Evil Dead is the next 4v1 asymmetrical horror game from Saber Interactive, the creators of World War Z. How does this newly licensed IP fare in the wake of successes like Dead by Daylight, Friday the 13th, and Predator Hunting Grounds? The answer is mainly dependent on your familiarity with and enthusiasm for Sam Raimi’s humorous horror franchise.
Evil Dead The Game Review: Multiplayer
Evil Dead references all of the franchise’s iterations, including The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, and the most current Ash versus Evil Dead television series. Heroes from across the globe must band together to imprison the wicked MacGuffin Necronomicon and destroy the planet of the Kandarian demon threat that the nefarious book has unleashed in the 4v1 online multiplayer area.
In comparison to Dead by Daylight, there’s a lot to keep track of in Evil Dead. To bring some light into the world, survivors will need to locate melee and ranged weapons — as well as ammo for them — as well as health-recovering goods like cola, shield-providing amulets, and matchsticks. With your resources in hand, you and your crew must first locate three pieces of a map that will lead to a Kandarian dagger and the missing Necronomicon pages.
While the map pieces are easy to find — and you’ll get an idea of where part of the map to go for before an on-screen indication reveals you where they are once you’re close — the final two things demand a significant amount of effort. Once the evil force has been triggered, your squad must bunker down and take out all of the Deadites that the person in charge of the evil force may send at you.
You’re not done yet; once you’ve collected all of the items, the four of you will need to use the dagger against the dark ones — essentially holding down Y while avoiding their projectiles and any Deadites that spawn — before facing a final battle in which you’ll have to guard the Necronomicon while containing it.
If you’re on your own and the demon player discovers you, you’re effectively doomed, since they’ll generate monsters to drain your resources. If you are felled, you can be resurrected with the help of another player or by collecting your soul and redeploying it at an altar. Vehicles can assist players bridge gaps (because they can always see each other on the map), but they will also alert the demon to your existence.
Your crew should move as quickly as possible to finish the task before the Deadite-controlling demon gains too much strength, but you must balance this brute force approach with careful resource management. Without weapons, a gun isn’t very helpful, and you’ll surely need healing supplies in this combat-heavy game. While you lone wolf a scenario, you’ll need a lot of matchsticks because your Fear Level will keep rising if you’re not with your colleagues. You’ll set yourself up to be possessed by the bad player if you don’t manage to clear that bar.
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Finally, heroes are divided into many categories, each with its own set of skills. Warriors have more health and can deal more melee damage, Hunters can carry more and have more stamina, and Supports spawn with items, can carry more items, and can help heal teammates. Leaders fill their Fear Levels slower and can buff the abilities of those around them with the push of a button (provided it’s not on cooldown).
Match completion (and successes) earn you XP, which you may use to level up your character. Each character will advance at their own pace, as will you as the general player; you may use your global XP to feedback on whatever characters you like.
Survivors may level up a variety of abilities and special moves, and you can undoubtedly make a character with a completely different playstyle than another. You can choose to be a ranged player and assault with well-placed headshots… I like getting up close and personal with a fire axe, though. When it comes to fighting, you’ll need to wear down not just an opponent’s health bar, but also a balancing bar that allows you to unleash a devastating finishing blow under the perfect circumstances.
The player controlling the demon is tasked with collecting infernal energy, represented by red orbs, around the map. Three distinct demon varieties have diverse skills, with some being more tank-like and capable of dishing out damage, others possessing troops with ease, and another possessing some electricity-based powers.
Demons may control wicked trees, take over cars, and infect chests with tiny Ashes or Ash’s evil hand instead of useful items. Despite being unable to see the survivors at first, once the devil gets a sense of where opponents are, they can never really be lost. The key to defeating the demon is to gather energy and utilize it intelligently by producing or possessing units and making boss spawns at chokepoints or, even better, when a survivor is alone.
While demons gain power by fulfilling certain acts, survivors must locate Pink F vials within chests. They are distinguished by a unique audible trigger, and it is crucial to note that once discovered, each survivor that hits up the chest will get leveling-up items; they are not solely the property of the person who discovers them. In brief, mark each chest you locate and encourage your colleagues to open it; you’ll need the boost as the game proceeds.
Evil Dead The Game Review: Single player
The single-player mode is intended for Evil Dead enthusiasts. Saber does an excellent job of making this entire bundle feel like a love letter to the series. The visuals and audio are ideal for this, as are elements of the single-player mode.
When it comes to solo play, players have alternatives; they may team up with AI opponents to take on “multiplayer” (human opponents can even take on an AI demon if they like). True single-player comes in the form of five missions that mimic legendary Evil Dead scenes. They make me long for a decent single-player Evil Dead game while also making me want to rip my hair out.
Simply said, when it comes down to the essentials – Ash or Pablo vs the Deadites — it works. It doesn’t when it becomes a tedious exercise versus a tanked-up boss at the conclusion of twenty minutes of checkpoints gaming. The missions’ endings feel cheap and uneven, and I’m not the only one hoping that Sabre would reconsider their composition. It’s a pity because the bulk of the adventure is nostalgic and fun.
Despite their chaotic nature, the tasks are important to completionists and achievement hunters everywhere – characters like Ash vs Evil Dead’s Pablo are stuck behind them. By far the most annoying assignment was “Kill ‘Em All,” so much so that we created a tutorial for it here.
Evil Dead The Game Review: Overall
It’s a touch rough around the edges at times, but Evil Dead has some incredible selling points. It captures the look, feel, and sound of the events down correct, even down to the malevolent presence stalking Ash and his pals in the cold, dark woods.
It’s a touch too undeveloped to suggest as a single-player game at $60 AUD, but Evil Dead aficionados who don’t mind online play will spend hours and hours playing this. Those who prefer 4v1 games will undoubtedly appreciate this.
Evil Dead The Game is currently available on Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, PS4, and PS5.