If horror movies taught me anything in life, it is to avoid remote cabins in the woods and not read from a crazy ass looking book that is inked in blood and bound by human flesh. Who are we kidding? That is what makes the Evil Dead series so great! Stupid teens going in the woods and accidently summon demons that can possess the dead or the living.
It was only a matter of time that we would get an Evil Dead game. Sure, there were some games in the past that started from the Commodore 64, PlayStation 1/Dreamcast, and two on the PlayStation 2. They were okay games. But with Evil Dead: The Game, which was released back on May 13, you get a multiplayer experience of 4v1 in which four players can pick different survivors and go up against a demon player that is recognizable from the franchise.
I know what you’re thinking: It's been over 4 months since release, why has it taken you this long to submit a review? Well, it took a bit since I wanted to test out everything from playing the different characters and abilities. Then, as soon as I thought I was ready to submit a review of the game, the new DLC happened. For example, the Castle of Kandar (location of the Army of Darkness movie) came out back in July, and I wanted to explore everything on that map.
Then, recently in September, yet another DLC came out with 2 new survivors from the Evil Dead remake: David and Mia entered the fray, and I wanted to test that out before I submitted a conclusion of this review.
Let’s start with the game modes. Don't expect a story mode in this game; the developers added a single-player mission mode that will task you in doing specific challenges, earning you the benefits of showing some cool artwork and a light story of what is going on. For example, when you complete a mission, you’ll unlock Professor Knowby’ tapes, which provide insight as to why the survivors are here in this specific timeline when they shouldn't be. Along with the tapes, you unlock other playable characters.
The other game modes are almost the same. There is Survivors vs. Demon, meaning you are 1 of the 4 survivors against a player demon, or you can play as the demon. There is also Survivors vs. AI where you just play an AI demon player as a warmup or to test out a new build for your survivor. Or, if you just want to play by yourself, you can have 3 bots on your team and face an AI demon, though the downfall of this mode is that you will not receive any experience points to level up your character and the AI totally cheats on finding you early.
The objective of the game is to collect 3 map pieces that are spread throughout the level that will reveal the location of the Necronomicon pages and the Kandarian Dagger within a 30 minutes time limit. Once you have collected the items, the timer will disappear so you can locate and kill the Dark Ones. The last phase of the battle is protecting the book for 2 minutes. The important thing to keep in mind when searching for the map is trying to find the best weapons, ammo, healing, and shield items.
The game borrows elements from most battle royale games in that there are rarity rankings for the weapons: common, rare, epic, and legendary. You’ll also find items called Pink F that help you boost your stats in the game to have a fighting chance.
Even though the maps option is limited, the game has a nice randomizer to help keep both the objective and items/weapons different with each playthrough. The other unique thing is that the weather is always different. In a recent update, there’s a chance that when playing Remington Rapids (the location of Evil Dead 1 and its remake) that it will rain blood like the remake. There are other familiar locations, too, like Castle Kandar mentioned earlier and Cleaver County (Ash vs Evil Dead location).
So far, from the initial release and first two DLCs, the game has chosen 15 characters from the franchise and separated them into four different classes: Leaders, Warriors, Hunters, and Support. Also keep in mind that each character/demon has their own skill tree where they can add defense, attack power, or cooldown rates. Let me give you the rundown for these four classes…
Leaders have a special aura around them that, if teammates are around, will either boost their melee and firearm damage or keep their fear levels in check depending on the character and situation. You can choose from Ash from the Ash vs Evil Dead, Annie Knowby from Evil Dead 2, and Lord Arthur (my personal favorite) from Army of Darkness.
This class has your heavy hitters and tanks, but they have crap stamina. So you might get two dodges before you have to wait for the stamina meter to recover. If you like to take things up close and personal with melee and shield power, this is the class for you. You can choose from Ash from Army of Darkness, Scotty from The Evil Dead, Henry the Red from Army of Darkness, and Mia from the Evil Dead remake.
The hunters have unique abilities for each of the characters. Hunters are able to do some heavy damage on ranged weapons and have high stamina to dodge more. The drawback is that they don't do as much melee damage like the Warrior or Leader class. You can choose Ash from Evil Dead 2, Ed Getley from Evil Dead 2 (funny since he never stood out in the movie; yet he’s my number 2 character), and either Kelly Maxwell or Amanda Fisher from Ash vs Evil Dead.
This class is pretty much your white mage, and they can also carry more health and shield items. No matter which support class character you choose, when you use a health or shield item, it will grant the same effects to your whole team as long as they are near you. The usable characters are Ash from The Evil Dead, Cheryl Williams also from the OG movie, Pablo from Ash vs Evil Dead, and David from the Evil Dead remake.
Currently, there are 4 Demons that you can play as. I’m going to be completely honest with you, I had more fun playing as the Survivors and I have not played with the Demons as much. The best way to describe the gameplay as the Demon is to think of it as being the Dungeon Master for the game. As long as you collect energy off the ground, you can place traps or more enemy units near the survivors. Also, you pretty much play in first person view until you either possess one of your units or a survivor if their fear level is high.
- The Warlord is pretty much any of the zombie enemies that we all see in the Evil Dead universe, and the boss unit in this group is Henrietta from Evil Dead 2.
- The Puppeteers boss unit is Eligos from Ash vs Evil Dead, and his elites and basic units are like him plus the ability to explode when they are about to die.
- The Necromancer group are the Skeleton army from Army of Darkness with the boss unit being Evil Ash himself.
-The Plaguebringer is the newest demon that has been released. The boss is the old witch from Army of Darkness who has skeleton basic units and the Pit Bitch elites from the movie as well.
In all honesty, you can not go wrong with a game that is $40. There’s blood, body parts, Ash’s one liners, and other favorite characters that you loved in the series. The big selling point—other than it being Evil Dead, of course—is that it is crossplay with all gaming systems so you won't worry about long queue times or whether you can play it with your friend that only has a PC while you have a PS4.
I know one thing: I wish that the developers would show a road map of updates or DLC in the future so we can plan ahead instead of waiting to hear news every other month or so about a new character or map. I will be curious about the state of the game once Killer Klowns from Outer Space and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre games come out.
When it’s all said and done. Evil Dead The Game gets 8 shotgun shells out of 10.
If you’re a fan of Evil Dead or just want to play a fun multiplayer game with friends, I highly recommend picking this game up. If you want, I’ll help out slaying some demons with you. Let me know in the comments below if you want to play or what you thought about the game.