A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Evolve is an online multiplayer shooter and action game. Players either work in groups of four armed human hunters to take down giant alien monsters or take on the role of a monster to hunt the humans. Combat results in gushes of blood sprayed across the environment and screams of pain. Some of the humans use very strong language, and one smokes a cigar. The focus here is on frenetic, bloody, sensationalized combat, but players also will cooperate as part of a team. Thoughtful players also may contemplate the underlying roots of the game's violence -- that humankind invaded a habitat home to other species -- and think about how such conflicts might be avoided.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
EVOLVE is an asymmetrical multiplayer shooter set in a distant future where humanity has colonized distant planets; the inhabitants of one of these planets are under attack by massive alien monsters. A group of hunters assembles to dive down to the planet with the aim of destroying the monsters and evacuating the settlers. The action pits teams of four players in a quartet of classes -- assault, trapper, medic, and support -- against a giant monster controlled by a fifth player that can attack in a variety of ways, from throwing boulders to slashing with its claws. The monsters are wildly overpowered compared to the humans, but working together as a team, the humans stand an even chance of defeating the titanic aliens. Different game types provide varying objectives for players and monsters, and players earn experience points as they progress to unlock new hunters, monsters, and abilities.
Is it any good?
With no real narrative, Evolve is essentially pure action. It appeals to a player's thirst for constant thrills and competition and to people whose primary reason for playing video games is to cooperate in teams and pit themselves against the skills of other players. If this sort of multiplayer experience is your thing, you're in for a pretty fun ride.
There's a surprising amount of cooperative strategy on the hunter side. Classes are key, each one with distinct abilities on which the rest of the team relies. You can steer yourself toward playing your favorite classes most often, but it's cleverly designed to make sure players try and eventually become proficient in each role. And being a monster is just a blast. Whether you're tearing into the hunters or exploring the world, killing and eating animals to mutate into an even more powerful creature before confronting your pursuers, stepping into the skins of these massive beasts is a unique experience. There's no other game quite like Evolve.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Do you feel differently fighting monsters, animals, or aliens in games as opposed to humans? If so, why do you think this is true? Should you feel differently?
Discuss cooperation in games. Do you enjoy working as a team or playing alone? If you prefer working as a team, does it matter whether you're playing with friends or strangers? How about locally or offline?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: 2K Games
- Release date: February 10, 2015
- Genre: First Person Shooter
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Strong Language, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.