Time to explode your insides! Ash Williams is back, but this time it’s not to tear apart demons in a new movie adventure from Sam Raimi, but rather in a video game production. But does this Evil Dead: The Game live up to the original movies?
“THIS IS A MAGIC WAND! A DOUBLE BARRED REMINGTON”
“Tatre a mis trobeen has tsar Kanda! Kandaa! Kaanda!“, a poor unconscious has re-read the evil lines of the Necronomicon, the book of the dead. It was enough to bring a horde of demons back to planet Earth and the good old Ash Williams who had decided to retire after the conclusion of the Ash vs. Evil Dead in 2018. Yes, for the fortieth anniversary of Sam Raimi’s film saga, all these beautiful people have made a date in Evil Dead: The Game, like so many games that pay homage to the horrible licenses of the 80s – let’s think here of Friday 13, Predator: Hunting Grounds and, to a lesser extent, Dead by Daylight -, Evil Dead: The Game opts for asymmetrical multiplayer gameplay. On the one hand, he invites players to join a squad of four survivors and on the other hand, to embody the demon of Kandar.
Let’s start with the survivors who have gameplay more or less similar to what can be found in a third-person action game. Here the goal is simple: once the group is balanced on one of the two game maps, they must reach a series of objectives (find three pieces of the map, a scroll and Kandar’s dagger) to once again annihilate the evil that is devouring the Necronomicon. To do this you obviously have to work as a team, since like the heroes of Friday the 13th or those of Dead By Daylight, the latter are easy prey when they find themselves isolated from the rest of the group. . A lone hero is obviously more fragile and also sees his fear bar increase more rapidly, which darkens the player’s screen, makes him more detectable in the eyes of the demon and above all more vulnerable (we’ll come back to this). However, unlike the two aforementioned productions, in Evil Dead: The Game, a well-armed lone player can still defend himself, since it is possible to make the dust talk and smash skulls with well-placed tatanes; this is also where Saber Interactive’s multiplayer production stands out from the competition. Once you have completed the beginnings of the game – which consists of searching the various barracks to stock up on weapons and resources -, the title is a real action game that puts clashes first. Always nervous and dynamic, the fights are constantly punctuated by a shower of hemoglobin and stunning finishing moves. In other words, the brawls between survivors and mutants really attract attention, especially as we are entitled to a diverse arsenal ranging from a simple pistol to a shotgun, including a crossbow and a multitude of hand weapons – hand weapons – body (shovel, baseball bat, cleaver, chainsaw, etc.).
Different characters for different classes:
While the cooperation aspect is mainly highlighted by the sharing of resources and mutual help between players when a hero is down, Evil Dead: The Game offers several playable characters. These come from the various films of the saga and also from the series: players can embody multiple versions of Ash Williams, but also Annie Knowbury, Lord Arthur, Pablo Simon Bolivar and many others, each of which has its own characteristics. . Cheryl Williams, Ash’s sister, plays the supporting role and brings the whole group back to life, Amanda Fisher can shoot without using her ammo and Ash’s version of Ash vs. Evil Dead stuns all nearby enemies. All of these powers can also be improved at the end of the game through a unique skill tree for each hero. You understand, if you play with friends it is enough to build a strong team.
However, While spectacular, this “action” bias lacks some adjustment and balance. It makes the survivors feel like he’s controlling heroes with super powers, not being at the mercy of the demon, which goes against the genre itself that wants to create a horrible and anxious atmosphere. This feeling is further amplified when playing with friends. Against a close-knit team, the demon has almost no chance of winning.
Evil Dead: The Game: We survive with class despite a destroyed team
“THERE IS SOMEONE IN MY CELLAR”
From the point of view of the devilishly opposite gameplay, playing the demon of Kandar mainly results in controlling an onboard camera floating in the air; a more than welcome idea that directly echoes the various feature films of the saga since the demon, an evil presence that possesses everything is anything, is represented in the films above all by a subjective rotation. When you control this camera, the goal is to scare the various survivors who roam the woods by opening portals here and there that let in skeletons, zombies and other deformities. Cunning players can even let the heroes go about their business to set the stage, where they are likely to pass, by setting up minions and traps. For example, it is possible to place mini-Ash in supply boxes, which will satisfy fans of the third film, or even to give life to certain trees that will not hesitate to hit the heads of the heroes with their branches.
