A new asymmetrical multiplayer shooter from the makers of Left 4 Dead should be a cause for celebration, right? And yet, somehow, Evolve keeps managing to dilute its core promise. I haven't even played it yet—I hope it's brilliant—but its orbiting Business Strategy has seriously sapped my enthusiasm.
Here's the new thing: a mobile companion app that takes the form of—you guessed it—a free-to-play match-3 mini-game.
Here's the trailer:
And here's a passage from the trailer's description. Time how long it takes before you become visibly annoyed:
"Use match 3 tokens of the same color to unleash devastating attacks on your enemies, and fill up energy bars to activate hunters’ special abilities. Earn Mastery Points to rank up your character in both the mobile and console games. Explore the planet of Shear in search of new wildlife and monsters. Discover and complete your collection of exotic wildlife in the Bestiary, and earn unique art for the Evolve console game. Enhance your Evolve skills by watching your multiplayer match replays from a strategic top-down view, and devouring intel in the Game Changer. Evolve: Hunters Quest lets you continue your Evolve experience from anywhere!"
In case you were wondering, I became irate at the point that the description twice uses "Evolve console game" to describe a game that is also on the PC. And again at the phrase "devouring intel in the Game Changer". Nonetheless, it's a thing that'll let you earn Mastery Points towards bonuses in the main game. If that's a thing you want, and your tolerance for match-3 games is high, I guess this is something you can do now.
Apparently, Evolve isn't just a mechanism from which to hang a companion app and a bewildering selection of DLC and pre-order bonuses. There's also a game—one due out on 10 February.