In order to understand the Monster, I’m going to give a short explanation on how to play one. At launch there will be three Monsters for a player to choose from. How the Monster starts out depends on the Game mode. Some start it at level 1, some start it at level 3 and some give it minions to control. When you first start a match, you are able to put points in a set of abilities to start your Monster off. If you play a mode where you can level up, each time you evolve you are given more points to spend, giving you more or stronger abilities. How you play your Monster is up to you and your playstyle.
I am going to refer to the Hunt game mode, because this is the mode I have experience in, and what will probably be the most played mode. In this mode you are a level 1 Monster at a location on the map. You have a head start from the Hunters, who are dropping into the map from the airship. While they watch a cutscene you can run away and start feeding. Once they land, they are given your general direction with your footprints and the match begins regardless of how ready you are.
At Stage 1 you have very weak or missing abilities, given only three skillpoints to spend. Your are playing basically cat and mouse until you become bigger than the cat. There is a ton of wildlife in every map, some docile and weak, others big and strong. You have to kill this wildlife and spend a few seconds eating it, the bigger the creature the more you gain from it. After each feeding you start to gain armor. Armor is incredibly important, you do not have a steady method to gain HP and any health loss will no easily be returned. So keep eating and keep gaining armor.
Side note on elite creatures: There are certain creatures on the map that are marked as elite with an icon above them. Both Hunters or the Monster can kill and “use”/consume them. Once you do this you gain a temporary buff depending on the elite. You can gain faster reload, quicker jetpack refuel, quicker ability cooldowns or health regen (this is incredibly important to the Monster). You can only gain one buff at a time, gaining another will erase the previous one and each person must use the corpse to gain it. What the Hunters do to the elite to gain the corpse is up to you to decide, we all know the Monster is eating it, the Hunter’s… it’s not explained.
You leave corpses behind when you feed, showing your path of destruction. There are also flocks of birds on the map. If you run past this birds it will scare them, sending them in the sky and notifying all the Hunters. The birds will leave an icon on the map and on their HUD where they will most likely be going to now. You can use your sneak ability to go past them without notification but this slows you down considerably. A visible meter is displayed of your experience as you feed and once the bar is filled you are able to evolve to the next stage.
The pressure is on at this point because you have to find a safe spot to evolve. If the Hunters find you while you are in your cocoon you are defenseless from attacks. While in your cocoon you spend your next three ability points and have to wait a short period of time. Once you emerge you let out a large roar and begin again to the next stage. Each time you evolve you gain more health. Also when you hit stage three, the game’s objective changes to attacking a power node. The Hunters must defend this point or the match is over. The prey has now become the hunter.
Now that the basics are covered in being a Monster, let’s actually talk about one. Today is the poster boy of Evolve: the Goliath.
This happy guy is the default Monster and the one you will spend a lot of time getting friendly with in the first few weeks of the game. Goliath doesn’t need wings or tricks when fighting, he is a brawler through and through. This means he is all about getting up in your face and giving you a claw surprise. When fighting the Goliath expect him to get up close and personal almost the entire match, so try not to pee your pants. Don’t think that distance scares the Goliath either because almost all his abilities will close the gap quickly. With superb climbing and jumping abilities, he can get mobile fast when he needs to. The close quarters fighting, fire and exploding rocks can make the fight with Goliath very hectic and confusing, but you’d be nervous too around a giant walking tank that shoots fire.
Fire Breath: With this attack Goliath brings the heat by spewing fire in front of him. Anything that stays in the fire too long will take some serious damage. Once ignited the Hunter will continue to burn for a brief amount of time, dealing damage to them. This is a great attack to use if Hunters are clustered together or have gone invisible. You can continue to move and attack while you use fire breath so keep clawing away!
Leap Smash: With a quick launch in the air, the Goliath comes crashing down to deal damage. Great for covering distance or for getting away, the leap smash can be used both offensively and defensively. A large orange circle appears when you begin to use it to guide the Goliath on its target.
Charge: The Goliath barrels forward knocking people aside or back. Like the Leap Smash, this is another good way to close the gap in a fight. The knock back is useful for people standing near gaps, knocking them down and separating them from the team. I can tell from experience that a Goliath has used this to knock me down a huge waterfall which wasted a lot of time getting back to my team who had to continue to fight it without me. Good for escape as well, Goliath can use this in an open area to get further away.
Rock Throw: Pulling a giant boulder out of the ground, Goliath can throw it to deal damage. A direct hit deal a ton of damage. If you miss, the impact of the rock will deal a smaller amount to people near the crash. Impact causes knockback like charge, so a good rock can send people flying. Once pulled from the ground, the Goliath can hold the rock for as long as it wants to. Sometimes this will trick people out and make it easier to lead them into the attack when they try to juke.
I love the Goliath and his in your face attitude. He’s scary and he only gets bigger and badder when he evolves. Goliath is pretty weak in his early stages though, so you have to be smart. His speed and climbing make great tools so be sure to stay high. Goliath can also stealth, which if you can stealth attack a lone hunter, you will claw at them until they go down or you are interrupted by another Hunter. In stealth mode you are tougher to track butreally slow. It really pays off though if you can isolate and pick off the team one by one.
Do you like the Goliath? Does literally being the games Boss sound like something you’d like to do? Let us know! I certainly plan on being the Monster as often as possible, it’s just so much power!
Tomorrow we are moving onto Kraken, the flying Monster of the group.