Republished on Wednesday, 1st February, 2023: We're bringing this review back from the archives following the announcement of February 2023's PS Plus line up. The original text follows.
That groaning you heard when Evil Dead: The Game was revealed wasn't actually the raspy wails of approaching Deadites. Indeed, the look of this Dead By Daylight adjunct licensed tie-in video game was exceptionally unpromising — we just want to "be" Ash and blast/chainsaw Deadites until the cows come home, zombified though those bovines may be. We had no interest in another "asymmetrical" horror experience like the former, failed Friday the 13th or the upcoming, potentially-failed Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Thankfully, in a surprise as shocking as that one bit with the cabin door in Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, Evil Dead: The Game is lots and lots of scrappy, scrapey fun.
Taking control of either a heroic survivor as part of a team of four, or a lone Kandarian Demon out to murder the aforementioned quarter, Evil Dead is a title that delivers on being fun, even if you don't normally care for this sort of thing. Source: this writer can't stand Dead by Daylight, but is itching to get back on Evil Dead as soon as the review's written. See, what Evil Dead gets right is — and you may want to sit down for this — making it enjoyable to play both as a survivor and as a demon. Yes, we know. You'd think this would be obvious, but apparently not.
Let's take the survivor team to begin with. Taking control of your chosen human (think various versions of Ash from across the series, characters such as Ed and Annie from Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, Pablo and Kelly from Ash vs Evil Dead, etc), you've got to hunt down four pieces of a map across one of the (currently) two enormous maps. Once these are found you've then got to acquire both the lost pages of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis and an ancient Kandarian dagger. Finally, it's time to go and find the Necronomicon itself and banish the evil Dark Ones, thereby winning the match for the good guys. Of course, you can hardly expect to do this without any pushback, and the Demon player will be throwing everything they have at you to resist. Thankfully you're able to fight back yourself, both with weaponry (shotguns and chainsaws are included) and various skills and buffs, each of which can be upgraded as you level up each character.
Meanwhile, the Demon player takes control of the evil "Force" as seen in the Evil Dead movies, flying around each map in first-person collecting Infernal Energy, which is then spent on summoning Deadite creatures, jump-scaring players, and creating scare traps by possessing the likes of trees, cars, and containers that survivors may be rifling through at the time. It's chortlesome stuff, particularly when you possess a car that players are driving and send it off who knows where to waste their time. Brilliantly, too, you can also possess players who have become frightened enough (in-game, obviously) and have them attack their own friends — though we preferred sending them running away on a wild goose chase and wasting everybody's time.
There's a Battle Royale-ish feel to the survivor gameplay, as the safe area shrinks the more objectives you complete. The pressure is also piled on as the Demon player levels up, gaining more and more power including the ability to transform into a devastating "boss" Deadite — Evil Ash from Army of Darkness being one of them — who hit harder than any summons and allow the Demon to deal devastating damage to players for as long as they're active. The strategy on each side comes from planning and timing, with the odds generally stacked against the survivors thanks to the Demon's ability to summon more and more Deadites as the game goes on, including gaining the ability to unleash more powerful creatures all the more often.
It's pretty much an exclusively multiplayer affair, but there are single player missions to complete as well, in order to unlock more characters and variations. Unfortunately, they are comfortably the worst part of the game, so banal that we'd genuinely have preferred their removal. Honestly, less is more when the content is as weak as this, perfunctory run-arounds of the game's maps that seem to have been thrown in out of obligation rather than the developers having any genuinely interesting ideas for them. Worse yet, they can be glitchy, too — and having the "safe zone" randomly flicker off and cause you to die twenty minutes into an already-unfun mission with no checkpoints? It's a no from us. If there were no unlocks tied to this mode, we could just ignore it, but as it is? An unavoidable, but small black mark against an otherwise fun game.
Of course, games like this live or die on their support going forward, and thankfully Evil Dead seems to be doing well. Another map, based on Army of Darkness, is coming soon — and the already-available Season Pass (apparently the first of multiple, based on its being called Season Pass 1) promises four more DLC packs.
The best game of its kind that we've had the pleasure to play, Evil Dead: The Game is equivalent to its source material in being way more fun than you could reasonably expect it to be, and it's faithful as hell to the movies and TV show in a way that'll thrill fans. Post-launch support is a total roll of the dice — if the content ain't there, nor is the audience, and if the audience isn't there, there's no game, because the single player content sure isn't picking up the slack. Evil Dead, though, is more fun than having a chainsaw for an arm, delivering a pleasant bloody surprise at each turn. Shall we say it together? Groovy.
This review almost has me convinced to give this a try. I’m not for games like Dead by Daylight either, so the fact that this is way more enjoyable means I may need to pick it up.
Always wanted a good evil dead game. Just wish it was single player lol however one day il give it a go. Have to ask tho did Stuart play with randos or other members of Push Square? As id have to play with randos
This is the only multiplayer game I really enjoyed and not stopped playing.
After enjoying this tried dead by daylight which is ok but this is so much better and is not totally unbalanced like dbd which must have one of the most toxic player bases out there
@PlayStationGamer3919 Normally I would agree, but the single player stuff in this game is supposed to be so horrible that I'm not sure being able to play it offline would really be useful.
Yes, I know it's a multiplayer game, but it's still a shame they completely alienated people who don't play online games by including a barely baked single player experience. Left 4 Dead and even Back 4 Blood after a patch allow you to play through the games by yourself.
There is a mode too play with ai team members against ai opponent and single player missions me never been a fan of online games but loving this.
Just wish you would earn xp playing against ai, but you get zero even say 25-50 would be good.
