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The Evil Dead Review – Six Months on and it’s Still ‘Groovy’ (PS5)

Fans of The Evil Dead franchise were excited and apprehensive when the game was announced. Film franchises have long struggled when being adapted into video games, and it was a legitimate worry to have, but at the same time, a franchise that has been waiting years for another entry of some sort still brought excitement with it.

The Evil Dead has been out since May 2022, and in that time a lot of the initial issues have been rectified in a number of updates, as well as extra content over the last few months attempting to appease the die-hard fans.

The evil dead

If you’ve played Dead by Daylight or the Friday the 13th licensed game, you’ll have some idea of what you’re getting yourself into. Play as one of the survivors and you’re tasked with escaping the oncoming demon and destroying the necronomicon and banishing evil from the planet, play as the demon and you’re attempting to put a stop to the survivors doing exactly that.

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It’s a simple premise, but one done to an outstanding level. There are now characters on both sides from The Evil Dead, The Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, Evil Dead (2013) and even the Ash vs Evil Dead tv show, meaning no matter where you entered the franchise, whether you’re a fan of one film or all of them, you’ll find something here for you.

There are three maps, four different demons and considerably more survivors to pick from, all with their own strengths, weaknesses and abilities, and as you play you’ll be able to level them up to make them more effective.

The graphics are fantastic and the gameplay isn’t far behind. Playing as the survivor you’ll collect items, avoid being terrified and consequently possessed by the demon, and work your way across the gigantic maps trying to find the implements to locate the ‘Dark Ones’, guardians of the Necronomicon. Once you’ve found and destroyed them, you’ll then have to protect the book from the demons trying to destroy it. Do that and you become humanity’s savior as the book destroys itself.

Playing as a demon you’ll spend your time collecting energy which you’ll use to attack the survivors, summon your underlings and possess cars, trees and survivors themselves. It never gets boring setting a trap by placing Ash’s hand in a crate and waiting for the survivors to open it before being accosted by the disembodied hands.

The Evil Dead – Give Me Back My Hand

The evil dead

Like other games in a similar vein, no matter which of the two sides you pick in The Evil Dead you’ll have to play and keep it a fine balancing act. As a survivor, don’t push ahead but don’t stop and get found; as a demon, don’t wait for the survivors to come to you, but don’t use all your energy at once.

The game is definitely a longer burn, with levels taking time to earn, games lasting at most thirty minutes but usually twenty or so, and patience is the name of the game.

As well as the PVP side of things, you can play the single player missions, which at the time of writing is six separate missions that are loosely story based, but can be treated as an extension of the tutorial. If the PVP is too much for you at first, you can use AI as a placeholder for the rest of the players and play alone, but this’ll rob you off the spontaneous actions you’ll see in PVP.

The evil dead

Six months on the game has improved in a lot of aspects, and with the updates has nearly got the perfect balance between the two classes, although it’s still arguably easier to win as a survivor rather than a demon. Crossplay is enabled by default and I’d suggest to leave it on, as at times there was still a wait of a minute or two when playing as a survivor, albeit never any when being a demon.

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All in all, if you’re a fan of The Evil Dead you’ll love the game and you’ll notice all sorts of callbacks, locations, quotes and more to the franchise, even to the smallest detail. If you’re not familiar with the franchise like a lot of people, then you’ll still have a good time, and probably find a love of the franchise and end up watching the films.

8/10

The Evil Dead was reviewed from a code supplied by Saber Interactive.

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Written by Luke Addison

Luke Addison is a writer for Fandomwire. He's an avid consumer of all things movie, TV, comics and gaming, especially Marvel.

Insta: @callmeafilmnerd
Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd