With just a few weeks to go before the launch of the 4v1 shooter Evolve, which ships on February 10, its developer Turtle Rock Studios has revealed new details about the latest addition to its lineup of gargantuan monsters.
Behemoth, a vast beast encased in a shell of rock, becomes the fourth monster to join Evolve's cast of hulking giants. First-look images can be found in the gallery below.
Behemoth is described as a "tank of a monster" who can morph into a massive, boulder that crashes through the environment. He has the most armor and greatest pool of health of all of Evolve's monsters, and is the most deadly in terms of sheer force. Although he may be the slowest of Evolve's monsters on foot, he has a range of unique abilities that make him a menacing foe.
Turtle Rock explains that Behemoth's key abilities are:
- Lava Bombs: Effective at short and long range, these mortar bombs shatter into fragments and continue to burn the area around them, including any Hunters who find themselves in the damage radius.
- Rock Wall: Creates a large, semi-circular rock structure that either traps victims inside with Behemoth, or locks him away from attackers.
- Tongue Grab: Behemoth uses his tongue to reach out, grab a target, and pull it back to his feet to deal damage in close quarters.
- Fissure: A wave of destruction blasts out of Behemoth, fracturing the terrain and scalding and stunning everything in its path.
To learn more about Evolve's Behemoth monster--which will be available sometime this spring as DLC--we caught up with Turtle Rock co-founder and creative director Chris Ashton, who answered our questions about the beast.
GAMESPOT: Behemoth sounds like a pretty unique Monster. What were your inspirations when designing its look and abilities?
Chris Ashton co-founded Turtle Rock in 2003
ASHTON: "Rock Wall was kind of the iconic ability that Behemoth was built around. We wanted a monster who could grow a mountain! To create something that impressive takes a big, powerful monster. Bigger than anything we had so far. We also wanted him to be the most dangerous up close, which meant he needed to have huge arms.
For the visuals, we always centered around rock and molten rock. We figured if this guy could grow rock out of the ground, he could also use it for armor. The concepts looked so armored, and so powerful that we decided to get rid of the headshot multiplier that you get on the heads of all the other monsters. Behemoth's head is surrounded by armor plates so you just do normal damage to it.
But having a weak spot of some kind is fun so the concept team decided to move the double damage multiplier to Behemoth's stomach. If you look, his chest opens up. You can see his beating heart, some ribs and intestines. It's really hard to shoot normally but when he rears up for some attacks, you get a nice clear shot."
Behemoth wasn't featured in the previous beta tests, so how have you gone about balancing the monster?
"Though Evolve has gone gold, Behemoth is only playable in a prototype state. That means we are just starting to look at balance. We are approaching it in the same way as all the other monsters. It always starts with playtesting (which we do for an hour a day) against the first tier Hunters. They act as the control variable. If we can get a good ratio there, then we know we are in the ballpark. Then we expand the playtesting to all the other Hunters and gather feedback and look at the playtest telemetry, make adjustments and test some more.
Even though we usually get it very, very close, we know we are a small player pool and the data isn't 100 percent accurate as a result. After release, we will be watching the telemetry in real time and will be able to make balance adjustments as often as we need to."
Click on the images below to view in full screen
How does Behemoth compare to Evolve's other three monsters?
"Behemoth is a real tank of a monster. He's bigger, heavier, has more health and armor than the other monsters, and packs a more powerful punch. He's the scariest monster to get close to. If you're on the ground with him, you are very likely to wind up incapped. But he's also the slowest moving, which makes him a bit of a sitting duck for damage. So the battle often comes down to positioning. If the Hunters can keep their distance, they stand a good chance. Fortunately for Behemoth, he has more tools to control Hunter movement than any other monster. Oh, and he can ball up into a huge lava boulder and run trees, wildlife and Hunters over. What's not to love?!"
What play-style do you think Behemoth is best suited for?
"Anybody who likes feeling big and powerful. Behemoth is the most 'boss' of them all. To get the most out of him, you need to remember to use your abilities to control player movement. You can't blindly chase after them like you can with Goliath. Use Rock Wall to trap them in with you. Tongue grab to pull them out of the air and Lava Bomb to make an area 'off limits' to the Hunters. Then smash them into submission with your huge, tree trunk sized arms, or boil them from a distance with Fissure."
"Behemoth can ball up into a huge lava boulder and run trees, wildlife and Hunters over. What's not to love?!" -- Ashton
The prevailing strategy for many monster players is to evade the hunters, while evolving up to level 2, and then engage. Is this still viable as Behemoth, given its limited mobility? Do you see more earlier engagements with Behemoth? How do they usually pan out?
"Evolve revolves around monsters staging up over time. That's one of the core ingredients that makes the game tick. Behemoth will be similar. We balance his movement and health in other ways. The rolling traversal ability, for example, is slower than the other monster's traversal methods, but Behemoth's roll can be sustained for much longer periods of time.
Perhaps the more interesting bit is when you think about rolling versus leaping or flying. Because Behemoth rolls, he's pretty much stuck down in the lowest elevations of the map. So you'll often find and fight Behemoth in very different locations."
Stage 3 monsters are already very hard to kill, will stage 3 Behemoth be nigh unstoppable?
"Every Monster has their trade-offs. Behemoth will indeed be quite a tank at Stage 3, but his movements are still slower than the other Monsters and his silhouette is huge. Landing a shot on Behemoth is like hitting the broad side of a barn. He has more health, but the Hunters land a larger percentage of their shots."
Other monsters have effective ability combos, such as Wraith's warp-n-blast, supernova, decoy escape. What combos do you see being effective for Behemoth?
"We’ve seen some fun moments in our playtesting with Behemoth using the Tongue Grab to pull a Hunter in close and then use the Rock Wall to block them off from their fellow Hunters as he pummels them into the dirt. Fissure can travel over terrain, so we have also seen Rock Walls go up to protect Behemoth from incoming damage while he scalds the Hunters with Fissure attacks. There's definitely a lot of potential for utilizing the abilities together, and we're excited to see more awesome moments!"
Does Behemoth roll faster downhill vs uphill?
"Yes, to a limited degree."
With limited mobility, what strategies must a Behemoth employ to feed reliably?
"That slower run speed also means that Behemoth players can struggle to hunt if you simply chase food and try to melee attack it. One of the best ways to hunt is to simply run over wildlife while in ball form. It'll damage or kill the wildlife, then you can pop out to eat. And a personal favorite of mine--the Tongue Grab. Use this ability to nab wildlife. It will kill small to medium wildlife and fling the ragdoll corpses right to your feet. Delivery for Mr. Behemoth!"
How much is Behemoth going to cost for people who didn't preorder? Will it be available on day one?
"Behemoth is going to cost $15, and he will release sometime this spring when he is finished. That's the great thing about the pre-order incentive: if you know you're going to buy Evolve, pre-order and you get an awesome Monster for free down the line. If you don't want to pre-order, no big deal. You'll still find yourself playing against him when he comes out. Our DLC won't segregate the community."
Are you planning to add more monsters to Evolve over time?
"We'd love to add more over time, and we're going to develop at least one more down the line. But we've got a lot more ideas that we'd love to flesh out, should DLC prove popular."
Evolve launches February 10, 2015 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Xbox One players can jump into the game's open beta starting this week. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
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