If the dive-bombing drones don’t get you, then the poisonous arachnids or the cartwheeling maniacs might.
Evolution 2: Battle for Utopia’s explosive set-pieces stack the odds against you, and you’ll need to stay frosty to stay alive.
The sequel to the first Battle for Utopia puts you back on the titular planet, a billionaire’s paradise gone bad. Stepping into the army boots of muscular marine Captain Walter Blake, you’ll battle creatures and rival factions alike to secure peace in each war-torn region.
The real-time, third-person combat sequences demand precision under intense pressure. You’ll fire automatically, letting you focus on manoeuvring Blake between fragile cover positions, dodging incoming frag grenades and sidestepping sniper beams.
Even a soldier of Blake’s capabilities can’t handle such firepower alone. Luckily, he can call upon allies with special abilities that can help turn the tide: sniper Anna’s explosive rounds are useful when facing armoured opponents, while chieftain Simon’s incendiary triple-shot makes short work of a cluster of enemies.
Some moments won’t be for the squeamish, but Blake’s one-liners when you nail one are darkly funny, and his quips when you defeat a boss make victory all the more satisfying.
Away from the battlefield, you can send allies to patrol cleared areas for supply caches, while mining resources and upgrading your base, your gear and even your allies. Boost your chopper’s range, meanwhile, and you can fly further to tackle tougher missions.
On top of its huge single-player campaign, there are co-op battles with a light competitive twist, where you compete to deal the most damage against waves of enemies. And you can attack rival bases, too, with each victory helping you improve your own stronghold.
The planet might no longer be appropriately named, but for anyone craving a game that balances frantic action with serious long-term depth, Evolution 2 is the utopia you’ve been looking for.