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by yo go re

Back when G4 was still a channel, X-Play was the OAFEnet of videogame reviews. But now that's gone, and there's no real successor, so the exent of my knowledge of Evolve is that for a game based on 4 vs. 1 multiplayer, it has a really clever logo design.

Goliath woke up on the wrong side of angry this morning. Little is known about this Monster because scientists studying the beast wind up getting torn in half. Proving just how unfair natural selection can be, Goliath can not only punch through the hull of a starship, it can also breathe fire.

Hey, that's all pretty neat. This is a big, cool-looking monster, so I bought it.

The Goliath is apparently one of the starting monster classes - ie, not one of the ones you have to unlock, nor part of the game's more than $100 worth of DLC ($75 in the store plus a $25 "Hunting Season Pass" with no overlap) - and it's his handprint that serves as the game's cover art. All things considered, it's a very humanoid design: two arms, two legs, a big upper body, etc. Yes, the legs are digitigrade, and he has zygodactyl toes, but this could still be a guy in a suit. The skin looks thick and armored, like a rhino (or even a Rhino), and there are big scars on his chest and... genitals? Mating season must be rough for these guys.

It's always nice to see an alien species that breaks away from the decades-long stagnation Giger's xenomorphs caused in the world of sci-fi creature design (Hydralisks, Halo Elites, Tyranids, Frieza, you could all learn a lesson here), but did they have to go right over to the Predator, instead? Actually, this thing has a head like a Halo Elite, judging by where the neck joint is, but the mouth is pure Pred. Look at those mandibles! He has visible tendons in his mouth (like an Alien), a pointed tongue, four large fangs, and then a bunch of other randomly placed teeth. It's terrifically creepy!

The Goliath is a big figure - even sold in a larger box than the rest of his series - but he's not big enough. There was no way he could ever be big enough. The monsters in Evolve live up to the game's title by going through three different stages, getting bigger and more powerful every time. Goliath starts out with little bumps on his back, but by Stage 3, they've grown into full-fledged spikes. The toy has those spikes (which aren't exactly sharp, but still make him difficult to hold), suggesting he's Stage 3, but he only stands about 8" tall at the most; in the game, a Stage 3 Goliath is nearly 70 feet tall! Even in Stage 1 it's already 20' tall. There was no way that could ever be done as a normal toy.

We do get good articulation, though. The Goliath's spiky tail is packaged separately and has to be plugged on, so that's one swivel joint already. We've then got swivel/hinge joints in the toes, ankles, knees, wrists, elbows and shoulders; plain swivels in the thighs; balljoints for the hips, torso and head; and a hinged jaw. Despite the monster's bulk - seriously, this is a heavy toy - all the joints are staying in place nicely, because they're rather stiff. Funko is still using the clear plastic, which is worrisome, but nothing's broken yet. The articulation isn't quite good enough to get the Goliath into a proper quadrupedal stance, but there's still a lot you can do with him.

I wasn't terribly interested in the Evolve toys, because I have no connection to the game they come from. But when Toys Я Us suddenly stocked them, I decided to pick some up, partially to encourage TRU to carry more of this sort of thing. I may not know anything about Evolve, but the Goliath is just a nice monster toy. Put him up against Ghost Rider, and he's a demon from Hell; versus Spider-Man, he's a genetic experiment gone wrong; Wonder Woman fights weird creatures of myth, Stormtroopers shoot aliens, Godzilla destroys all monsters... this thing is generic enough that it will look cool as an enemy for pretty much any toy you have.

-- 08/26/15

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