The Ninjabot

Daily E3 Recap – Evolve and Project Spark

Posted on June 17, 2014 at 4:13 pm by Stephen Janes

Evolve/Project Spark Cover

Continuing on the recap of everything exciting about E3, today we will talk about Evolve and Project Spark, two of my favorite games that I was able to play on the show floor.  Evolve is being developed by Turtle Rock Studios who also created the similar styled Left 4 Dead and although a lot of similarities can be made between the two games, Evolve truly stands on its own.

As I mentioned earlier, Evolve was perhaps my favorite game to play while at E3. The two things I absolutely cannot get over are how smooth the game ran while on an Xbox One console and the depth within the game play. Geek Legacy Executive Editor Justin Cavender and I had a lengthy discussion about whether or not the game was running on a PC or a console, but our suspicions were confirmed that a console was running the game. The level we played in also provided a great amount of flora and fauna as well as nooks, crannies and everything in between when it came to exploration.

Evolve_Hunters Attacking

“Come at me, bro!”

Evolve is a 4v1 shooter where the four players must work together in order to take down the fifth player, who is controlling a disgustingly large creature. With the announcement of the latest controllable beast the Kraken, players had the opportunity to go head to head with the mythical beast. I played as the support while Justin was the squad healer. Each of us had unique abilities and skill sets. The support character has UAV and sentries that can be placed around the map while the healer tries to keep the squad alive. The other players or “hunters” are an assault character and trapper.

Each member must play to their abilities and work together to take down the monster. The monster must eat the local flora and fauna in order to evolve to level three, where it can knock out other players and consume them to add to its life force. It’s not as simple as running in head first and taking out the monster, however. As mentioned earlier, each player must work to the confines of their specialties and work together. In our example, the four working together took down the player controlled Kraken in about four minutes. Prior to us stepping up, the match lasted about fifteen to twenty minutes. The promise of various game types and several maps will make this multiplayer experience one to taste for yourself when it is released in October of this year.

Project Spark was originally shown during E3 2013 as a game where you could create your own game but words don’t do it justice. Project Spark has the charm of Little Big Planet with the creativity of Minecraft and the emotional capabilities of The Sims. The demonstration we were shown lasted twenty minutes on how to create a custom world and landscape along with unique characters, cutscenes, interactions, custom camera angles and more. The game also offers a fairly diverse single player campaign but I want to focus on the creative mode within the game, which nearly stole the show for me.

What boggled my mind the most was how simple everything was. The landscape tool could simply be swung around carelessly in order to create perfectly generated scenery and all that needs to be done to bring everything to life is a paint brush. Our demonstrator made a cliff with a cave, a moat and a vast forest in under a minute. Even more impressive was the ability to add characters and give them a “brain.” In game, a brain is an action or a set of actions that represent a character in any way imaginable. Our example included a goblin who would walk up to a rock, throw it off the cliff and prepare for battle by unsheathing his weapon. Brains can include many different scripts, or reactions to actions and can feasibly be copied to really make a character stand out.

Project Spark_Knights

Project Spark sells itself with its creation tools and the ability to do whatever.

Finally, each placed item could be picked apart and altered as much or as little as needed. A house can be picked apart and moved around by the room, so you can rearrange the living arrangement to fit your need. Project Spark gives the player the tools and the talent to create their own vast adventure world or if they want to really get fancy, a game within a game. A montage video was shown where players created Project Spark renditions of Battle Chess, Minecraft, a MOBA style game, a tower defense game and more. As if you haven’t been sold on the game yet, Project Spark will be free for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 when it is released this Fall. It will also be available on Windows tablets and phones, provided they are running Windows 8. There will be downloadable themed packs (for a price) that will add more dimensions to game play and creativity as well as a playable appearance by Conker the squirrel.

Both games really blew me away, but I really enjoyed what I saw with Project Spark. All of the creative tools placed in the hands of the user with endless capabilities, not to mention the game is free when it will be released. However, I will definitely be buying Evolve  this October with its smooth operation and fun game play. Both games offer a lot of entertainment in their own form and will be worth purchasing (or just getting because it’s free). There is still plenty to talk about from E3 so be sure to keep checking back here.

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