Gaming Interviews

Published on March 5th, 2014 | by gareth


From The Creative Minds Behind Left 4 Dead, We Talk EVOLVE With Turtle Rock Studios

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As part of our upcoming June magazine we got to speak with

Josh Olin, Community Manager at Turtle Rock Studios about their pending game Evolve. The full interview will be in the June magazine, but here are some highlights from the interview.


What is the background and setting for the game please?

Each game of Evolve plays out like an epic boss battle pitting 4 Hunters against 1 giant, evolving, player-controlled Monster. The game is set on a frontier planet on the edge of the galaxy called Shear. Its lush Earth-like environments have attracted human colonists. Not much is known about the Monsters or why they began showing up on Shear… but when they began threatening human life, teams of Hunters intervened.


  1. What can you tell us about the characters in the game and their personalities and how much customization will there be compared to what L4D fans are used to?


From a gameplay perspective, it was important for our characters to be unique and identifiable in combat. The Monster has to be able to identify his threats at-a-glance to effectively fight against it. From the creative side of things, we of course like making characters for which players will identify with, and care about. These two goals don’t always align, but I think the team has done an amazing job walking that line and it really shows.


What can you tell us about the enemies in game and the game locales?


Not a lot is known about the Monsters. Where they come from, and why they’re bent on destroying life on planet Shear. But they’re incredibly powerful, dangerous, and ruthless. Not to be trifled with!


Right now we’re just talking about one of the Monsters you can play in Evolve – Goliath. He’s a massive melee brute that uses his musculature to his advantage. Whether that’s leaping 20 feet in the air and smashing down onto the Hunters, picking up a giant boulder and hurling it at them, or spewing fire all over the place, one thing can be made certain; he’s going to make a mess of things.


The game will feature a variety of lush, open environments. Playgrounds, if you will. Playgrounds full of mayhem and destruction.


In what ways would you same the game is alike and different from L4D in terms of gameplay?


Well it’s certainly drawn on elements from Left 4 Dead. As the Hunters, you’re a team of 4. You’re in an unforgiving environment that will punish the stragglers, and encourage you to stick together and work as a team. Evolve builds so much on L4D, though. Where before, anybody could pretty much play any role at any time; In Evolve, you are very much so playing to a class. And if you’re not, you’re going to be making your team an easier target for the Monster.


Evolve is also much more competitive than L4D. Left 4 Dead was designed as a cooperative survival-horror game. Any concept of Versus came secondary to that core experience. Evolve has been a competitive game from the start.


So when we say “it’s the Evolution of cooperative and competitive multiplayer” – It literally is, built on all those lessons learned from L4D.


Do you have a favorite weapon or strategy you would like to sharewith us?


Personally, I’m a big fan of the Trapper. More specifically, Griffin and his Harpoon. It’s just such a critical role for the team, and when you pull off that long-distance harpoon to stop the Monster from escaping, it just feels good!!!


Any differences between the console versions and PC versions and will it run 1080 on both consoles please?


We’ll always strive to hit the highest visual fidelity and the fastest framerate possible, regardless of platform. At this stage in development, it’s hard to tell exactly what that will be. Still plenty of months of performance tuning ahead of us.


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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