pre-order, this one digital monster would cost you $15 as DLC. That’s when much interest died, and the game never became what many—including developer Turtle Rock Studios—hoped it would become.
But instead of just accepting defeat and letting the game disappear into obscurity, they’re still admirably fighting to make it the game they think it can be. And that starts by making it free to play on PC in what’s being called Evolve Stage 2. You can read more and see a new trailer below.
Starting today you can play Evolve completely FREE on PC via Steam. Introducing, Evolve Stage 2!
Why is Evolve changing and what does this mean for new and existing players? If you haven’t already read the letter from Chris Ashton and Phil Robb, co-founders of Turtle Rock Studios, you should do that now, as it explains what we’ve been up to since the game first launched in February, 2015 and what our motivations are for creating Evolve Stage 2.
Evolve has been completely overhauled on PC with new game design, gameplay mechanics, and improved gameplay balance and system performance. All of the content in Evolve, including all the content released following its launch, is unlockable in Evolve Stage 2 completely free simply by playing the game.
If you bought Evolve – THANK YOU! Seriously, from the bottom of our hearts, your loyalty and support is what fueled us to continue expanding and improving the game since launch. It was paramount to us with Evolve Stage 2 that if you own or buy a copy of original Evolve on PC, your game will automatically upgrade to Evolve Stage 2 and you will receive “FOUNDER STATUS” in-game. Founders get a ton of bonuses, not least of which is the carry over of all of the content they already own with them to Stage 2, making it immediately accessible to use in the new version of the game. For complete details about everything Founders receive, check out this post.
4v1 – four hunters vs. one monster – is still core to any Evolve match, but much of the hunter, monster, map and mode design has changed, resulting in a vastly improved experience. In other words, Evolve Stage 2 is a whole new beast! Here’s a quick list of some of the more important changes to the game. For the full 18-page change list, checkout the full patch notes here.
– REFINED MODES
HUNT Mode is the focus of the Evolve Stage 2 experience at launch.
SPECTATOR Mode can be used by streamers and shoutcasters to broadcast matches.
– The MOBILE ARENA is now a shared ability that always centers on the Monster, and all four hunter classes have been redesigned to be more easily accessible and have better team synergy even when you’re not playing with friends:
TRAPPER – With the mobile arena a shared ability, all Trapper class hunters now come equipped with a PLANET SCANNER ability that tells the hunters generally which direction the monster is located within the map. Trappers also get a speed boost when activating the ability to help them close the distance and Dome the Monster.
MEDIC – All Hunter classes now have passive health regeneration that automatically heals players when they aren’t taking damage.
SUPPORT – All Support class hunters now have a SHIELD BURST ability that automatically charges the shields of teammates that are close enough to the Support.
ASSAULT – All Assault class hunters now have a DEFENSE MATRIX ability that replaces the personal shield’s invulnerability and instead provides damage reduction to the Assault character.
MONSTER – All Monsters now have more health and start with enough skill points to activate all four abilities at the start of a match. Alongside new found power and speed, the Monsters are back to terrorize Shear.
– VISUAL FX and UI have been redesigned to provide a cleaner, more easily understandable experience for players of all skill levels.
– MAPS have been redesigned specifically for HUNT using countless hours of gameplay data and player feedback since launch, resulting in maps that create consistently fair fights for Hunters and Monsters.
When Evolve Stage 2 goes live later today (between 9AM-12PM PT), it will be a BETA version of the game. The game will likely remain in BETA for a while as we test all of the new content, changes, and server infrastructure in a live environment. But even in its BETA state, we think the Shear content available (pun intended) in Evolve Stage 2 is massive! Here’s a list of everything that’s available in the game at launch today, with characters, cosmetics and perks unlockable completely free using in-game currency earned simply by playing the game.
– 24 HUNTERS Assaults:
Tech Sgt. Hank
Four Redesigned and Rebuilt MAPS:
NEW PERK SYSTEM:
27 New Monster Perks
32 New Hunter Perks
9 Hunter Skins
48 Hunter Weapon Skins
9 Monster Skins
And more to come with our weekly updates!
Evolve was a magical, heart-pounding, pick-up-and-play experience unlike any other in video games. Today, we hope to recapture that magic with Evolve Stage 2, and we hope you’ll join us. If you already own Evolve on PC, your game will update to Stage 2 around 9AM PT today, and if you don’t, you can download the game and PLAY FOR FREE later today on Steam: Evolve Stage 2 on Steam.
Despite all the information above, you no doubt still have a lot of questions. If you’d like to provide feedback on Evolve Stage 2, we encourage you to do that in the official Turtle Rock forums.
At the moment the game has only gone free to play on PC, which is actually a new beta phase for the game in its evolution, fittingly, to this new attempt at video game life. That said, it does sound like if all of this goes well it will eventually be coming to consoles as well.