Reviewed by Curt Rask on 7/10/00
looking at the cover of Evolva, I wasn't quite sure what type of
game I was getting myself into. There is a picture of some humanoid
creatures, doing who knows what, with the words 'Create Your Own
Genetic Warriors' written across the top. Upon further reading,
you come to understand your mission. You control a squad of genetic
mutants, who can change at will, and guide them through an alien
world with the purpose of saving that planet from an invading lifeform.
Overall, the concept and the imagery were intriguing.
Loading the game was a breeze, although annoyingly, it required
the reboot of the machine before being able to play. There was also
a quick registration form that could be filled out or skipped over.
Once that was finished, I moved on to the game. The opening scenes
and graphics really paint a good picture of what you are supposed
to do, visually, but your real mission is still a sort of mystery.
So, I read the instruction book. After that, everything made much
found the graphics to be rather good and very detailed. The 3D
environments were well rendered, and there was good use of blurring
the background into larger solid objects and colors to reduce
the total strain on the graphics card, which leads to much richer
and more accurate colors. I played the game at a resolution of
1064X768 with little or no problem at all. However, as graphic
intensive as the game can be, with all of the colors, characters,
motion, and backgrounds, it could easily make playing at lower
resolutions preferable. With the right equipment, the graphics
on the box are easily attainable and usable. There is also an
options screen where you can select all manner of different setups.
You can choose to utilize higher screen definitions with more
colors, you can opt for greater detail at a reduced frame rate,
music for this game is fairly nonexistent. There is the quintessential
throbbing baseline and jungle-esque noises playing throughout
all of the levels you visit, but other than that, there really
isn't much to the soundtrack. The sound effects are pretty good.
I am always pleased to hear the wet-sponge squashing noises made
by dying bugs in video games. The 'parasites' you are out to destroy
are, for the most part, bug-like, so the noise is appropriate.
There are a myriad of weapons to choose from as well, which also
make interesting noises. The other creatures in the land along
with the parasites lend to the overall soundscape of the world
you are cleaning. These options can be controlled in the options
panel, but the only way to get a great soundtrack out of this
one is to have your stereo playing.
down and dirty of how it works is this: After the opening movie
and credits, you are delivered to the main screen. From here you
can opt to start a new single player game, go for some multiplayer
action, resume a game or configure the options. All of these interfaces
are extremely easy to use and understand.
When you first begin your mission, you are given a team of 4 genetic
mutants who can 'evolve' on the fly. You start from a screen where
you select your team. On this screen, you can change their initial
color, their names, and the name of your team. These team members
are then deployed to the planet with a mission to exterminate
all parasitic life forms. For multiplayer mode, you can select
from a team you have currently in use in your single player missions.
Once on the planet, you are in direct control of only 1 team member
at a time, although it is possible to direct the actions of the
other team members somewhat. The controls are somewhat confusing
to operate at first. The mouse controls the direction that you
are facing, the up/down arrow keys control movement forward and
back and the left/right arrow keys cause you to strafe - a typical
keyboard and mouse setup. The directions call for a wheeled mouse
to allow the player to select between the various weapons.
As far as things you can control during the game, there is a small
screen at the bottom of the main screen containing the view of
each of your team members. There are information bars denoting
overall health, weapon power, overpowered weapon status and mutational
energy. Since you control one of these mutants, his view is what
you see on the main screen, and therefore, that smaller window
now becomes your objective and food radar. This little screen
helps to guide you through the levels to find your objectives
along the way as well as pointing out sources of food.
After succeeding through several missions and a few games, the
controls become quite easy to work. There are definitely a lot
of them, and they are spread out over the keyboard. There are
2 of most controls, and all of them can be remapped at your discretion.
is quite enjoyable. It is especially fun if you like the concept
of squishing bugs and blowing things up and lighting them on fire,
etc. There is a lot of that. About the only thing that may take
some of the fun out of it is killing the indigenous wildlife on
the planet. However, I haven't been able to figure out whether
or not that's a bad thing. After all, the more DNA you sample,
the more your team members can evolve with new and better variants.
Yes, a fun game.
is a multiplayer feature to Evolva, but unfortunately, I did not
have a lot of time to fully test this feature. I played a simulation
one night just to see what it was and what it could do. It appears
to be able to host games as well as join other games being hosted
by other people. The settings seem easy to configure in order
to arrange a game. The basic essential to joining another game
is having the IP address of the host computer. That's pretty much
all there is. After that, you can select from teams that you have
already established in your single player endeavors, or you can
create a new team. If you host a game, the game itself comes with
a program built in to find your address for you, if you are unsure
of how to go about that.
This game is also available for play on Heat.net.
this is definitely a fun game to play. It has an easy to use interface,
excellent graphics, an abundance of controls and good sound effects.
The storyline is not terribly exciting, but then again, roaming
around and squashing bugs should be fun in and of itself, especially
when you can pick up the firepower characteristics of your recently
fallen opponent. This game also has very good information in the
manual. Just about any question you could have is answered. If
you have a question that cannot be answered, they also have tech
support readily available. The game is rated Teen and could easily
be enjoyed by all types of folks.
Efforts Towards Women:
for the packaging and content of this game, it does not really
appear to be marketed toward or against women; in fact, there
does not appear to be any real target audience. All of the main
characters are amorphous beings of an apparently neutral gender.