Evil Dead Game Review: The Evil Dead movies, despite their low budgets, are consistently better than they should be, and Evil Dead: The Game is no exception. It’s full of things that annoy me, like little inclines that my wimpy survivor couldn’t climb, picky command prompts, and more, but it’s also a balanced, engrossing war of wits and reflexes that has kept my attention for over 20 hours, which is no small feat.
Despite the clunkiness, playing as a survivor captures the horror movie atmosphere of working with a community to resist an overwhelming evil threat, while playing as the threatening demon is a diabolically enjoyable misadventure that fulfills the malevolent mastermind ideal.
Evil Dead: The Game is an asymmetrical multiplayer game like Dead by Daylight and Friday the 13th, but it’s infused with Bruce Campbell’s wacky, campy style. In each match, four playable survivors must resist being maimed long enough to conduct a ceremony that banishes all evil while suffering the map’s geometry.
One evil player uses an army of undead warriors and a bag of diabolical tricks to destroy the survivors. Even though its rough edges make me scream louder than any jump fright, that cat-and-mouse game is fun for both sides.
With The Game, an over-the-top survival horror adventure starring Bruce Campbell as Ash, coming out, we thought we’d flip through a few flesh-bound, blood-inked pages of the Necronomicon and unearth some amusing franchise trivia you might not know. Sam Raimi’s blood carnival, which began at a cabin in the woods, is described here.
The Progression System’s Variety Hooked Me Early
The worst aspect about playing as a survivor is that you’re more likely to experience Evil Dead’s map clunkiness. No jump button and uneven surroundings mean you’ll always get trapped on a tiny rock or another minor impediment, even while a demon is trying to rip your face off.
Sometimes a prompt lets you climb over small obstacles, but usually, you have to walk around even a low hedge wall. The bugs are asymmetrical like the gameplay because the demon can fly over them.
Aside from being locked in a life-or-death battle with small pebbles, you’ll also struggle with the lack of a lock-on system when fighting undead mobs, finicky interaction prompts to light a campfire or revive a fallen teammate that often doesn’t register during crucial moments, your character freezing in place for several seconds for no apparent reason, and more.
However, the annoying safe zone concept, which confines your team as the battle winds down, is my biggest pet peeve. Evil Dead’s safe zone modifications are unpredictable, almost instantaneously lethal if you’re caught outside the bounds, and inconsistent.
My team has finished an objective, only for the safe zone to jump to another portion of the map a few seconds later, trapping half the team in an inevitable death zone and terminating the battle. Frustrating.
Messing with survivors with godlike powers is always fun.
Luckily, playing as one of the three available demons is easier, largely because you play as a flying sphere of evil that can quickly hover over the map and screw with the survivors with godlike powers, which is always fun.
That’s because Evil Dead gives you many ways to achieve that devious goal: you can summon hordes of computer-controlled enemies for the survivors to fight, set traps that spawn enemies and increase their fear when sprung, or even possess undead characters to control them directly, making them stronger and more difficult to deal with.
Not only that, but by terrifying the human team using traps or demonic abilities, and by dividing them from one another, you get the opportunity to possess the survivors themselves for a limited period, turning them against their own teammates, which may be very catastrophic.
Another fun method to win is to possess a car and steer it off a cliff, forcing the survivors to walk or to possess a tree and whack people in the face when they’re trying to rest at a campfire. You advance up and earn more demonic skills until only the most determined and skilled players can defeat you, which feels gloriously nasty. Evil Dead’s monster mode is the greatest I’ve seen, and I normally prefer to play as the survivors rather than the monster.
It’s Beautifully Evil
After mastering survivor and demon modes, the only thing left to do is grind for XP and level up. I lost myself in almost 25 hours of matches, but the bundle feels low in substance, especially maps. After a dozen or so rounds, I started to see a lot of the same places, which wore down Evil Dead’s novelty.
You can only visit a defunct doll factory so many times before you feel like you’ve seen everything and want to explore other failed enterprises, you know?
Evil Dead: The Game also has single-player missions that unlock some of the coolest characters, such as Pablo from Ash vs. The Evil Dead or King Arthur, although they are the weakest portion of the game.
While they try to serve as palette cleansers to the multiplayer-centric experience, they end up being tedious slogs through the same map areas found in multiplayer where you complete a few fetch quests, fight a few enemies, and receive story snippets through still images that interrupt your playtime.
Not only are they absolutely uninspired, but they also don’t have checkpoints – so you can die and lose 20 minutes of work and have to do it all over again.
Because you play alone as a survivor in a mode that feels like it was bolted on, quality faults are exaggerated tremendously, like the awful safe zones feature that destroyed numerous runs by moving safety zones to other sections of the map without warning and quickly killing me.
One mission even tried stealth mechanics, which went about as well as expected and made me wonder if the unlockable characters were worth the torture. There are only five missions, but completing them is hard.
Evil Dead Game Review: Verdict
Evil Dead: The Game is a great asymmetric multiplayer game that, like its source material, is better than it deserves despite its aggravating lack of refinement and limited maps and options.
Despite numerous issues with janky level geometry that causes unfair deaths and other questionable design choices, playing as a survivor is a great cooperative shooter while playing as the evil mastermind is hilarious due to the devious ways you can mess with the opposing side.
The single-player story missions are a depressing jumble that I could have done without being compelled to play through for unlocks, but everything else proves worthy of the legendary corny movies that inspired it.
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