The open beta for Evolve is happening right now, with Turtle Rock's new 4vs1 asymmetrical multiplayer creature feature currently impressing over on Xbox One. While you wait for the client to download, why not find out a bit more about the game from studio co-founder Chris Ashton, who had plenty to tell us about the game that's set to release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on February 10.
Letting users vote for a name of a monster is nice, but have you ever thought about letting them design a complete monster?
"Yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun but it does get very complicated. What might be more feasible is to take a bunch of design ideas that we know will work and put them in front of the community and have them vote on what we do next."
Will the monster be unlocked right from the start for the pre-order folks? Can regular players somehow win it in-game? Or purchase it later?
"Evolve has gone gold but Behemoth is still in the works so it won't be ready until the spring, sometime after Evolve's initial release. He will be available to everyone at the same time, whether you pre-ordered and got him for free, or if you purchase him outright. And he will show up in everyone's game, regardless of whether they spend any money. In solo and co-op games, you can choose to fight against him as your opponent. You just can't control him unless you bought him, or pre-ordered."
What can you tell us about the special abilities and the look of the new monster?
"Behemoth is the tank of our Monster lineup. We decided to go with rock-like surfaces for armor since his showcase ability is Rock Wall, so it fits really well. It makes him feel heavy and strong. Behemoth's abilities are:
Lava Bombs: Effective at short and long range, these mortar bombs shatter into fragments and continue to burn the area around them, including any Hunters who find themselves in the damage radius.
Rock Wall: Creates a large, semi-circular rock structure that either traps victims inside with Behemoth, or locks him away from attackers.
Tongue Grab: Behemoth uses his tongue to reach out, grab a target, and pull it back to his feet to deal damage in close quarters.
Fissure: A wave of destruction blasts out of Behemoth, fracturing the terrain and scalding and stunning everything in its path."
What is your internal data pointing to with regards to the favorite overall monster of the moment? Is there a top list of monsters already?
"Internally we have fans of every Monster in Evolve. In terms of the public, between events and alphas there have been way more games played with Goliath based on the unlock progression. But once the game launches, we expect each Monster to be well represented in terms of preference among our players."
You said it takes about six months to fully develop a monster? How many do you have in development right now?
"Right now we're only working on Behemoth. We don't have a large enough team to build multiple monsters in parallel."
What was the craziest design you came up with that just wasn't possible to get done?
"We had an idea for a massive wildlife creature that would burrow under the snow or sand, and would ambush hunters, grabbing them, and ripping them in half. We prototyped it, but it was so big that we had to build a special, flat ground environment around him with no trees or obstacles so that he could move around without clipping into stuff. At the end of the day we couldn't make the environment look good as a result, and he was cut from the game. It's a bummer but when you're developing a game, you always have limitations."
We have quite a few people who played beta who never touched the monster and only played as part of the team. What do you want to tell them.
"Evolve is a unique game in that if you really just want to play co-op as a team, you can. And if you really just want to play as the Monster, you can do that as well. And if you like both, you can play both! The hope is that players give everything a try in Evolve, but from there, they can play whatever makes them happy! So what we would tell anyone who has played Evolve but hasn't played Monster: give it a try. You never know how much you'll like playing as Monster until you try it!"
Evolve is set to launch on all three platforms (Xbox One, PS4, and PC) on February 10. The open beta is ongoing, and we'll be livestreaming the game tonight (Sunday at 18:00 GMT). Join us for at least two hours, where we'll be showcasing both the Wraith and Hunter Team C.