I hate multiplayer games. Let me rephrase that, I hate playing games online. Even when I’m fairly good at the game (I’m a headshot master in The Last of Us), the idea of having to jump online and play with strangers is enough to make my skin crawl. I don’t need to hear America’s youth spraying out racial and homophobic slurs, I can’t stand the guy who whines about how his team sucks because no one revived him, and there is always one guy being entirely too loud and you start to wonder if he has inserted his microphone into his mouth and proceeded to scream at the top of his lungs. I’ve tried it and it’s not for me. I am perfectly content with playing through a game’s campaign and calling it a day without even thinking of hopping on a server. But to each their own.

I love Evolve. Something about the four hunters with their own unique characteristics working together to bring down an evolving skyscraper captured me. The day it came out, I played it for eight hours and never once got bored. Let me remind you that forty-four words ago, I was telling you that I hated playing games online. But, Evolve? I couldn’t play unless I had my headphones in and was constantly communicating with the other hunters about how we were going to take down the monster. I loved the idea of each player having specific duties on the team and I felt immense satisfaction when all the pieces fell into place and when the monster fell to Earth. More often than not, if I joined a match where none of the other players had mics, I left.

The entire first week the game was out, it was all I wanted to play.  I began striking up conversations with other players and joining parties. I was enjoying multiplayer! I was in deep with Evolve and I loved every minute of it. Until I didn’t.

I’m over Evolve. Its been out for a couple of weeks and I could care less about putting the disc in. Even after all my praise of the game, it has showed me a new thing I hate about playing games online. Being left in the dust. It became very clear the first time I didn’t play the game for a couple of days that I was going to be quickly left behind. Suddenly, my opponents and teammates were much higher levels than me and they were out performing me in every way. I felt I was just a deadweight for teams, rather than a necessary addition.

I don’t even feel bad for completely stopping playing the game. I don’t want to play a game if it’s not fun and the fun for me in Evolve was having to work together as a team. Now, other player’s skills, accessories, weapons, etc. are far more advanced than mine. They’ve unlocked characters that are far more superior than mine. Sure, I could level up my own profile to the point of theirs, but I simply don’t want to have to grind against players that will consistently outperform me. I want what I had when I first started the game. To play with an equal team that absolutely has to work together to bring down a common enemy. I don’t want to play with three people that just leave me to play catch up while they use their superior skills.

Evolve’s manual says that it places players into matches based upon level and experience, but I’ve found that this is not often the case. I found myself placed with players double my level on numerous occasions and often noticed a player in a match far under even my own level having to face off against players that would obviously annihilate him or her. I’ve seen numerous players around level two joining a match with players such as myself around level twelve, and higher.

I just wish there was more control put into the player’s hands to decide what level players they wanted to face off against. Evolve has a great mechanic that lets you choose which roles you want to play as from most desired to least. Why couldn’t it also feature a mechanic that allows you to decide which level players you want to play against? For example, I would love to be put with players at levels 10 – 15, not levels 2 – 26.

I stand by saying Evolve is a great game. I still love the game. But, at this point it has lost me. Since I put away the game, I have gone back to avoiding mulitplayer and expect to only return to servers when it’s required by a review. I enjoyed my time with Evolve immensely, but I’m done. I admit defeat.