april fools

Checking Out Evolve's Bizarre And Totally Real New DLC Characters

by Jeff Marchiafava on Apr 01, 2015 at 01:55 PM

Turtle Rock has released the first new monster and squad of hunters for Evolve, and the radical new designs are really pushing the limits of the asymmetrical 4v1 formula. Read on for our hands-on impressions.

Monster: Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
Impressions: Evolve's newest monster is by far the biggest one yet, and towers over most of the maps. However, this mostly works in favor of the hunters: It's pretty damned hard not to spot Marshmallow Man lumbering through the environment, and no matter how much wildlife he eats, it only takes mere seconds for the hunters to blast through his marshmallow armor.

Like all Evolve monsters, Marshmallow Man has four unique moves. Ground Stomp allows him to flatten an opponent with one of his big, fluffy feet, but the slow pace of the attack gives hunters more than enough time to scurry out of the way. Pinch A Loaf is a similar smash attack that involves falling backwards and sitting on your foes. It has a much larger area-of-effect (like, huuuuge), but unfortunately the camera placement can make it hard to aim properly. Marshmallow Man's Hat Throw allows him to throw his hat (duh) at distant hunters. It doesn't do much damage, however, because even though it's massive, it is still just a hat. Finally, Marshmallow Man's Molten Shower attack causes the 100-foot monster to explode in a shower of burning marshmallow. It's capable of wiping out an entire crew in a single hit, but also kills the monster, making it kind of a strange ability to include. However, after checking out the new hunters, it seems strange is par for the course for Evolve's DLC.

Hunter Name: Terminator
Class: Assault
Impressions: Turtle Rock clearly isn't afraid to experiment with its DLC characters, but the new assault class character is way OP. Terminator is basically indestructible, and when he does die, his fuel cell explodes with the force of a miniature hydrogen bomb. His inherent strength and durability is somewhat balanced by his slow movement speed, which is further impeded by that damned coffin he's always carrying around for some reason. His chain gun also deals out way more damage than the other assault class weapons, but this too is balanced by a 30-second reload animation of him awkwardly trying to balance the gun on his thigh while he replaces the drum magazine (seriously, just put the stupid coffin down!). In terms of dialogue, Terminator only spouts the three or four catchphrases that he's famous for, so in that regard he fits right in with the rest of Evolve's hunters.

Hunter Name: Gollum
Class: Support
Impressions: On the other end of the power spectrum is the new support class character, Gollum. I normally favor Evolve's support class, but I just can't wrap my head around Gollum's abilities. Pressing the button for his main attack just causes him to repeatedly say, "Gollum." Additionally, his secondary attack causes him to cough up fish, which also doesn't really do much other than gross people out. Rock Throw is the only one of his abilities that even remotely resembles an attack. It's similar to Goliath's Rock Throw ability, only the rocks are a lot smaller and don't appear to do much damage.

Worst of all, Gollum's class ability is totally worthless. The personal cloak that all support characters get has been replaced by that stupid ring (you know, from those stupid movies), which is supposed to turn him totally invisible. Unfortunately, it doesn't really work; pressing the button just makes Gollum realize he's lost it, at which point you completely lose control while he runs around looking for it in the environment for the rest of the match.

As it stands, Gollum seems almost as useless as Lazarus (at least he still has that gnarly fish cough move), but maybe more advanced players will have better luck with him. Gollum's dialogue is also woefully limited – in particular, his song about potatoes gets old super-fast.

Hunter Name: Gizmo
Class: Trapper
Impressions: Good balancing often requires players to weigh the pros and cons of a character, and despite his little size, Gizmo sports some of the highest highs and lowest lows that Evolve has to offer. Gizmo's running speed is significantly slower than other hunters, but he does have the ability to summon an RC car, which allows him to race around maps at breakneck speeds. Gizmo's tracking ability causes him to coo his little mogwai song, which makes other wildlife call out to him. It's not particularly helpful for finding the monster, but it's adorable nonetheless. However, you'd be a fool to underestimate Gizmo's offensive abilities. His main weapon is a bow constructed out of paperclips, which shoots surprisingly powerful flame arrows.


Exclusive in-game footage of Gizmo's fire arrow attack

However, playing as Gizmo does come with a major drawback: His reaction to environmental effects can be devastating. Daytime maps render Gizmo completely useless; he just squeals and cries "bright light" the entire time. Water hazards also make the pint-sized trapper a liability – fall into a pond or river and Gizmo starts pooping out endless gremlins that will attack your entire team. This crippling flaw means that matches taking place on rain-soaked maps are pretty much over before they start. And don't even get me started on what happens if you eat after midnight...I don't even know why Turtle Rock made that an option for hunters anyway!

Hunter Name: John Malkovich
Class: John Malkovich
Impressions: Perhaps the biggest surprise of the new Evolve DLC is the final hunter: John Malkovich. Turtle Rock has even created an entire new hunter class for the accomplished actor, which seems rather limiting for potential future characters. Equally restrictive are John Malkovich's abilities: He only has one attack, which is running after the monster with cartoon dynamite strapped to his chest. In addition to blowing himself up, John Malkovich is also vulnerable to beer-bottle attacks to the head, though admittedly most monsters don't have this ability in their repertoire.

John Malkovich sports the most lines of dialogue of all the new hunters, but the majority of them sound like he didn't know he was being recorded – especially his more repeated quips, like "What's going on here? What is this microphone for? Can I go home yet?" Still, that guy cracks me up.

Final Thoughts:
Evolve's new DLC characters are really a mixed bag. Terminator and Gizmo make for a decent if sluggish combo (and that's with weather permitting), but I still don't know how the hell to use Gollum and John Malkovich effectively. Here's hoping the community comes up with some interesting strategies, otherwise Turtle Rock may have some serious balance tweaking in its the future. One thing is for sure, however: Stay Puft is an obvious and welcome addition to Evolve's monster roster.

Update: It appears I might not have actually been playing Evolve, but rather a bunch of old DVDs I accidentally jammed into my PS4. My apologies for the confusion.