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Feature Article

Evolve's Lazarus Is a Medic Who's Happy to Let You Die

Heal under the cover of darkness.

Monster hunting is serious business, and any hunters worth their salt will tell you that no matter how tough they may be, their best friend on the battlefield isn't an assault rifle, but an ally who's tough enough to brave the front lines and watch his comrades' backs. Anyone can fire a gun, but how many warriors can resurrect the dead amid incoming assaults without breaking a sweat? In Evolve, the latest co-op shooter from Left 4 Dead developer Turtle Rock Studios where you and three friends hunt down ferocious, hulking monsters, the courageous medic Lazarus has to step up to the plate on a constant basis. He's unique among medics, because, in the words of his creators, he "kind of sucks at healing."

So what if he's not the best healer? Lazarus is equipped with a unique revival ability that makes him an invaluable teammate when the hunt begins to go south. It's expected that hunters will fall in combat, but rather than face the penalty of a "strike," which comes from being resuscitated by any hunter other than Lazarus, permanently reducing the revived hunter's health for the remainder of the match, they have the chance at a second lease on life, penalty-free, thanks to Lazarus' life-giving gauntlet, the so-called "Lazarus device." With it, he can revive incapacitated players without the impositions of reduced health, or the timeout associated with standard redeployment via dropship, and it's something that only he can do; his medic counterpart, Val, can directly heal other hunters from a distance, but she's incapable of undoing death's deeds.

Lazarus is one mean-looking medic.
Lazarus is one mean-looking medic.

No matter which medic you choose, both Val and Lazarus need to stay out of harm's way until their services are required. When playing as Lazarus, according to Stephen Oakley, Concept Artist on Evolve, "it's very important to stay back and pretty much just wait until your teammates die. Medics tend to have this automatic aggro on them, whenever a monster sees them, because the medic is really the backbone of making sure that everyone doesn't die. You pretty much just need to [stay] alive." Lead Animator on Evolve, Dave Gibson, agrees with Oakley's cautious utilization of Lazarus. "I noticed, too, that between battles, that's when Lazarus will try to get up next to the guy who needs the most healing, and that's when the team huddles up to use that area-of-effect healing ability, and a lot of times, we try not to engage the monster again until everyone's been topped off."

When the going gets tough, the tough have to get going, and this is when Lazarus' personal cloaking ability shines. To use the Lazarus device and his small AOE healing burst, he has to leave the safety of distant cover and get close to his allies, who are usually in the thick of combat. Although support hunters such as Bucket and Hank can cloak multiple members of the team at once, Lazarus often needs to sneak into battle at a moment's notice, which won't be possible if the support's cloaking ability is still in its cooldown phase.

When the going gets tough, the tough have to get going, and this is when Lazarus' personal cloaking ability shines.

Lazarus needs to be careful even while cloaked, because every action he takes (apart from standard movement) will temporarily disable his cover. Smart monster players can also negate the effectiveness of Lazarus' cloak if they know what to look for, according to Oakley: "Goliath and Kraken have tools to make sure that Lazarus can't do his job." When Goliath uses his flame breath, "you can find Lazarus because he'll stay lit on fire for quite a while. So even while he's cloaked, there's a burning ghost running through the brush, and Goliath will just throw all his heat in that direction."

Likewise, Oakley points out that "Kraken's aftershock ability emits static that will show up on Lazarus' ghost while he's running around. And because Kraken can fly, he can easily camp bodies, which is a tactic that's good for monsters playing against Lazarus because, at that moment, he's of no use keeping people alive during the battle. But as soon as you get somebody down, you want to keep your eyes on that body. Kraken has the tools to just stay in the air and just keep tabs on the corpse. As soon as Lazarus turns invisible, Kraken should start laying down the hate on the corpse of the downed teammate."

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Medics are capable solo, but they're most effective when they work in tandem with one or multiple allies in coordinated attacks. Lazarus, like Val, can inflict small amounts of damage from cover using a sniper rifle, and every hit it lands inflicts wounds that weaken monsters' defenses, thus increasing the effectiveness of the rest of the team's attacks. Hank, a member of the support class, can cast a shield on Lazarus that will nullify incoming damage, thus allowing him to use the AOE healing ability or the Lazarus device. If a monster player is camping over a body in an effort to scare off Lazarus, Hank can also launch an orbital missile barrage that will push him away, or Hyde, the new assault hunter, can toss a noxious grenade to create an offensive cloud that can scare the monster away and let Lazarus sneak in to get his hands dirty.

