Have you ever walked into a movie theatre expecting a unique
and interesting experience only to come out disappointed because
the film didn't live up to it's potential? Evolva oozes with creativity
and imagination but, like so many unique concepts before it, it
fails to deliver or sustain a level of consistency and intrigue. The
storyline is worthy of a science fiction film in itself, yet Evolva
seems to settle for the old shoot 'em up formula. That's not to say
that Evolva isn't a convincing gaming experience though, I mean
heck, when I finished watching the science fiction thriller Pitch
Black, I was fairly satisfied, but I certainly wasn't itching to watch
the movie a second time either.
[Ascending from the bottom of the screen, the following passage
It's post-World War III, a time where genetically engineered
weaponry is no longer a dream, but a reality. What's also reality is
the threat to man's survival brought about by a new and
devastating parasite that has started to invade the habitable
planets of the galaxy. Protected by armies of guardians, the
parasite spreads its tentacles across the land and produces new
eggs that are launched into space ready to invade another world.
Which brings us to you, one of the Evolva, an elite army of
commanders that patrol the galaxy protecting the planets from the
parasite and its guardians. You have in your command four of the
most powerful fighting machines ever created, the Genohunter
warrior. The parasite has begun to infect yet another planet and
it's up to you and your team of Genohunters to destroy the parasite
and its guardians.
[The title 'Evolva' explodes onto the screen and slowly dissipates
as a distant planet comes into focus. The camera slowly pans out
as a space ship passes by the screen. The scene fades to black as
we enter the friendly ship. A man (we'll call him Clarence) is seen
communicating back to his commander (we'll call him Elvis)]
Clarence: Approaching the parasite infested planet sir,
remind me again what's so special about these Genohunters?
Elvis: The Genohunter is the culmination of decades of
genetic research Clarence, they are able to accomplish, in
seconds, adaptation and mutations that once took scientists
generations to achieve.
Clarence: Can you dumb it down a little sir?
Elvis: They can extract genetic material from any
substance they absorb. They can manipulate their own DNA to
mutate their physical form. If they sink their teeth into a creature
that spits acid, they will gain that ability themselves. They
constantly improve their abilities and with the number of creatures
on that planet Clarence, they'll be a valuable ally.
Clarence: Who with the what now?
Elvis: Don't worry Clarence, it's really a simple process. In
fact, you'll be controlling your team of four Genohuntes from the
comfort of your ship. You'll control one at a time while the others
defend themselves or perform other various tasks. If you wish to
use one of their mutant abilities, just bring them up and click on
the 'mutate' button, then you can choose which type of mutation
you wish to perform. In fact Clarence, the controls in general are
very simple and completely configurable. The game plays like a
regular shoot 'em up, so if you've ever played Quake XXIV, I'm
sure you'll have no problems.
Clarence: Damn skippy boss! We're beginning our descent
[The camera pulls back from Clarence, through the cockpit
window and back into outer space. The ship is seen descending
towards the planet as the screen fades to black. Moaning sounds
are heard as the next scene flashes onto the screen. It's a
gratuitous nude scene involving a couple on another space ship.
(Hey, it's all good) The scene lasts a few moments before we're
taken back to Clarence and the parasite infested planet]
Clarence: Was that you moaning boss?
Elvis: I don't know what that was Clarence, but let's get
back to the task at hand. What is the status of the planet. Give me
Clarence: Relax commander, the Genohunters have been
dispatched. I'm not sure about this boss, this planet doesn't seem
worth saving. It's quite the dull planet. I've seen better use of color
on my black and white DVD player. The landscapes seem fairly
organic, but too much grey, brown and other drab looking colors.
There doesn't appear to be much intelligent life on this planet sir,
including myself. The missions we're undertaking, while nicely
varied, are extremely linear and uninspiring. It's hard boss, the
missions that is. The first couple of missions were well paced, but
the swarms of bugs just seem to be getting bigger and bigger. I
was hoping this would be more than a shoot 'em up mission
commander, I'm a little disappointed the missions aren't as unique
as the concept itself.
Elvis: You're hard Clarence? I'm sorry, I'm having troubles
hearing you. I think we're breaking up!
Clarence: That doesn't surprise me sir, the sound on this
planet is extremely plain. My Genohunters make the occasional
grunt, as do the creatures we come across, but the environments
are about as lively as Mick Jagger. I still can't believe that guy's
alive sir. That aside, I wish I had brought my walkman with me
down here boss, there's very little music to be heard here either.
Elvis: Heard you loud and clear there Clarence. What
about the Genohunters though, are you enjoying their unique
Clarence: You bet sir, I'm having a blast with these
genetically engineered weapons. There are so many possible
combinations of mutations, I'm sure I'll never grow tired of them.
It's just too bad this planet sucks sir. There doesn't seem to be any
imagination put into this hunk of land at all. I wish I could come
home sir, but rest assured, we will save the galaxy whether we
like it or not.
Elvis: Good man Clarence, bear with it. Say, just for the
sake of conversation, what if we sent a second ship of
Genohunters to the planet to battle the Genohunters under your
control. Do you think that might be fun?
Clarence: I guess boss. I suppose we could have a
deathmatch style battle with these lethal mutating machines, but it
doesn't sound too appealing to me sir.
Elvis: I don't doubt you soldier. Anything else to report
Clarence: I don't think so sir, except… I love you long
Elvis: Excuse me?
Clarence: Nothing sir.
[An epic struggle between the Genohunters and a swarm of
insects continues as the screen fades to black. The ratings
begin rolling as the musical score kicks in one last time]
[ 14/20 ] Graphics
[ 09/15 ] Sound
[ 24/30 ] Gameplay
[ 15/20 ] Fun Factor
[ 01/05 ] Multiplayer
[ 07/10 ] Overall Impression