In a busy day for Turtle Rock Studios, the developer of Evolve reveals a new monster, details of its season pass, and what will be included in it's Digital Editions. Oh, and there is an Xbox One beta coming this week, too.
Turtle Rock Studios has been crunching to get its 4v1 Monster Hunter game Evolve ready for a February 10 launch, and even though the game has gone gold, that doesn't mean the developer is done.
The studio and publisher 2K Games has revealed the first DLC monster for the game called The Behemoth, a massive beast designed with a ton of armor, lots of hit points and attacks meant to beat hunters senseless before they can wear the monster down. The developer also talked about its DLC strategy for the franchise.
Behemoth will be the first DLC character in Evolve, although players that pre-order the game will get it for free ($14.99 as part of the Monster Expansion Pack otherwise). Design Director Chris Ashton, who is also co-founder of Turtle Rock, told The Escapist that other DLC is already in the works as well. "We want to keep the Turtle Rock team employed and we also want to expand the Evolve universe," he said. "We can do that by making DLC and giving players access to new content as soon as it is finished. We bet on DLC and started work on Behemoth as soon as the game was wrapped. Behemoth was planned simply as a DLC monster but we thought this was a good opportunity to say 'thanks!' to everyone who believes in us enough to pre-order the game. So that's why people who pre-order Evolve get Behemoth for free when he is finished."
Ashton said Turtle Rock is not trying to push DLC on players, and that they want everyone to experience the content whether they pay money or not. "You will still be able to play against (The Behemoth) online or in single player once he comes out," he said. "Our goal was to release cool, new content and make sure that the community is never fragmented. For this reason, all DLC maps and modes will always be free."
As part of the DLC plan, Turtle Rock revealed the Hunter Season Pass for the game. The $24.99 pass will include four new hunters (one for each class of medic, trapper, assault and support), as well as a Magma skin for the other three monsters in the game: The Wraith, the Kraken and the Goliath. If you don't want the pass, you can buy hunters individually for $7.49 each.
Ashton said that developing the DLC has been a fun process for the team now that the game is done. When looking at the Behemoth, the thought was similar to a tank class in any MMO.
"Behemoth is definitely a tank in every sense of the word," Ashton said. "He is huge, heavy, slow but powerful. He has the largest health pool, is the most heavily armored and he hits harder than any other monster in the game."
Of course, a monster that big is not going to be light on its feet, and Ashton said that if hunters are spread out, the Behemoth will find it hard to get from target to target. "When it came to traversal, we couldn't see this guy jumping or flying," he said. "He's too big and heavy for that. Behemoth turns into a giant, spiked boulder of destruction, rolling through the environment crashing through trees, wildlife and Hunters."
The Behemoth has several abilities that will making going toe-to-toe with it a hunter's worst nightmare. It has a tongue grab to pull hunters in close, a rock wall that it can use to protect itself or separate hunters from the team, short and long range lava bombs that act like area of effect mortars that keep the ground burning for a period of time, and a fissure ability that cracks terrain, while burning and stunning targets in its path.
So imagine using a tongue grab on a poor hunter to bring him to your feet, then using a rock wall to block him off from his pals. The player controlled Behemoth would have plenty of time to beat the hunter to death with its massive arms and abilities before help could arrive. "Those Hunters are tricky though. While the Rock Wall is up, they'll be making their way around it, or over it to gain line of sight to their friend again," Ashton said. "Usually help arrives more quickly than you'd like, though putting more points into the Rock Wall makes it taller and wider, so you can counter their counter."
If the Behemoth gets low on health and armor, Ashton said the beat can use the rock wall in a defensive manner to keep hunters at bay while it eats the local wildlife to build its armor pool back up. Of course, a timely evolution would get it back to full health as well.
The Behemoth is still in development and won't be ready at launch, but Ashton said that testing has already unveiled some interesting strategies. "We are seeing lots of combos though, such as the Tongue Grab to Rock Wall beat down. We also see Tongue Grab being used to counter jetpacking Hunters, or Hunters that are trying to cheese the monster up on ledges. And the Rock Wall is being used to block off (incapacitated) Hunters from the rest of their team so that Behemoth can punish them uninterrupted."
Ashton said that of all the monsters in play so far, he prefers The Wraith. "I love her cold, calculated approach," he said. "Lots of people still love Goliath most and certainly Kraken has a lot of fans as well. Behemoth is just starting to emerge as a new favorite, largely because of how visually impressive his size and abilities are. Fighting against him really is a new experience. It feels like you're fighting the final boss at the end of the game."
In addition to the Behemoth in the Monster Expansion pack, a Savage skin for the Goliath beast will also be included. The skin will be available at launch, with the Behemoth coming when it is ready.
Of course, if you want to get everything all at once, Turtle Rock and 2K have a Digital Deluxe Edition that includes the Hunter Season Pass and the game on PC or Xbox One, and eventually on PS4. Again, if you pre-order, the Monster Expansion Pack will be included in the $79.99 price.
Finally, if you can't get enough Evolve, some retailers will be selling a Monster Race Edition for PC. The $99.99 price gets you the game, the Hunter Season Pass, as well as additional content when it becomes available, including a fifth monster, two new hunters and four additional skins. A pre-order gets you the Monster pack as well.
Evolve's open beta for Xbox One will begin on Thursday at noon and end on Monday, January 19. Any content that players unlock during the beta, including The Wraith, will carry over to their account when the game launches. On Saturday, the Evacuation campaign mode will unlock with all the maps being playable. A smaller beta for PC players will begin on Friday (system requirements were recently unveiled), and another for PS4 players on Saturday. Players involved in the October alpha will get invites for the beta.