Evolve:Stage 2 is available on the PC via Steam.
If you're like me, you couldn't wait to get your hands on Evolve. The first person shooter aspect of the hunters and the third-person perspective of the monster looked like a match made in heaven. And seeing that the game was developed by Turtle Rock Studios, who had recently split from Valve Corporation (developers of Left 4 Dead), many of us eager players figured the game would be a slam dunk. However, after playing the game for roughly a month following it's initial release, it was clear that what I envisioned the game to be was far from what the game actually was. While there were many aspects of the game I did enjoy, it left me shaking my head, contemplating what could have been. Below are the 3 reasons why we've likely come to the bittersweet end of Evolve.
1.) No Compelling Story or Campaign Mode
From the outside looking in at the variety of the original hunters and the living, intractable environment on Planet Shear, you would think that there would be a rich story behind the game. Unfortunately, aside from the premise of humanities attempt at colonizing the planet and the monster's desire to destroy, the game is devoid of any meaningful backstory. While the hunters do show glimpses of personalities during gameplay or the quick 30 seconds before they drop in to hunt the monster, you never really get a sense of their background. The lack of story is made even more clear by the lack of campaign mode. Evacuation is Evolve's meager attempt at a campaign mode. Consisting of 5 missions in which the monster and hunters compete to either save the colonists or destroy them. The 5 missions only consist of 4 different game modes, all of which fail to provide a true sense of variety.
2.) DLC Nightmare
I think we have all come to accept that monetized DLC is just part of the video game experience nowadays. But 20 years from now, when we look back in the video game archives we'll see Evolve as the poster child of taking DLC too far. This due to the estimated $130 dollars of total DLC available for the game. The original Season's Pass for $24.99 consisted of 4 new hunters and 3 monster skins. But if you decided not to buy the season's pass you would pay $7.49 for each new hunter, $1.99 for skins, $6.99 for skin packs and $11.99 for the Behemoth monster. This did not sit well for many players who felt that publishers of Evolve seemed to try and cash out on what seemed to be an unpolished game.
3.) Not Enough Steam
Due to the DLC controversy and lack of players, Turtle Rock and the games publisher, 2K Games, announced on July 6th, 2016 that Evolve would be free-to-play via Steam under the title Evolve:Stage 2. This new and improved Evolve gave players new and improved game mechanics, new hunter abilities and alterations made to gameplay. Turtle Rock even attempted to mend the metaphorical "DLC fences" by rewarding players with new unlockable items by simply playing the game. The new free-to-play Evolve seemed to be trending in the right direction with roughly a 15,000 player average during the month of July, seeing over 50,000 players at it's peak, according to the SteamCharts. There was hope that Evolve:Stage 2 would be made free-to-play for consoles, granted its continued success on PC. Unfortunately, a steady drop in players resulted in Turtle Rock's announcement that It would no longer be supporting Evolve:Stage 2 in order to focus on other projects. Evolve:Stage 2 is still currently available for free on Steam. But with a last month's average player base of just 426, it is hard to see Evolve making a resurgence.