In a way, we can't help but feel sorry for Evolve. While it doesn't sound like the Turtle Rock shooter's going to have any crippling problems – of a technical nature, anyway – the four-versus-one affair has, in many ways, taken the fall for the failings of so many of last year's big games. The majority of reviewers are holding back their final impressions for a chance to play in a retail environment, and while it's certainly not 2K Games' fault, we reckon that it's the right move. Of course, we'd have loved to have given you our thoughts in a timely manner, too – but, naturally, we don't have access to the game. Quelle surprise.
Polygon - 8/10 (Provisional)
Evolve occasionally brushes against a real breakthrough for Turtle Rock, with its distinctive take on a different kind of multiplayer shooter. New territory always presents new problems, and Evolve doesn't always solve them. But it distinguishes itself from the pack of multiplayer options out there with the flair of something truly different.
GameSpot - 8/10
As with Turtle Rock's Left 4 Dead, Evolve is best when you play with buddies; getting matched with a novice can lead to ghastly results if your newfound friend constantly seeks out the nonexistent "I" in "team." It doesn't take long to whip a newcomer into shape, at least, meaning you can usually focus on Evolve's unique brand of greatness: the suspense of the hunt, the exhilaration of battle, and the drive to dominate Shear. Even Sasquatch would shiver at the dangers.
Shack News - 7/10
Overall, it's a bit of a time investment, but after learning the ins-and-outs of hunting, Evolve starts to become a more engaging time-killer. Evacuation is a keen way to mix the game's otherwise uninspired game modes and its solid bot play means that I'll still be able to enjoy it even during down hours. The table for an enjoyable multiplayer session is set, whether jumping in with friends or getting more anti-social and devouring opponents as a lone monster. But considering some of the subpar game modes, I can't help but feel this package could have been something bigger.
Euogamer.net - No Score
Left 4 Dead's replayability was obvious even during the first run through of every level - the way it toyed with players and how its systems crafted drama with alarming regularity. Evolve maintains some of these qualities - especially when you're surprised by marauding wildlife - but its best ideas are already repeating themselves.
IGN - No Score
Overall, I'm very impressed with Evolve. It's a smart, unique multiplayer experience, and the asymmetrical design gets me thinking about new creative tactics that don't even apply to any other game. I crave that kind of incentive and opportunity for inspiration, and I can tell that I'll be playing Evolve, and watching streams of it for quite some time.
Have these pre-release appraisals done enough to convince you to stomp into battle, or will you be sleeping on this until you hear some final thoughts? Tiptoe into the comments section below.