For solo players only:
Evil Dead: The Game is primarily a multiplayer production that takes on its full meaning when five players come together in one game, however, to suit all player profiles, the Saber Interactive title also offers a Solo component. In particular, there are five missions that retrace the different adventures of Ash Williams and that allow you to unlock new heroes, but also an option to play the main mode only with the AI.
All these manipulations allow you to increase the strength of the demon and, at the same time, instill fear in the eyes of the members of the opposing team. This is where it all gets interesting, as once a character is scared, it is possible to possess him for a while to pit him against his friends. Moreover, as a demon it is possible to possess the survivors, but also a tree, a car and the many monsters that swarm the map. It is also possible to embody Warlords, overwhelmed monsters, to weaken the enemy’s last forces. Unfortunately, when playing a skeleton or an undead, the fighting is a bit messy; the player will sometimes have the impression of typing in the void, the fault of the lack of finishing moves when playing the antagonist. However, despite these small deviations, it is by checking it that the game takes on its full meaning as it is really satisfying to spoil the good guys game surprising them with Machiavellian plans.
We scare the survivors in Evil Dead: The Game
Even if the two gameplay proposals are really solid, the game immediately gives the impression of spinning in circles. All parts are similar and are built on the same diagram: Survivors must always complete the same objectives to close the Necronomicon, and this, in the same order, as the demon prowls. To bring some diversity, the goals are still randomly placed on the mapbut unfortunately this is not enough. This fatigue is reinforced by a very slow progression system and the fact that there are only two maps to explore. Fortunately, both old and new generation, they are visually very nice. They are sublimated by different luminous atmospheres, all successful, which we rediscover based on atmospheric conditions. Although most of the time the environments are immersed in darkness, it is also possible to play on snow-covered playgrounds, navigate on the asphalt and various muddy paths in the rain or be chased by the demon at dawn. Also note that the maps are large enough to carry their share of ideas and environments. Players will be able to roam Ash Williams’ iconic cabin, as well as through a junkyard, factory, aircraft graveyard, palace, cave, and more. A good thing, since the Evil Dead movie saga isn’t really known for people traveling.
If the launch of Evil Dead: The Game is less catastrophic than it was on Friday the 13th, note that it’s not entirely joyful. Possessed by demons, the servers appear to do what they want and are regularly unavailable (which prevents players from joining a match). Fortunately, when everything works, matchmaking is super efficient and usually finds matches in under 30 seconds.
Finally, let’s focus on fan service, as if Evil Dead: The Game is perfectionist in one area, it is perfectionist in this one. In addition to bringing together all the characters from the saga, the Saber Interactive game also brings together the original cast. In Ash Williams’ skin we find Bruce Campbell, the actor who played the licensed hero on screen for nearly 40 years. For their part, Betsy Baker takes on the role of Linda, Ellen Sandweiss plays Cheryl Williams again, and Hal Delrich returns as Scotty. Better, all the actors of the Ash vs. Evil Dead is in the game too, just that. Finally, the title continues to multiply the winks by offering players to rediscover cult locations from the films and iconic phrases, and also takes up the visual grammar of the franchise. As we said before, we find this famous onboard camera when we embody the demon, but also the mini-Ash, the living hand or even this famous fog that seems to be possessed. You get it, with Evil Dead: The Game fans will be thrilled.
- Dynamic battles …
- Finishing moves that have a mouthful
- Characters from the entire Evil Dead saga (film + series)
- Two very different gameplay
- Easy to see on old and next generation
- Mode for solo players
- A beautiful tribute to the universe of Sam Raimi
- … But the drafts, especially when the demon is incarnated
- Only two cards
- A creepy demon and overly tough heroes
- Slightly temperamental servers
A magnificent tribute to the saga that inspired it, Evil Dead: The Game is an asymmetrical multiplayer game that surprises with its constant dynamism and fast-paced action very well staged. Unfortunately, the software quickly goes round and round. Despite the multitude of playable characters and the two gameplay on offer (survivor or demon), Saber Interactive’s game fails to diversify its approaches. A production that is aimed mainly at fans of the genre and of Sam Raimi’s cinematographic creations.
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