The second Evolve play test has come to an end, but fans of the new title won't have to wait much longer to get their hands on the retail release. Many people who have had some quality time with the title have expressed how great the new game is. Even a few minor issues that were revealed during the play tests were quickly corrected. The final product should be even better than what people have already played, but let's take a look at what has made Evolve so great thus far.

The Hunt

There's nothing quite like the hunting portion of Evolve. If you're playing as one of the beasts, you need to hide and find food while you're level one. Every time it seems as though the hunters are getting close to you, your heart stops. If a beast is found at level one, it's very difficult to take on a skilled hunting party. The beast basically has to run, which means it's extremely dangerous to be caught by a hunting party when your beast is only level one.

The tension involved in the hunting is almost unmatched by other shooters. It reminds you of a survival horror game where you're just waiting to be scared. As the hunting party you're searching for the beast, concerned that while you're looking it's eating other beasts and evolving into something much harder to deal with. Meanwhile, as the beast you're constantly on the run until you can eat enough to evolve. Even then you want to continue eating so you can reach level three and wreck havoc on the party hunting you.

Living Environments

Some people have complained about the map size in Evolved, saying it's too small. That's the point because if maps were larger it would be easier for the beasts to hide and harder for the hunting party to find their prey. The current size of the maps keeps the tension high because at any moment the beast and the hunters could run into each other.

Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that the environments are alive. Smaller beasts roam around and the forest and every environment you're playing in is full of life. The details in the environments are far more impressive when compared to most other shooters. At times it's almost as if you're watching a movie instead of playing a game.

No Hand-Holding

Unlike many other modern games, Evolve doesn't hold your hand through the gameplay experience. There are no arrows giving away the location of the beast. While there are ways to figure out where the beast is located, the hunting party has to pay attention. The location of the beast isn't spoon-fed to them, especially if you're playing against a good beast who knows how to hide and run away when needed.

One issue that has now been resolved was the ability for the beast to hide in the tall brush. Because there's no easy-to-use indicator to determine where the beast is located, it was actually possible to hide in the tall brush and watch the entire hunting party circle around you without noticing you were there. While that kind of hide and seek play style has been removed (if you pay attention to the dog), it shows how little the game helps you out. If you're going to find the beast, you're going to have to be good and not rely on easy game systems to do the work for you.

Multiple Play Styles

The most obvious way that Evolve soars above the competition is in the variety of play styles offered. The general premise of the game allows you to play a normal FPS game as the hunting party, or as an action game if you're the beast. The differences between playing as the beast and the hunting party are vast and that provides a lot of variety. If you're not big into shooters, you can play as the beast and you're essentially not playing a shooter at all.

Evolve arrives on February 10 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. We'll have continuing coverage of the title before and after the game hits store shelves.

Want more survival tactics? Turn your hunters into your prey with the Evolve Official Game Guide!

Evolve SE guide cover

The official guide and eGuide offer comprehensive coverage of the entire game, including the groundbreaking multiplayer mode that combines the very best aspects of competitive and cooperative gameplay, and game-winning tactics and analysis of all four Hunter classes: Trapper, Medic, Support, and Assault. Plus, lethally effective strategies to turn the tables and eviscerate the Hunters while playing as the Monster.