Evolve Goes Free-to-Play, Released in Beta as Evolve: Stage 2

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Evolve, the 4v1 multiplayer game from last year, is now going to be free to play on PC. Evolve was taken off Steam yesterday, but starting today, anyone can download Evolve and play for free. This change is being dubbed Evolve: Stage 2. In addition, the game has also been massively reworked by the designers and will continue to receive gameplay updates.

Evolve, developed by Turtle Rock Studios and originally released for $60 back in February of 2015, is a first-person multiplayer-only game focused on 4v1 asymmetrical matches. Four players play as “hunters” and fight against one overpowered monster, controlled by a fifth player. For Evolve: Stage 2, Turtle Rock has made many changes, and as such, it is being released in beta. “4v1 – four hunters vs. one monster – is still core to any Evolve match, but much of the hunter, monster, map and mode design has changed, resulting in a vastly improved experience,” Turtle Rock wrote in their announcement.

Evolve’s main mode, Hunt, has been refined and will be the focus of Stage 2. All character classes and monsters have received changes to improve the flow of gameplay, maps have been redone and expanded, and the UI has been redesigned. Stage 2 will feature weekly rotating free playable characters. Every week four hunters and one monster will be available to play for free, and if you want to play a character not available that week you can unlock them with in-game currency. This in-game currency, Silver Keys, can be earned by playing and completing matches or challenges and is used to purchase hunter classes, monster classes, perks and cosmetic items. The full list of changes is available here.

Turtle Rock expressed their gratitude to anyone who purchased Evolve, saying “THANK YOU! Seriously, from the bottom of our hearts, your loyalty and support is what fueled us to continue expanding and improving the game since launch.” Anyone who purchased Evolve will receive “Founder Status” in Stage 2. Founders get “3,000 Silver Keys, all past and future Adaptations for previously owned Hunters and Monsters, dozens of Weapon Skins, and four unique, animated Founder badges,” plus any and all DLC classes purchased beforehand carry over.

Turtle Rock co-founders Chris Ashton and Phil Robb wrote a message about the changes. “When people first started playing Evolve … it was magical,” they wrote. “Then, when Evolve launched, the reception wasn’t what we expected. Sure, there were some good reviews. There were also bad reviews. Yes, there was excitement. There was also disappointment—for players and for us.” With Stage 2 they’re hoping to recapture the excitement people had when Evolve was first revealed.

“We want that magic back and we aim to make it happen,” they wrote.

You can watch the Stage 2 reveal trailer below, and download the game on Steam when it goes live today at 12 p.m. EST. No word yet on whether console versions will be going free-to-play.

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