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The underrated sci-fi shooter is back from the dead

Evolve’s 4v1 monster-hunting craze has been reinvigorated since 2K brought back peer-to-peer servers and matchmaking.

Evolve is the sequel to Left 4 Dead by Turtle Rock Studios. It saw the studio shift from pitting players against hordes of zombies, to tracking and hunting a player-controller monster. Was anyone hurt by it? It can. Were they desperate for Left 4 Dead 3? Yes, yes I was. But after just two years, dedicated server support was pulled and Turtle Rock went back to the zombie drawing board with Back 4 Blood.

Until recently, the only way to play it deleted steam game (opens in new tab) it was through peer-to-peer servers. But a few months ago it stopped working. Players assumed it was due to a platform update, and many Discord admins contacted publisher 2K to resolve it (you can read about this saga at Reddit (opens in new tab)). Long story short, Evolve Legacy’s peer-to-peer servers have been restored. But to our collective surprise, both peer-to-peer and matchmaking for Evolve Stage 2 have also been revived. And player numbers on Steam have grown since then.

For the dead

(Image credit: Steam Charts)

Evolve Stage 2 (the free version of Evolve, as opposed to the Legacy version) is now being revived on Steam. Steam Charts (opens in new tab) shows an increase in players since the July update. The player base skyrocketed from 31 in June to 1,607 after 2K rolled out matchmaking and peer-to-peer server support.

Over the weekend, Evolve garnered nearly as many active players as Back 4 Blood, as TechRadar Gaming guide editor Patrick Dane spotted on Twitter.

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The community is excited and has set its sights on an even bigger goal: to bring Evolve back to Steam. The redditor who shared the developments from the Discord server seems hopeful, given the publisher’s shock 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 their decision was influenced directly from the realization that there are STILL thousands of people madly in love with this game and still playing it regularly,” they said.

“My point is, I think we should keep this momentum going in hopes that maybe one day they’ll put the game back on Steam or, hell, maybe even open a queue in the lobby eventually! Long shot for that last one, the I know. But hey, a man can dream, can’t he? Especially considering yesterday, I would never dream that they would restore something with stage 2.”

For a game that was left for dead, Evolve somehow maintained a dedicated core player base. And now everything is coming for the Milhouses. The world might not have been ready for Evolve’s gameplay model when it launched in 2016. But had it debuted in the current era of live service titles, it would have undoubtedly found its footing.

It will be interesting to see what – if anything – 2K does next with Evolve. Turtle Rock has moved on, recently completing the Tunnels of Terror DLC for Back 4 Blood. And Left 4 Dead 3 is never going to happen if Valve doesn’t pull its finger. At least the Evolve community has something to hope for. And even if that’s as much as they get, they seem to enjoy it.

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