The Evil Dead game perfectly captures the joys of torturing Bruce Campbell

The Evil Dead game perfectly captures the joys of torturing Bruce Campbell
Written by admin_3fxxacau

Don't judge a book by its slightly waxy screenshots, okay?

Don’t judge a book by its slightly waxy screenshots, okay?
Picture: Interactive Saber

Every Friday, audiovisual club staff members kick off our weekly open thread for discussion of game plans and recent gaming glories, but of course the real action is in the comments, where we invite you to answer our eternal question: What are you playing this weekend?

The moment I fell in love with Evil Dead: The Game That’s when I realized it was actually Sam Raimi Simulator 2022.

That is, I thought the new licensed multiplayer game was pretty much only a moderately capable clone of the Friday 13 Game from a few years ago – mixed with some good, old, dead To evolve-until the exact moment I first played as the titular Evil. (Instead of the Survivor team, consisting of a ground of Bruce Campbells, and a few other characters from across the franchise). That’s when I discovered the unique genius idea that elevates this whole package above its gnarled roots: when you embody Evil in diabolical death, you don’t just play as a bunch of Deadites or evil clones or skeletons. You play as Raimi’s camera, dashing madly through the woods to hunt down people, jump inside their bodies and unleash chaos.

Genius. Genius!

On the other hand, evil Dead remind you of those other asymmetrical multiplayer games listed above; Survivors run around completing objectives (in this case, gathering a magic knife and pages from the Necronomicon) while Evil is functionally on defense. Survivor’s gameplay has some interesting quirks, including a class-based structure to differentiate itself evil DeadSupport version of Ashley Williams from Warrior version found in army of darkness. (evil death 2 Ash is a hunter; the are non-Ash characters, but are you really going to miss all those newly recorded Bruce Campbell banter by choosing them?) As with many games of this ilk (dating back to the evolution of the tactics of the left for dead games), a lot of the focus is on locking down enemies so they can’t use debilitating attacks to split the group. All is well, probably.

I wouldn’t really know, though, because after one Survivor-side match, I went Evil and never looked back.

It’s just too goddamn fun: Racing through the woods like an improvised Steadicam, setting up ambushes and fear-inducing traps, and then exploiting that fear by possessing the Survivors to make them attack each other. Saber Interactive may have only done a so-so job of recreating the feeling of being Ash and his pals, but the sense of being the invisible hand orchestrating all the chaos that goes down in these movies is damn near perfect. (Including an energy system that forces you to give your victims a breather before initiating a new burst of chaos.) I have cackled so many times while playing with my fresh meat: Spawning a bunch of Deadites to swarm a team, only to have one back into an Evil Tree Trap that thrashes them, allowing me to possess the pathetic mortal fool so that they can open fire on their buddies. Their friends run to grab supplies from a chest to recover—boom, evil hand leaps out and throttles them.

If Raimi’s great revelation was in spotting the slapstick heart beating under so much slasher horror, then Evil Dead: The Game embraces that principle. You always got the sense that Raimi was having just a bit too much fun torturing his old pal Bruce, and the game successfully exports that sensation, encouraging you to be a monstrous bastard even before Evil Ash starts stomping across the battlefield, summoning his skeletal army. After just a couple of days with it, I’m having an absolute blast.

Will I be playing it two weeks from now? Hard to say. There’s only a handful of (big) maps, and there may, in fact, be a limit to how many times I can chuckle evilly as an enemy team falls into fear and despair. (God or Evil God or whoever save us from a solved multiplayer meta.) But I’m having a damn groovy time with it right now.

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