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Do the de-evolution, baby.

Do the de-evolution, baby.

Evolve has had a weird and unfortunate history. Starting out as a full retail game, Evolve struggled to gain traction due to its high cost of entry, lack of content, and overpriced DLC. Four months ago, developer Turtle Rock Studios converted the game to a free to play model, redubbing it Evolve Stage 2 Beta. The launch of Stage 2 drove in an impressive amount of new players, but the game has had a hell of a time maintaining those numbers ever since. Currently, Evolve has failed to breach 3k active users since October 4th, a far cry from the 50k+ the game was enjoying during its relaunch. Granted, there’s no reasonable expectation that the game would hold numbers quite that high, but the current amount of players makes it clear that Evolve is on the way out for a second time.

In a post on Turtle Rock’s website, the developer announced that their involvement in Evolve Stage 2 has been suspended. The letter points out that TRS is not a self-funded studio and they have no control over the Evolve IP, a pretty clear indication that 2k no longer sees the game as being viable, opting instead to pull the plug. 2k has since posted an FAQ going into more detail about what to expect now that support for the game is gone. Essentially, the servers will stay online, but players can expect no bug, balance, or content patches. Stage 2 may still come to consoles, but currently that seems unlikely.

This is all coming off the heels of a content update which went live today. This update introduces a variant to the Behemoth monster called Glacial Behemoth. A “work in progress” version of The Dam from Legacy Evolve, which was last week added into the custom game mode, has been introduced into arcade mode as well.

So that’s about it for Evolve, at least until the servers close.

civ6

lookit that smug motherfucker, he’s all ready to build nukes and then bitch at you for walking too close to his cities

2K has announced Civilization VI, the newest numbered entry in the legendary 4X franchise. So what, exactly, does this game add to the previous game’s formula? I’m glad you asked! Here’s some stuff!

  • Although you don’t just stack tons of units onto one tile, a la Civ IV, you can now combine some units together. Some will also have special permutations unlocked by combining them.
  • Dynamic Diplomacy” apparently means that in the early game, you just throw rocks and feces at other civilizations you meet, later gaining the ability to parley in an honorable fashion. Of course, once you reach the early 21st century, you return to being xenophobic with the goal of “making Denmark great again”.
  • Everything else seemed to be a bunch of buzzwords with no actual new gameplay ramifications, such as “expansive empires”, “active research”, and “enhanced multiplayer”.

The game does still operate with hex tiles, as in Civ V and Beyond Earth, but the most pressing question (as evidenced by previous new Civ games) is not what they added, but what has been removed. In all likelihood, the game will not be worth buying until the first expansion is out — and maybe not until the second. That’s the precedent that’s been set, anyway.

mafiaiii
It’s about time — said to be in production a few years ago, then rumored to be a launch title for this generation of consoles, the Mafia Three rumor mill had gone silent… Until now. There isn’t much info, just the above image promising more at Gamescom (where we’ll also see more of Quantum Break, Crackdown, and Scalebound — a veritable cornucopia of Microsoft exclusives) next month. And also next week. It’s the same thing, you see.

Alright, I understand not everyone would be as hyped about this as I am. Mafia II got a bad rap, for reasons I’ve never fully understood. As far as I can tell, it’s because it was seen as a GTA clone, but without the activities in the world, but that’s not something to hold against it. Mafia has always been a story-driven series that just takes place in an open game world. To fault it for not having myriad side missions is missing the point entirely, and I hope 2K Czech doesn’t water down the game to please those who took issue with a perceived lack of content.

Let’s also not forget that Mafia II heralded some crazy new advancements in technology — released in 2010,  it was one of the first games to utilize PhysX, allowing for environment destructibility and cloth physics that are still pretty impressive. Hopefully Mafia III can wow us just as much.

OH! HELL! YEAH!

Above you can view the announcement video, wherein Steve Austin, the Hollywood Texas Rattlesnake Blonde, has apparently been inserted into a Wyatt Family video package. He digs up his championship belt from the middle of a field, presumably one located on the Broken Skull Ranch, home of hard-asses and rednecks.

This one goes out to the working  man, who hopes this year’s game is decent instead of a waste of sixty hard-earned dollars. This article is brought to you by Alpha Brain. WWE 2K16 is out October 30th.

Okay, yeah, it’s been leaking everywhere, but the specifics of what, exactly, XCOM 2 would be were still unknown (ha ha, get it?). Would it take things underwater, like the original X-COM‘s sequel, Terror From the Deep? Nope! It turns out the answer is actually something far more fascinating: An alternate history spiraling out of the failure of the XCOM Initiative. Aliens have succeeded in conquering Earth, and have assimilated humans into their empire. The trailer above shows that you’ll not only be fighting the aliens (including a new, Naga-like species and a taller, slimmer Sectoid) but humans that have been conscripted into their forces.

Other things the trailer reveals include swords, drones, and most important of all: the “COMMANDER.” guy is back.

One last thing: The trailer mentions the game will release in November, but lists PC as the only platform. It’s not clear if that’s actually the case, or if E3 will see 2K or Firaxis revealing plans for console releases. Either way, there’s a new contender on the horizon for the next Golden Gizmos.

Evolve_a

Available for PS4, XONE, and PC. PC version reviewed.

A multiplayer-only game is a risky proposition. While one could argue that Evolve does have a single-player component, it’s simply multiplayer matches against bots, meant to train you for the real thing.  A lack of content, as well as declining interest from the userbase due to the game becoming stale, can be the kiss of death for this type of game, as it’s entirely reliant on having a thriving community of players. Luckily, despite some early concerns over a dearth of maps and modes, Evolve shows no sign of getting old anytime soon.
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