E3 2014: We Released the Kraken in Evolve. And it ate Everybody.

A Kraken good time.

by

We've already had hands-on time with Evolve's first four hunters and its debut monster, the Goliath. But with a new giant threat to play with, four new hunters to take it down, and an entirely new map to play on, how do GameSpot's writers fare? Does the fact that they are playing with total newbies diminish the experience, or is it still fun? Find out how both hunter and hunted played, below.

Daniel Hindes - The Monster

I played as the Kraken - the second monster to be revealed by Turtle Rock, after the Goliath. Where the Goliath stomped around the map and unleashed heavy melee attacks, the Kraken played like anything but--it sported wings to fly and glide, and focused on ranged attacks over brute force. If finding success with the Goliath was about punching the hunters off a cliff, the Kraken won matches through subterfuge and constant aerial repositioning.

The Kraken's flight is key to this--by staying off the ground, it avoids straying within the hunters' effective range. This means it's even more important for the hunters to have a good trapper, whose harpoon gun is essential for pulling the Kraken back to earth, where it's most vulnerable. The Kraken still leaves a footprint trail when flying, however, so it can be advantageous to drop to the ground and sneak for a short while. However, the monster loses agility on foot; in the air, it can perform three short but fast swoops which recharge over time. I used this swoop function as a panic button, as it gave me the opportunity to escape a fight--as well as rapidly reposition myself behind the hunters for a surprise attack.

The Kraken attacks with a short-range melee strike on the ground, which transforms into a ranged attack with small area-of-effect damage when flying. Keeping the hunters confused is key, by soaring high and firing volleys and intermittently returning to earth for a few close range strikes.

The monster's four special abilities complement this core movement and attack pattern. A ranged lightning strike calls down electrical bolts in a small area, which is useful as the primary means of dealing significant damage to the hunters. An overcharge-like electrical explosion can be emitted in an area around the Kraken--when followed up with some quick swoops, it's perfect for making a quick escape when surrounded by hunters. Electrical mines can be deployed, which lock onto and home in on any hunters who fall for the ambush. Finally a wind vortex can be fired that knocks hunters back a significant distance, which works well to split them up or push them from ledges. These Kraken abilities all felt far more effective and powerful than those of the Goliath.

Keeping the hunters confused is key, by soaring high and firing volleys and intermittently returning to earth for a few close range strikes.

To this end, I completely demolished the opposing team in my hands-on play session. Whether it was because I had played the game as the Goliath before, and so was familiar with the basic mechanics, or because the Kraken itself was overpowered, I could not tell. As a pure comparison between monster playstyles, I enjoyed the Kraken far more. It required more technique, but its abilities seemed to make more sense, and their effectiveness was more immediately apparent. In short, the monster was far more fun. But when you annihilate four strangers in five minutes and four seconds, when a match can usually go for more than twenty, it's going to feel great no matter what terrifying monstrosity I'm playing as.

Mark Walton - The Hunter

My Evolve experience at this year's E3 wasn't quite as successful as Dan's. I mean, my team of hunters won and everything, but it took quite a bit longer than a mere five minutes. I blame the E3 sleepiness. Still, I'd at least hoped my previous experience with the game would have given me a bit of an advantage, but I suppose when it comes to something like Evolve, teamwork is everything--and sadly, my team were total newbies. Education definitely helped push things along, though. Talking over the team voice line and communicating with my fellow hunters, letting them know what I was doing, and where I'd seen the monster helped matters greatly.

Not that I was in a lead role or anything, or even that there are lead roles in Evolve. Every member of the team has a place, and mine was in the middle of the pack as a trapper, a class designed to snare the monster in one place in order for the stronger characters like the assault class to launch an attack. This time I took on the role of Maggie, one of the recently revealed characters. Her special skills included the infamous mobile arena dome to trap the monster, a set of harpoon mines to ensnare it, and the help of her ugly, yet somehow adorable pet Daisy.

There's nothing quite like the sight of a 20-foot-tall Kraken to put the fear of God into you, especially one that looks more like a slobbering version of the evil Cthulu than a mere giant squid.

Daisy proved invaluable in helping to track down the monster, with her doglike body bounding across the level to sniff out its scent and chase it down. The glowing blue footprints that the monster left behind helped out too, along with red highlights on the map where it had disturbed a flock of birds. Frankly, it was all a bit too easy to begin with, and I had a sneaking suspicion that our monster opponent was being manned by someone with just as much inexperience as the majority of my team. Or maybe we were just really lucky.

Regardless, there's nothing quite like the sight of a 20-foot-tall Kraken to put the fear of God into you, especially one that looks more like a slobbering version of the evil Cthulu than a mere giant squid. We saw it, we panicked. The team, once a finely tuned hunting machine, was now frantically scrambling around, desperately trying to avoid the Kraken's devastating attacks. There was a call for calm. We needed a plan. I launched the mobile arena, trapping it in front of us. Somehow it stumbled into my hastily laid harpoon mines too, and there, for what seemed like the briefest of moments, the Assault class chipped away at the Kraken's health.

Eventually it escaped, but it was wounded. Mild celebration followed. But we were slow to track it down. Soon it had evolved into its third, most powerful stage, and it was ready to take down the level's generator to win the match. But we stood our ground. We worked together to trap the Kraken once more, the medic firing its sniper rifle to expose its weak points, the hunter laying down mines, and myself bringing up that big blue mobile arena to slow its escape. With a final blast of gunfire from the assault character it was done, and the creature slowly slumped down the ground. Jubilation. We had done it, we had slain the mighty Kraken. "Yep," I thought, "this is one hell of a game."

