Evolve’s 4v1 monster-hunting madness has gained new life since 2K brought peer-to-peer servers and matchmaking back.
Evolve is the sequel to Left 4 Dead by Turtle Rock Studios. He saw the studio shift from pitting players against hordes of zombies to tracking and hunting a player-controlling monster. Were some people hurt by this? It might be. Were they desperate for Left 4 Dead 3? Yes, yes, I was. But after just two years, support for dedicated servers was retired, and Turtle Rock returned to the zombie drawing board with Back 4 Blood.
Until recently, the only way to play Evolve was through the Legacy edition using peer-to-peer servers. It was pulled from the Steam store some time ago, along with the free-to-play version, Evolve Stage 2. But a few months ago, Evolve Legacy stopped working. Players speculated that it was due to a Steam update, and several Discord admins contacted publisher 2K to resolve the issue (you can read about this saga at reddit (opens in new tab)). Long story short, Evolve Legacy’s peer-to-peer servers have been reinstated. But to our collective surprise, both peer-to-peer and matchmaking for Evolve Stage 2 have also been resurrected. And the number of players on Steam has increased since then.
Left to die
Evolve Stage 2 (the free-to-play version of Evolve, as opposed to the Legacy edition) is now making a resurgence on Steam. Steam graphics (opens in new tab) shows an increase in players since the July update. The player base rose from 31 in June to 1,607 after 2K rolled out matchmaking and peer-to-peer server support.
Over the weekend, Evolve racked up nearly as many active players as Back 4 Blood, as noted by Gaming guide editor Patrick Dane on Twitter.
So on Evolve news… uh, this is pretty interesting.👀 pic.twitter.com/NraJt2VOw5August 2, 2022
The community is excited and set their sights on an even bigger goal: getting Evolve onto the Steam roster. The redditor who shared the events of the Discord server seems hopeful given the publisher’s shocking decision to partially revive the game.
“From a company that did everything in their power to bury this game and pretend it never existed, this is a HUGE change in attitude towards the game, and I think it’s safe to say that their decision was directly influenced by perception that there are STILL thousands of people who are madly in love with this game and still play it regularly,” they said.
“My point is, I think we should take this momentum in the hopes that maybe one day they’ll get the game back on Steam or, heck, maybe even open the lobby queue eventually! But hey, a man can dream, can’t he? Especially considering yesterday, I never would have dreamed they would restore anything with stage 2.
For a game that was left for dead, Evolve somehow maintained a dedicated player base. And now everything is coming Milhouse to them. The world might not have been ready for Evolve’s gaming model when it launched in 2016. But if it had debuted in the current era of live service titles, it would no doubt have found its footing.
It will be interesting to see what – if anything – 2K does next with Evolve. Turtle Rock has forged ahead, recently wrapping up the Tunnels of Terror DLC for Back 4 Blood. And Left 4 Dead 3 will never materialize unless Valve pulls its finger. At least the Evolve community has something to look forward to. And even though that’s the most they get, they seem to be happy with it.