Evil Dead: The Game - New Release Review
Travelling to a cabin in the woods and fighting nightmarish demons doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, especially if your name is Ashley J Williams, but somehow Saber Interactive have achieved the impossible in their latest game, ‘Evil Dead’. Saber Interactive are no strangers to making licensed video games (with the great ‘World War Z’ game and the terrible ‘R.I.P.D’ tie in game), but with ‘Evil Dead’, they’ve been able to do something nothing of the movies or shows were able to do...making everything canon and interconnected.
In ‘Evil Dead’, characters from ‘The Evil Dead’, ‘Evil Dead II’, ‘Army of Darkness’ and ‘Ash Vs Evil Dead’ (the criminally underrated show, GO WATCH IT) have all been plucked from their timelines to help in the battle against the Kandarian Demons and the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis aka The Book of the Dead. It’s thrilling as a fan to see characters like Pablo fighting alongside someone like Lord Arthur. The game is 4 vs 1, with 4 survivors going up against one Kandarian Demon. If you’ve played games like ‘Dead By Daylight’ or ‘Left 4 Dead’, you’ll be familiar with this type of gameplay. As a die-hard ‘Dead By Daylight’ player, ‘Evil Dead’ is definitely a more refreshing take on the genre.
With 4 players in a team, each person can pick from 4 different classes; Leader, Warrior, Hunter and Support. With 4 characters in each class, each with their own levelling perk system, it can feel overwhelming at the start but if you pick a character you like (for me it’s ‘Army of Darkness’ version of Ash) and stick to it, it becomes fun to level up and feel your character become more capable through gameplay. On the demon side of things, there’s 3 different classes; Warlord, Necromancer and Puppeteer. The main focus of the demon gameplay is to plan ahead, by setting traps and possessing things like trees and cars to stop the players. The most fun aspect of the demons is torturing the players to stop them from achieving their goals, which is a perfect way to sum up what the demons do to the likes of Ash in the films/show.
Speaking of Ash, each hero class has its own version of Ash, so technically you could have a team of 4 Ash’s. Thankfully, Bruce Campbell returns to voice Ash in the game. It's fantastic to hear Campbell spouting classic lines from the series, plus some new lines that sound straight out of the movies. Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago both return as Kelly and Pablo from the TV series and I really got a kick out of seeing their characters again after the cancellation of the show.
Although the game does feature a few single player missions (that are extremely difficult), it’s primarily online and this might turn a few people off from playing. Luckily, since launch, matches have been quick to find and I'm never waiting any more than two minutes to get straight into a game. For the first time in years, I've found myself putting on my mic and talking to strangers while playing matches. It's a fun way to play together and it also has the extra enjoyment of knowing that all the players love the ‘Evil Dead’ franchise.
The gameplay is very satisfying, especially the special kill animations. Each handheld weapon has its own animation, and it’s fun to find your favourite while getting showered in blood and guts. While playing as the demon, it’s hilarious to scare the other players or force them out of their car while you possess it off the side of a mountain. I’m playing the game on a standard PS4 and the game still looks beautiful. I didn’t find any graphical glitches or bugs while playing, which is quite impressive for a game this size.
I’m looking forward to seeing what new stuff is going to be coming to the game in the future. Saber has already teased Castle Kandar in the next DLC and I want to see characters like Ruby and Chet (TED RAIMI BABY!) added to the game, plus some content from the 2013 reboot would be nice. All in all, ‘Evil Dead’ is exactly the type of game I wanted. My favourite horror franchise mixed with my favourite type of video game, it’s really a win win. It’s actually quite nice that they made a game specially for me.
After all of the bad ‘Evil Dead’ games over the years, Saber Interactive have finally delivered a game worthy of the series. This is a perfect swansong for Bruce Campbell as the character of Ash; capturing his legacy from the last 40 years and having it on full display here for future generations to enjoy. So grab your boomstick, chug some Pink F and join the fight; Ash Williams needs your help defeating evil one more time. Hail to the king, baby!
- Adam Neeson