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Discussion

40 comments
trackles
trackles

Again why does your ignorance persist in calling it the Kraken its not sea based!, it's Cthulu!, ignorant writer go back to journalism school!!.

blkgto
blkgto

OHHH toxic grenades, harpoon mines, and a space necromancer!  give me a break.  Now that I've watched the trailer I dislike it even more. 

cboye18
cboye18

They're really trying to convince us the game is fun; doesn't look like that much fun, though. 

seanwil545
seanwil545

I've been following this game close enough now to know that it should be a great experience. A great co-op experience for those who enjoy tactical shooters and are willing to invest the time to master each class.

I love the fact that the matches are longer, that they can swing back and forth multiple times.

I got this bad-boy #1 on my Steam Wish list...can't wait.

skootbootz
skootbootz

So are there creeps in this game? Or is it truly 4v1 with no comp AI to distract? 

daveb81
daveb81

When I see a game that looks cool, and then as time goes on and I see it more and more and get more excited about it, those are the games I tend to get at release and pay full price. This and the Division are the two games I'm feeling that way about.

perphektxero
perphektxero

Looks great, but there are too many great games coming out, I might (reluctantly) have to pass this one up.

normanislost
normanislost

Dam.... this was playable at MCM a few weeks ago but I wasn't impressed by the early previews and couldn't be arsed to queue up.... dam my lazyness

tommynj
tommynj

Let the hunt begin... Looks awesome!

hortie
hortie

I want! Very much!

riccithedude
riccithedude

This is they only shooter alongs BF Hardline that catches my attention !

digishah
digishah

That ain't no kraken, that's f***ing Cthulhu biaatccch...

Poldek87
Poldek87

That Monster Looks Terryfingly Sweet !!


This is tottaly on my Wish List !!

mr_nee
mr_nee

Could be good with VR

Foppe
Foppe

Release the Kraken!

stevhall88
stevhall88

Wow, there are A LOT of great games coming out!

M-Sheva
M-Sheva

that look very nice , sadly its only for xbox :( 

i want on my ps4 

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

i just realized that this game is monster hunter, but it lets one player play as the monster.

smackdowner360
smackdowner360

Already pre ordered for the Xbox One and cant wait to play the beta 

maniacheadhq
maniacheadhq

@trackles When you are complaining about ignorance you should do so without being hypocritical. Cthulhu*

markypants
markypants moderator

@trackles The monster in the game is literally called the "Kraken" when you select it :P

anthracisb
anthracisb

@blkgto Now I know what the journalists mean when they say "generation of entitlement".

blkgto
blkgto

@cboye18 I agree, they are trying really hard to convince me that they have something worthwhile, but 4v1?  No thanks.  Never fun.  Never was, and never will be.

Bowser05
Bowser05

@cboye18 Agreed. Just looks like L4D with single large monsters rather than hordes of zombies. L4D got stale really faste, so I'm not expecting much out of this either. Glad I'm not the only one who isn't excited for Evolve.

Ervaine
Ervaine

@digishah if it was really cthulhu it should had been more terrying not some Ugly **** octopus .

I'd stick with the kraken label then .

M-Sheva
M-Sheva

@stevhall88 i dont know how im gonna find time to play them all or at least some of it :(

Poldek87
Poldek87

@M-Sheva aaa m8 , in the beginning of the video you can see plain as day that it's for Pc . Ps4 and Xone

demonlova
demonlova

@M-Sheva Umm no its not... just look at the game description on the right hand of the page

sadface1234
sadface1234

@Ervaine It is Cthulhu, he is just smaller and his wing body area was replaced with electricity. No one would ever call this a Kraken... they are just exploiting the repopulerzation of the phrase.  I dont care really cause this game looks awesome!! 


Either way below is the difference, he is clearly Cthulhu!


http://www.blackgate.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/cthulhu5.jpg   - Cthulhu


Where a "kraken" in most mythologys is a being that can only inhabit water as it has no legs


http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2011/355/0/c/kraken_by_elmisa-d4ju669.jpg - kraken


You cant use the word Cthulhu with out paying money due to copyright, but you can still have something look like him as long as you don't call him by name (ie dark whisperer skin for amc in smite or this!)

stevhall88
stevhall88

@M-Sheva @stevhall88 lol IKR, mainly I am really really really liking rainbow six seige, and this. I also want to play hardline and the new cod. but my first 2 I AM DESPERATE for!

M-Sheva
M-Sheva

@demonlova @M-Sheva hooraay ,^_^  thanks i just saw it ,, the video confused me when show it's exclusive beta for xbox ! 

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

@XxXDarkness0XxX @BrunoBRS i mean it on a meta level, not strict gameplay mechanics. of course it's "nothing like monster hunter", you don't have gigantic swords made out of the carved bones of your fallen enemies.


but it's still a group of four (monster) hunters hunting a larger than life, powerful creature, requiring skill, knowledge of the creature's abilities, coordination, and tge ability to read the creature's signs (in this case, to track it). you make use of traps and attack specific areas of the monster to give you an edge.


that description can go for either game. that's what i mean by "it's monster hunter". i meant it as a compliment.