Good multiplayer DLC is about balance. On one hand you want to have good characters that are worth the money, but on the other hand you don’t want them to be imbalanced or better to a point where those without them are at a disadvantage. This can be hard to get right, especially in Evolve where that balance is essential to enjoyment. Now that the DLC hunters and monster are out, did Turtle Rock Studios get it right or is it the latest problem in Evolve?
If I had to explain the new hunters in one sentence, I would call them an interesting compromise that results in a game changing experience. One of the biggest complaints I had with Evolve was being forced to do things I didn’t enjoy. If you don’t want to trap the monster, support your allies or shoot the monster, then your team is going to suffer and that precious balance is lost. While the DLC hunters still fill their specific roles, they also have assault elements, with the assault class gaining a support element, resulting in a much faster pace game.
Another big change is letting these characters fulfill their specific roles through a minion, pet or robot. Crow can send his pet batray Gobi to find the monster or upcoming danger, Slim has a bug that heals/revives people, Torvald creates weak points through a grenade and Sunny summons a sentry to give nearby allies a shield. Not only does this make it easier to accomplish your specific function, it allows you to focus on the monster and quickly kill them.
By now you probably think these characters are broken, but thankfully they’re not. Every character has specific disadvantages and aren’t as good as their more dedicated counterparts. To give you an idea, Slim can send minions to heal, but they don’t have a lot of range and are fairly short lived. Damaging the monster also lets him use healing burst more often, but it’s not a powerful healing effect. So while the monster is taking significantly more damage, you’re also healing a considerable amount less. This is true for the other characters too.
You have minimal control over where Torvald’s grenade will create weak points and once you fire his gun you’ll keep shooting until you need to reload. Crow can deal direct damage to the monster, but you can’t go in-between scope and no scope while your gun is charged and the stasis gun is short lived and nowhere as restrictive as other restraints. Sunny can deal serious damage and shield people, but her jetpack boost is weak and isn’t a DPS character.
In a lot of ways these advantages and disadvantages bring a lot to Evolve. Not only do they make Evolve a faster pace game for hunters and monsters alike, they also offer those uninterested in whatever class the ability to assist in another way. This should result in more balanced teams, making the experience more enjoyable for both sides. The only shame is that these characters are DLC, though you don’t need to buy them to play with or against them or to take over an AI who already randomly selected the character. Regardless, these characters are a welcome addition to Evolve and while they’re certainly not worth their current entry fee, they are different enough to justify a couple of bucks.