What is Evasion and who is behind its development?
Evasion is a class-based, sci-fi VR shooter. It features full-body avatars, free-running player movement, and immersive multiplayer co-op. It pits players against an insectoid race called the Optera on an exotic alien world while providing fierce ‘Bullet Hell’ action.
It is being developed by Archiact in Vancouver, Canada. We are a close-knit group of developers who are excited about bringing everything we love about FPS into virtual reality.
How many hero classes does Evasion have and why did we pursue the idea of hero classes ?
Different players have different play styles. Some people prefer to play more aggressively, charging into the fray with guns blazing. Other people having a more tentative play style, prefering to hang back and focus more on supporting their teammates. We wanted to cater to all these preferences and create space in the game for everyone.
We also focused a lot on replayability and providing players with variety, so creating different classes felt like a natural way to accomplish that. Each class has different abilities and encourages a different play style, so the game can feel very different depending on which class you choose.
There are four player classes in Evasion. Each provide unique benefits to the team but can hold their own in the field. They are:
The Warden: Our tank. The Warden is ideal for players who like to charge into battle. He can take more damage than any other class and has unique abilities that allow him to get up close and personal with the enemy.
The Surgeon: Our combat medic. The Surgeon is the only class that can heal other players, making him invaluable to any team. The surgeon can also turn his abilities against the enemy in deadly ways.
The Striker: Our fast mover. The Striker is agile and deadly. Her weapons deal awesome damage, and she has unique skills that allow her to bolster teammate’s weapons.
The Engineer: Our most versatile class. The Engineer can use her tether to grab enemies and whip them around. She can also deal incredible damage and energize teammate’s weapons.
What was the team’s inspiration in adding hero classes to Evasion?
Early in Evasion’s development, we realized we had some really fun and engaging core gameplay, so we made the decision to put everything we had into this game. Adding player classes felt essential to bring it up to the AAA console quality we are aiming for.
We were also inspired by co-op shooters like Borderlands, Mass Effect, and Destiny, which feature player classes that are unique enough to accommodate different play styles, but don’t make players completely reliant on their teammates for survival.
What innovative gameplay benefits do we expect to bring gamers by adding classes?
Each class has a signature finishing move and a unique Surge Attack. Mastering each class’s abilities can really give the player that unstoppable hero feeling, and makes them really impressive to watch in action.
What are some awesome examples of mix-n-matching classes during combat? What can we tell the audience about the fun gameplay possibilities already seen in early development?
The Engineer and Striker make a fantastic team. The Engineer can clear out large groups of grunts while the Striker focuses her powerful weapons on taking out the big tough guys. Or the Striker can use her finishing move, the Singularity, to pull groups of enemies together while the Engineer fires charges of chain lightning into the cluster, destroying them all simultaneously.
The Warden and Surgeon are the classic gameplay duo where the Warden is the tank and the Surgeon is the healer. The big difference in Evasion is that they can both deal devastating damage. The Warden goes charging in and gains a bunch of aggro while the Surgeon keeps him healed from behind. And the two of them lay waste to everything in their path.
What have been some of the learnings / ‘a-ha’ moments during the development of these different classes?
We found that if we try too hard to force a class into a specific role that it takes away from the fun factor. It’s true that some players like to play more of a support role, or be the heavy hitter, but forcing that player to always act that way takes away from the best parts of our core gameplay. So we are ensuring that every class is robust, and as fun to play as possible, while still providing unique abilities that make them useful if and when the player wants to play a support role or be the heavy.
Tell us more about the newly revealed Warden and Engineer classes – what makes them unique?
The Warden is the A.P.C. of the Vanguard. He has the largest shield, wields a shotgun blaster, and lobs high-velocity grenades. His Surge Attack is called ‘Cluster Bombs’. During this attack he is dual wielding grenade launchers that fire clusters of grenades every half second.
The Warden’s finishing move is called ‘Harpoon’. He uses his tether to snatch an enemy out of the sky, yank it to point blank range where he can blow it away with this shotgun. This causes a detonation that blasts outward in a cone, annihilating everything in its path. He can also buff a teammate’s damage resistance, allowing them fight longer and harder.
Players who love explosions and like to charge headfirst into battle will love this class.
The Engineer wields deadly energy weapons. Her blaster fires powerful orbs that grow in size as her weapon powers up. Her charge shot fires a blistering ‘Chain Lightning’ attack which can affect multiple enemies. With upgrades, that attack can also stun enemies. Her finishing move is a tether slam. She grabs a weakened enemy with her tether and can toss it around, slamming it into the environment or other enemies, or just send it flying.
The Engineer’s Surge Attack is called ‘The Conductor’. She dual wields fully automatic blasters that fire energy orbs at the enemies, triggering chain lightning on impact. The result is dozens of enemies getting electrocuted and stunned. Her tether can also be used to buff teammate.
Players that like dealing a ton of damage and enjoy the crowd control role are ideal for this class.