The new trapper-hunter, Maggie, has a pet named Daisy that will automatically attempt to revive incapacitated hunters, but when Lazarus is around, Daisy is thankfully smart enough to give him the chance to revive a player before inflicting a strike against the fallen hunter's health. Gibson notes that "she actually 'knows' that it will give the downed player a strike, so she knows not to revive if Lazarus is still up, but as soon as Lazarus goes down, Daisy will start reviving other players even though she's going to give them a strike."

It's likely that Lazarus will never be able to take down a monster on his own, but Evolve is team-based, so he'll always be in good company, presumably. Creating the perfect team requires a careful balancing of abilities and solid communication, especially when Lazarus' specialized abilities are needed. He may be slightly more complicated than Val, depending on your style of play, but considering that he can revive other players, penalty-free, and paint monsters with wounds from far-away places with a silenced sniper rifle, he's worth the extra effort.

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Peter Brown

Peter is Managing Editor at GameSpot, and when he's not covering the latest games, he's desperately trying to recapture his youth by playing the classics that made him happy as a kid.

The Next Big Game - Evolve

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Avatar image for offspring94
offspring94

WTF...is this journalism or an advertisement? I don't think I've ever seen such an unreserved endorsement of an unfinished game by a respected gaming website. What kind of article is this supposed to be?

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HipHopBeats

Phantom Pain is the next big game in my book.

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Shawcross

I haven't gotten to the Kraken file yet but hopefully the people are not over powered like this medic appears. Seems like a good medic will dominate this game.

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dalepickstock

The big one! Maybe / maybe not we'll see any game im truly excited about I go on media blackout until its released!

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jthotty

Yay...Hype Hype Hype. Real Game = Meh'

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Godlikan

Looks good but hardly the next big one... There are way bigger ones in all aspects then this.

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hehe101

Looks really good, I had faith in the makers of L4D !

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Dark_Rage

Looks like a good game.


Hey Gamespot, in the game dossier, you have misspelled 'face-off', it's written 'faoe-off'.

Just pointing it out because i think the dossier looks visually fantastic, so you should correct this typo.

Avatar image for Dark_Rage
Dark_Rage

It's 'face-off' now, thank you :D

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93BlackHawk93

The Kraken looks like a Lovecraft Demon.

Avatar image for meowstan
MeowStan

I am so excited for this, Valve always produces greatness and the best part is I've read they are making it possible to play single player with any combo Of AI!!! Meaning u don't have to play online to enjoy it. Sure with other people it would prob be more fun but I highly enjoy single player by myself.

Avatar image for Helidokter
Helidokter

<< LINK REMOVED >> Valve are not making this. its the team that made the first L4D not the second valve did that

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Elixir99

what an original name

Avatar image for Trev9421
Trev9421

Excited for this myself. I just hope the monsters seem as overpowered as this guy.

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wallacom

I hope the Monster is over powered, and have more chances of winning, so it will force the 4 hunters to work as a team.

Avatar image for meowstan
MeowStan

I agree the monsters need to be overpowered bc if u have 4 really good people it would seem unfair

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blackjackcz

So the whole game is based around 4 players vs 1 monster?!? Seems like this would get boring very quickly.

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MacBoomStick

How much did Evolve pay for all of this?

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chebba98

Yessss finally this is what ive been waiting for!!!! Will be following all of this, cant wait for evolve!

Avatar image for mi_hung_lo
Mi_Hung_Lo

So what point is it for the monster? Everything is geared for the hunters to win. I saw this game and the monster was kicking the hunters ass. next thing I saw was resurrections and hunters being bullet sponges. These battles take too goddamn long. It would have been better if it were HUNTERS vs MONSTER(S) then maybe the monsters can also team up. This 1 VS 4 idea is going to get old really quickly

Avatar image for sadface1234
sadface1234

@mi_hung_lo Your ignorance is showing on two levels man, may want to research a little before making snap judgements on a game you never played....


you clearly never played Turtle Rocks 2 previous games, Left 4 dead and Left 4 dead 2.... It is basically your suggested concept with human's versus zombies (4v4) This is based on the tank zombie everyone enjoyed from L4D 1 and 2. Basically certain acts; one of the zombie players would get to play as a TANK zombie which was incredible durable and could do massive dmg (other zombies that the people play are squishy) which would allow the other 3 zombie players to peel humans away from the group and get kills. It was one of the best moments for competitive and non competitive play and where they got this idea of a UBer monster against 4 people. Seriously L4D2 still stands up today and is amazing, it would take you a while to catch up to the meta but man it is a great game.


Also feel like you didnt do much research on this game. What do you mean "everything is geared for hunters to win"; There is a leveling system for the monster so he can counter build against the hunters as well as farm "creep" (animals in the jungle) to level up. If done right the monster can and will win. But the real main point being even if it looks like the balancing needs to be fine tuned but you should reserve judgement until the release since it comes out in October and there is a legit reasons for alphas and beta's etc.

