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Evolve: Meet The Goliath

A monster movie is only as good as the monster, and that’s often the case with games. In Turtle Rock Studios’ upcoming shooter Evolve, up to four players battle against a powerful player-controlled beast on an alien planet. The company has unveiled the first such creature, the hulking creature known as the Goliath. Read on to learn more about him and some of the behind-the-scenes stories behind his creation.

In Evolve, up to five players battle it out in four versus one matches. If you didn’t know the makeup of the teams, you might think that’s an unfair split. The reality is different. Four of the players take on the role of hunters, who are tasked with defeating monsters on the planet Shear. The lone player is one of those monsters. He starts off in a weakened form, eventually growing in size (and power) by eating local wildlife. You can learn more about the game by watching our video feature "What is Evolve?" The first of the creatures that Turtle Rock has revealed is the Goliath.

The Goliath is, simply put, an absolute beast. He’s a massive creature that’s able to pull boulders from the earth one moment, before sprinting off and springing dozens of feet into the air. He’s at once familiar and deeply foreign, relatable but strange. As it turns out, that’s no coincidence.

“We knew we wanted him to be the first monster that would ever be revealed, and the first monster that players would have access to, and the first one the media would see,” says Turtle Rock Studios head Chris Ashton. “So we wanted it to be recognizable and not too weird.”

The Goliath is their jack-of-all trades, a bipedal powerhouse who crouches into a simian sprint and maintains his balance with a spiked tail. Even in his smallest form, he’s intimidating; at stage one he’s about 10 feet tall, and he only gets taller with each of this three evolutionary forms. “If he stood fully up, he’d be in the 30s,” says character modeler Brandon Yanez. “He’s really big.”

Even though he does have a recognizable form factor, you probably won’t be looking at his back for a zipper. “We didn’t want him to feel like a dude in a costume, we wanted him to feel as believable as possible, and that transcends into a lot of our theory,” says Yanez. “We exaggerate stuff as long as it feels believable.

“It’s not like a Silent Hill kind of horror, but it’s more of a James Cameron, Aliens style, where it just looks cool.”

These sketches show some of the concepts and evolutionary dead ends from the Goliath’s early design.

 “Usually in games, there’s a concept artist who concepts things, and then then it’s given to the modeler like, ‘Build this, just build this,’” says Ashton. Instead, Turtle Rock says it takes it’s taken a more collaborative approach to Evolve’s character design.

Yanez says he immediately began modeling the Goliath after seeing a few concept sketches. From there, he and the concept artist – or anyone who had an opinion to share – would bounce ideas back and forth. “We’re all really good friends and we all get along really well, and there’s no ego,” Yanez says. “If somebody came by and said ‘I don’t like it,’ nobody is going to get offended.”

If you look at these sketches, you can see some of the details that made it through from the very start, as well as some ideas that were scrapped. “In the concepts he had four arms, for example, and that was just a lot of extra that you don’t really need,” Ashton says. “Two arms is enough to realize that he’s going to punch you in the face.”

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