Evil Dead: The Game Review
In 1981, Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead hit theaters, becoming a cult classic and starting one of the horror genre’s longest-running media franchises. The Evil Dead was followed by two sequels, a reboot, a TV series, comic book tie-ins, musicals, and of course, various video game adaptations. The Evil Dead franchise is still going strong in 2022, with Evil Dead Rise set to hit HBO Max later this year, and the asymmetric multiplayer horror game Evil Dead: The Game available now. Evil Dead: The Game follows in the footsteps of titles like Friday the 13th: The Game and Behavior Interactive’s Dead by Daylight. In it, a group of four survivors play as various characters from the Evil Dead franchise, while one player plays as the demonic creatures that surround them. In each battle, the survivors must collect map fragments, use the Kandarian Dagger to fend off the Dark Ones, and ultimately trap the demons, while the demon player does everything they can to stop them. Evil Dead: The Game offers four different classes for survivors and a handful of characters to choose from, though three of the classes feature a variation of franchise protagonist Ash Williams. Admittedly, the game lacks character diversity, but to be fair, the Evil Dead franchise doesn’t really lend itself well. While Ash has had allies over the years, most of the movies and TV shows revolve around Ash’s struggles against demonic Deadite creatures. Ash’s film and television appearances have spanned several decades, so there is still some variation in the appearance of different Ashes in the game. Once players of Evil Dead: The Game have selected their characters, they will be released onto one of two large maps filled with Point of Interest locations that should be familiar to longtime fans. Having only two maps is disappointing, but they are large enough that it will probably still take a few hours of play before players can adequately explore them. Exploring Evil Dead: The Game maps and visiting iconic locations like the cabin from the first movie is fun, but the survivors have to stay focused if they want to survive. The first thing players of Evil Dead: The Game want to do when starting a fight is find a way to defend themselves. Evil Dead: The Game has a good assortment of weapons for players to loot in the game world, with a handy ping system that allows players to quickly contact their allies whenever they find them a new gun or melee weapon. Just as there are recognizable locations from the movies that players will visit in the game, there are several recognizable weapons for players to add to their arsenal as well, including Ash’s chainsaw and “Boomstick” shotgun. Evil Dead: The Game players use these weapons, cutting down both AI-controlled Deadites and some directly controlled by the demon player. The combat in the game is simple but effective. Players are able to easily dispatch regular Deadites with a few shots or melee swings, with the option to cut them down with a fancy execution attack, though stronger enemy types can prove a little more difficult. difficult The objectives in any given Evil Dead: The Game match will have players scouring large areas of the map for the key items they’ll need to win, and this is where the game shines when compared to its fellow asymmetric multiplayer horror games. . For one reason or another, these types of games often make the tasks players have to do dull, whether it’s collecting random objects to escape from Jason on Friday the 13th or repair generators in Dead by Daylight. Evil Dead, on the other hand, has different objectives, with players tasked with hunting special items in a general area at the beginning, then standing their ground and fighting off waves of Deadites in a horde mode-like encounters. It’s more consistently engaging than fans of the genre may be used to. Evil Dead: The Game also has a greater sense of unity than its contemporaries, and it does so by making sure that staying together is paramount. Survivors in Evil Dead: The Game all have a fear meter that can be filled when they are in the dark, separated from the group, or scared by jump scare traps laid by the demon player. If the fear meter is full, that player is vulnerable to possession, allowing the demon to literally take over their body and turn that survivor against their friends. Evil Dead: The Game’s jump scares are great the first time players experience them, and essentially one doesn’t know what to expect going in, so we won’t spoil them here. The first couple of matches should be full of heartwarming moments and surprises, made even better when playing with a fun group of friends. It’s like the video game version of a haunted house attraction. The downside is that, like real-life haunted houses, Evil Dead: The Game loses some luster after players know what to expect. Jump scares aren’t as effective as they once were, and it doesn’t take long to bring back the repetition. With only a few maps, a handful of survivors, and a slow, uninteresting progression system, many players are likely to have their fill of Evil Dead: The Game after the first two days of play. When players get bored of teaming up with their friends as survivors, they can check out what the demons have to offer. The game appears to be balanced in favor of the survivors, so it’s very difficult to win as a demon, but it’s still fun to set jump scare traps for unsuspecting survivors and claim strays in the group. Evil Dead: The Game demons can have vehicles to run over survivors, which can make for some funny and chaotic moments. There are three different demon classes to choose from in Evil Dead: The Game, with similar leveling and upgrading trees as survivors. Once players see all that demons can do, however, they’ll probably get bored with that aspect of the game as well. Luckily, there’s still more to Evil Dead: The Game, including single-player missions that mix the multiplayer experience for narrative-driven levels that take inspiration from the movies. Evil Dead: The Game’s single missions are appreciated, although there are only five in the game at the time of this writing, so it won’t take long for players to get through them. There’s some nice unlockable content tied to the missions, so they’re worth checking out, but they’re not enough to really be a selling point for any solo-minded players who might be on the fence. Although it’s relatively light on content, there’s something to be said for how well Evil Dead: The Game runs and the options it offers players Evil Dead: The Game’s crossplay ensures that players quickly who will be able to join the battles, as the game has PC, PlayStation, and Xbox to contend with for its potential pool of players. Players also have the option to play entirely with survivors and AI-controlled enemies, so if the game’s multiplayer community ever dies, fans should still be able to play it to some extent. The downside is that Evil Dead: The Game requires an Internet connection even when playing solo with the AI or doing missions. It’s a head-scratching decision, to be honest, and it’ll be interesting to see if that changes in future updates. As with similar games, future updates will likely go a long way in improving Evil Dead: The Game. Aside from some muddy graphics, the game is polished and runs well for a newly launched online-only multiplayer game, and it can be a real blast for a few hours with the right group of friends. However, in its current state, Evil Dead: The Game lacks enough content to keep anyone who isn’t already a huge fan of the franchise engaged long-term. Evil Dead: The Game is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, with a Nintendo Switch version also in development. Today Technology was provided with a PS5 code for this review.