Back in 1981, Director Sam Raimi unleashed The Evil Dead on film audiences, and in doing so ignited his career as well as that of star Bruce Campbell. The subsequent sequels only further cemented dysfunctional hero Ash Williams into Pop Culture history, as did the recent television series which returned the character to eager fans.
Saber Interactive has given fans a chance to play as Ash or several of the characters from the series with Evil Dead: The Game and take the battle to the demonic hordes and plenty of humor, horror, and action along the way.
The game is played from the third-person perspective. Online players can enjoy cross-play so that players on all systems can play with one another. In the multiplayer mode, up to four players can team up to get missing pages of a text over a dark and vast map that is littered with demons and can have a player-controlled demon in the mix as well.
Players will be able to arm up by locating guns, knives, swords, and ammunition along the way as well as matches which are key to lighting up areas to keep enemies from advancing. Ammunition is in limited supply so players will have to be selective about combat. Blowing away enemies is tons of fun, but having to mix it up or run is not always wise when they attack in masses.
The maps are very large, but fortunately there are vehicles available, handy in running down enemies and making it to remote areas of the map. Along the way, there are shops, cabins, homes, and other locales where players can find needed objects to survive.
The longer a player operates in the dark or away from other players, the more their fear level increases. This makes them vulnerable to being possessed and turning on their fellow players. When a player is low on health they can regain it by drinking cola found around the map, or by being assisted by a fellow player (which isn’t easy in the midst of combat as helping others can place you at risk yourself).
The goal is to get a legendary dagger and take on the evil leaders, which if successful, wins the rounds for the players and their XP levels up. Players also have the option for a regular or furious attack as well as special moves which recharge over time.
The solo portion of the game is set in chapters and requires Ash to complete various tasks to advance to the next one. I found this to be very challenging as at times the maps are so dark it is hard to navigate or see properly and without players to help out, it can be a frustrating defeat.
The game has decent graphics and sound, and the numerous clips of star Bruce Campbell offering wisdom and quips are very enjoyable and sets the tone for the game well. The attention to detail from the movies is also very enjoyable. Players will want to make sure to take a good look around the cabins to get their nostalgia fix.
The game is a fun diversion and fun in groups and gives fans of the series the action and nostalgia they have come to expect. Some may cite a lack of initial depth to the gameplay and maps but I am sure as time goes on and more updates arrive, the game will continue to grow.
For now, Evil Dead: The Game offers enough action, humor, and nostalgia to keep fans happy.
It’s currently available for PS4, PS5, XBox One, XBox Series X, and PC through the Epic Games store. A version for the Nintendo Switch is planned but has not yet been released.
3.5 stars out of 5
Gareth is the mastermind behind the popular pop media site Skewed and Reviewed. He lives in Arizona with his wife Em McBride.