Avatar image for meowstan
MeowStan

I don't know I watched one video where a player died due to a giant monster in the environment. I guess there will be other monsters that attack u other than just the one u are hunting. But I do agree somewhat I have yet to see a video where the monster won and annihilated the 4 hunters.

Avatar image for deactivated-58270bc086e0d

"The Next Big Game", I hope Johnny is getting some royalties for this. Intellectual property and all that!

Avatar image for wallacom
wallacom

<< LINK REMOVED >> HA!

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boodleout

looks awesome

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Ailurusf

Looks cool, but I'm not sure about the lasting appeal of this game. There are only so many times you can kill a monster and have it be fun. Hope there is some more variation to this.

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LiquidButter

Is there levelution? Don't tell me Battlefield has more evolution in level design than Evolve.

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TomMcShea

Editor's Note: Our lede should have said "Rise from you gwave." We regret the error.

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AtheistPreacher

<< LINK REMOVED >>

More like "Wise fwom your gwave!"

<< LINK REMOVED >>

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ringringabel

i feel like this game is meant to be played w/ mouse and keyboard...but sadly my pc likely isn't good enough to run this game w/ decent fps. guess i'll have to go w/ ps4 version -_-

maybe they'll add keyboard+mouse support for ps4?

Avatar image for WolfGrey
WolfGrey

This looks great but the player who is controlling Larzarus sucks ass and isn't doing his job. He is also way too freakin aggressive.


As a medic/support main in many games, this guy was painful to watch.

Avatar image for Stebsis
Stebsis

<< LINK REMOVED >> "Lazarus, like Val, can inflict small amounts of damage from cover using a sniper rifle, and every hit it lands inflicts wounds that weaken monsters' defenses, thus increasing the effectiveness of the rest of the team's attacks." So it pays to be a bit aggressive, and Lazarus really needs to wait until his teammates die before he can do what he's best at

Avatar image for WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@Stebsis @WolfGrey

He also has a stealth and heal, which he needs to use to help his teammates. He did that very very little.Almost not at all.Also he was a terrible shot on top of it.

Pop some shots to get the debuff on, keep an eye on your teammates to use your stealth and heal, and repeat til someone goes down.

Don't try to use what you read as a counter to what i said, i know what i am talking about. I also read the entire thing.

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oflow

This and Master Chief Collection are my most anticipated games for this year on console.

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MeowStan

Same! I was looking forward to dying light but since it's now pushed back to 2015 Evolve and MCC are definitely my most anticipated!

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Judeuduarte

I saw some streaming at E3 of this game and i thought it was completly unbalanced, mostly because of this guy. Lazarus should take much longer to revive someone or at least have a limit of revivals... If this stays the same I think the game is going to suck... for the monster

Avatar image for Oozyrat
Oozyrat

<< LINK REMOVED >> I was watching a video (The Patch from Roosterteeth) and someone on there said they chose this character. She said that she was able to get the entire team up almost instantly and I immediately thought that it sounded unbalanced. I'm almost positive he'll be nerfed very quickly after this gets into our hands.

Avatar image for mi_hung_lo
Mi_Hung_Lo

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I just posted the same damn thing. It was like "here, resurrections for everyone." being handed out. The monster was taking them down one at a time just to have them revived. How long before someone playing as a monster says "enough of this sh*t, i'm outta here"

Avatar image for oflow
oflow

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> pretty sure its balanced around the monster being much more powerful than the hunters. Most of the games I watched the monster was winning.

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Rooten

59.99$ only for this...hmmmm!? I don't know

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hehe101

@mdign there is damage boosts in the game, as the monster eating strong wildlife gives you perks. (power, speed, reduce cool down)

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Unreal849

<< LINK REMOVED >> It's a fairly standard MMO raid procedure - everyone rushes the boss, half the guys deal damage, half the guys heal. Hopefully Evolve will, ahem, evolve beyond that, but it remains to be seen.

Avatar image for wallacom
wallacom

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I have high hopes for the game. I just hope it will have a decent matchmaking so it will not stack up 4 "pros" vs 1 average.

Avatar image for oflow
oflow

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> seems like the evolve part comes in since the monster isnt controlled by AI but another player that can use counters. That and them hopefully adding more hunters and more monsters.

Avatar image for dominoodle
dominoodle

I like the part in the video where he missed almost all of his shots.


Also, why is the hand in front of his face in the beginning of the video? I just imagine someone running around with their fist directly in front of their face. I hope its something i can adjust in game because it's super obnoxious having a hand take up 1/3 of the screen.

Avatar image for spacecadet25
spacecadet25

<< LINK REMOVED >> But it sure is a pretty hand!

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