The ship doors open, revealing a rain battered mud field below. You look to your right, your three companions ready themselves. 1, 2, 3… Together you take the plunge, your feet kicking off the metal hull of the ship as you fall. Rain splatters across your body, you straighten out, ready yourself for landing, then pull the trigger and turn upright, landing feet first in the mud with a sigh. You ready your weapon, and take in the green lush surroundings. It’s time for the hunt to begin. Welcome to Shear.
Before you begin your hunt, and head out into the jungles of Shear it’s important to make sure you understand your job, and all the dangers that you’re putting yourself in.
As the Hunter your job is simple, locate and kill the monster before it can evolve and destroy the Power Relay. As a Hunter you’ll play as one of four Class Types, Assault, Trapper, Medic, and Support.
As the Monster, however, your job is to first stay away from the Hunters. At the start of the match you’ll be weak, only at Stage 1, and will want to avoid the Hunters until you’ve managed to locate some wildlife and have had a few good meals to evolve. Once you’ve evolved into Stage 2, you’re on par with the Hunters, which will make the fights close, but it’s still a good idea to stay away from them until you have a chance to evolve to Stage 3. Stage 3 is your strongest stage, and puts your power and might well above that of the Hunters. Stage 3 is also the only stage where you can begin to attack the Power Relay, which upon destruction will end the game.
Wildlife is a huge deal in Evolve, and while many of these creatures are neutral, several of them are hostile when you invade their areas. Keep an eye out for these creatures, whether you’re a Monster of a Hunter. Otherwise you may not live to regret it.
As mentioned above in the Basics section, there are four classes of Hunters. Upon the game’s release there are 3 characters which can be unlocked for each Class Type, and these three characters playstyles vary wildly.
As Hunters you’ll want to stick together in the early stages, as the monster is a huge threat to one or two Hunters. The wildlife is also capable of killing lone wolves, so you’ll want to always make sure you have someone watching your back. If you do decide to split up, make sure to communicate, and stick close enough that your party members can reach you if you should fall into any sticky situations.
Jetpacks are one of your greatest allies. It allows you to dodge, to climb, and to glide without running into too much trouble. It does have limited fuel, however, so make sure to keep an eye on it in the right hand side of your screen.
Don’t waste time killing wildlife. As a Hunter you might think to yourself ‘If we just kill all this wildlife, the Monster will have nowhere to eat.’ Sure you could do that, but when you kill those creatures you’re just providing the Monster with free corpses to munch on. Ignore the wildlife as best you can and focus on your objective, finding that big ole monster and putting him down.
Wait for everyone before engaging the Monster. You’ve just seen a glance of grey flesh through the leaves ahead, and you’re positive it’s the Monster, but your teammates are still a few feet behind you. Do NOT fire. I repeat, do NOT fire. As a Hunter it’s important to make sure your teammates are ready to take the fight to the Monster. Just because you are, doesn’t mean everyone else is, and you’re going to want everyone up to speed and ready to go once you engage that burly beast. Otherwise, you might just give away our position, and where does that leave you? Right back at square one.
TIP: Hunters only recieve two "strikes" which means they can only go down twice before they'll have to wait on a dropship to respawn. Dropships take around 2 minutes to arrive, and if everyone dies all at once the game is over. Keep an eye on your health, and help teammates up.
As a Hunter it’s important to know where to shoot to cause the most damage. Headshots and weak spots are a good way to deal massive amounts of damage in a short time, and right off the bat headshots to the Monster will give 2X the damage of a normal body shot. On top of that—
Val’s Markers provide 2X the damage on body, and 3X on the head, and last 30 seconds.
Lazarus’s Markers provide 1.5X the damage on body, and 2.5X on the head, and last 20 seconds.
*Note: Shots to the Monster’s tail, limbs, and tentacles reduces the damage by 50%, and not all weapons can use these weakspots. These weapons, however, are also not hindered by the damage reduction if they hit the Monster’s extremities.
Monster Tracking 101
Now that you’re more aware of how the Hunters work when dealing with the Monster it’s time to take a look at just how you’re supposed to find that beast in all this vegetation.
Tracking the Monster isn’t the hardest thing you’ll do in your time as a Hunter, however, it is perhaps one of the more tedious things. Once you’re out of the dropship, and the hunt begins you need to make a beeline for the Monster and try to hit it before it can develop its armor and evolve into a stronger stage. The simplest way to find it is to locate and follow Monster Tracks. These tracks are left behind whenever the Monster isn’t sneaking, and they last a solid 2 minutes before vanishing. Also keep a look out for birds flying overhead, as this only happens when they are scared away by the Monster as it passes by. There are also certain character specific skills which will allow you to better track the Monster, one example is the creature Daisy, which is paired up with Maggie the Trapper.
Combine all of these with your knowledge of the maps and you’re sure to be able to catch up with the Monster early on and apply some permanent damage, or even score a quick win. Be wary of the Monster tracks though, as many Monsters will not make it easy on you. They will fly, sneak, swim, and climb, as well as lead you into dangerous wildlife zones with their tracks.
Most important of all is to always be aware of your surroundings and to keep your teammates close. Keep all of this in mind and you just might make it back home in one piece.