With 2K Games all but absent from last year’s PAX East, they came out swinging this year by showing off two of their upcoming titles, EVOLVE and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Like many other publishers, they are stuck in between supporting last-gen and new systems. I hope to see more of a move away from last-gen from them over the coming months as I feel like they have a lot to bring to the now-gen gaming world.
Release date: TBD (sometime between July and September 2014)
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
About the Game
Evolve is an asymmetrical, first-person shooter with 4 human characters, collectively referred to as the hunters, battling one monster with all five of them being controlled by the players.
In the ongoing 4v1 battles, the basic premise of the game is to survive. That’s it. No scoring of any kind. You either live and win or you lose and die. During the video presentation at PAX East, we were introduced to the 4 types of characters as well as to their first announced, monster-type, the “Goliath”.
Each hunter class has their own set of abilities, weapons and roles in taking down the monster before he evolves to his third stage. You can play as Support, Trapper, Medic or Assault and I bet you can pretty easily guess what role each one has.
This is a very cooperative focused game when playing as the hunters and it reminded me a bit of Team Fortress in that essence. They are planning to have multiple maps and monster characters at the time of release and I would also expect to see some ongoing DLC coming from them in the months after.
Hands on Impressions
THIS GAME ROCKS! I played as the Trapper in an epic 4v1 battle where we quickly lost to a massive monster. As a newly formed team of people that didn’t know each other, we were quickly demolished by the Goliath as we scrambled around like ants running away from his fire and rock throwing abilities. My heart was racing the entire time as the gameplay is truly epic, scary and fun at the same time.
I had some initial issues with the controls and trying to use the traps that I had at my disposal but I expect that this would come along with practice. Like Left 4 Dead, this is a game where you have to work together to survive. The controls and movements were very smooth and graphically the game looks awesome, as you would expect from the now-gen systems. I am very excited about this game and will definitely be buying it day one.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Release date: TBD (sometime late 2014)
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
About the Game
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a direct prequel to Borderlands 2 that has you exploring the surface of a moon as you work for Handsome Jack. It is being worked on jointly by 2K Australia and Gearbox.
You have the option to select from four familiar and previously NPCs in the Borderlands games, including the much anticipated option to be able to play as Claptrap. The other characters you can select from are Athena, Misha and Wilhelm (before he is all robotic).
The characters all have their own skill trees just like prior games. They mostly showed off Athena and demonstrated a cool skill that has you flinging off a shield like a boomerang that can hit multiple targets once upgraded, ala Captain America style.
They showed off some gameplay using new weapon types such as a cryogenic one that can freeze and shatter your enemies and a new laser type weapon. Also new to the game is an Oz kit that will replace relics. The Oz kit is what helps you breathe on the moon and it has a running O2 meter that shows you how much time you have before it runs out. There are multiple ways to refill this kit, including fill stations and you can also turn on oxygen bubbles over large areas.
With the low gravity, you can jump higher and longer as well as send your enemies spinning off into space. The loot also flies out of containers which can add an extra level of difficulty in grabbing things. It looked pretty funny to see all sorts of items just flying out of containers in all directions.
With only a video presentation to go by, I really love what they are doing with this game and you could tell that the developers had fun working on it. The low-gravity and oxygen aspects of the game add an interesting new twist to a well-loved franchise and I expect that this will do well for anyone still holding on to the last-gen consoles. If you’re already rocking the now-gen consoles, I don’t recommend spending much time following the news for this one. Hang tight, because I do believe that we will see a Borderlands 3 announcement on or before E3 this year.
-- Tiffany "ElektraFi" Nolan