The missions are very evil dead in atmosphere but are super hard and remember it wasn't originally going to have any single player stuff was added as a good will gesture but they should have check points.
If it sells well they could do a sequel with single player stuff more mission will be added , unlike writer I enjoyed the missions but they are hard and only done first three.
Ew online-only, I hate this trend of games doing that.
(some people mights say "internet rarely goes down, it's 2022, I give you GT7 as a counter example, people were mad.)
@suikoden I didn't know that as I stopped really following the game once I learned it was a multiplayer game. At first you really had no idea what it was going to be, but then my excitement nosedived when I learned it was a multiplayer game, and then evaporated completely once it came out and it was revealed that you couldn't play the game by yourself.
Some tacked on missions just for unlockables don't count imo. There's no reason why they couldn't make it so you could play through the game by yourself. The already mentioned games did it, even if it was a mess at first with Back 4 Blood. I'm glad you're enjoying it, but it sure seems like they would rather people played it online so they can try to sell DLC.
Agree with a lot of what you are saying , pretty sure they could of done more with single player should of been more in the vain of saber other game world war z with any luck they will listen and add more single player stuff, don't expect a campaign but with any luck in a sequel .
With all the feedback I can see why I hardly see any players that are PlayStation users when I play matches it's pc or Xbox mostly .
Removed - trolling; user is banned
Never had an interest in these sorts of games but PS Plus giving me Friday 13th and Dead By Daylight for free changed my mind a bit. Also I think the lower launch price is right and I do love Evil Dead so...maybe
LOVE the Evil Dead franchise. HATE multi-player. Sigh.
It's good, but like all online games, I don't have time to keep up. I played for maybe an hour the night of release, then turned it on again after getting home from work the next night. Suddenly everyone was leveled into their 20s. I was getting trashed by the Deadites and felt like a liability to my team. Add to it the soul crushing single player missions, and I ended up just returning it. I guess these types of games just aren't for me, Evil Dead fan or not.
Was my thoughts as well until I tried and as already said enjoying it as usual hate multiplayer
Sadly the pc cheaters are starting to effect the game had a match as demon and sent powerful waves of deadite after them none took any damage.
Available soon at your local S-Mart.
Evil dead, dead by daylight, Friday the 13th... how did evolve get it so wrong? Or just bad timing?
Small nitpick: why couldn't they just have named this Evil Dead? Do we really need 'The Game' tacked on the end?
Do they think people will see this in a store and think "duh Evil Dead is a movie, so this must be a movie" (Despite having PS5 or whatever platform on the box, and being displayed with other games).
Should the Uncharted movie be titled Uncharted: The Movie?
Personally I can’t stand games with online multiplayer on all its forms. It’s true I don’t have any friends to play online to see what the fuss is about but I feel even if I did it’s not for me. It may be fun for an or so but I only like single player campaign open world games as I like to treat my games like a good book. So immersion is so important, and for some reason online seems to ruin that for me.
I have been playing this for the past week, and while it is a tad jank, it is still so much fun as both survivor and demon. It's my go to MP game for sure.
@Ryany you have no clue what goes into game development, and I'm glad people usually don't listen to comments like yours that say, "Lazy devs, don't buy"
@Constable_What no I don't but games like this are clearly a cash grab. It's a waste of evil dead licence it wouldn't hurt to make a proper campaign
Just put them on ignore all thier posts are the same just negative and moaning about everything, life's too short especially with whats going on in the world to be so stressed and upset all the time.
Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.
I'm really tempted to try this. I don't like multiplayer games at all, but I love Evil Dead.
I dunno. Maybe I'll wait and see if they add some kind of single player Story Mode.
@suikoden Yeah, you're right. I'm probably the only person on the site that doesn't have this account ignored.
I don't like ignoring people with the button, usually I'll just do it the old fashioned way, but people that clearly have no idea what they're talking about grind my gears a little.
@suikoden How is the AI for those intending to play solo?
Shop smart, shop S-Mart
Don't usually care for these types of games but I love the Evil Dead series and am personally still bitter about Ash Vs. Evil Dead being cancelled so I will give this a try....eventually.
@Ryany there is a way to play the game alone . what’s trash is you crybabies whine about lack of single player so much that your tears blinded you to the amount of single player games that’s consistently announced and released on the regular . y’all can’t even be grateful that there’s single-player modes in multiplayer games and always has been .
@Danloaded there have been multiple Evil Dead games over the years if my memory serves me.
@Constable_What agreed. So many gamers have this idiotic and entitled opinion that games are somehow easy to make and every game must be tailored for their personal tastes or they are dismissed as trash.
It's OK seen far worse and is better than a lot of human players that I've played with who run around the map like headless chickens just looking for loot at least ai sticks with you. Downside you get no exp so can't upgrade characters
@nomither6 who are you talking to little man 😂 get a life
@Ryany talking to you crybaby , maybe if you’d wipe those tears you’d see that thick blue “@“ and your username . 😆
I dont mind multiplayer games but i dont like it when singleplayer is forced to go online. Dont worry ill play online but i love to have a option to just to play offline maybe with some simple skins as unlock for singleplayer.
Dead by Daylight has shown that the offline option should be available if you have a singleplayer in there or just dont waste your time putting it in.
@Arnna Yeah some people tend to make every complaint like being entitled. You can have some things you dont like and complain about it. A lot of problems are around because some people accept everything. Like teenagers with gambling problems, outrages monetization, broken products. Ubisoft and EA are great examples where the sales drop because of terrible practices.
@nomither6 ove no doubt you are a complete an utter loser in real life. So i won't acknowledge you again.
Hard pass for me, will only play if it's offered free thru PS+.
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