Horror and asymmetrical video games go hand in hand and that’s extremely true for Saber Interactive Evil Dead: The Game. Drawing inspiration in particular from the iconic franchise, Evil Dead: The Game manages to capture the horror, humor and surprises the Deadites have come to know and love. Here, Saber Interactive brings together the greatest characters of the series against the forces of darkness. But the best part? The final best girl is back, Ash is here in all the king’s glory with a voiceover from the groovy Bruce Campbell.
In addition to Ash, players have the chance to play as Kelly Maxwell, Pablo Simon Bolivar, Annie Knowby, Scotty and Lord Arthur to name a few – with 13 survivors to unlock and play as. Like other asymmetrical horror games before it, you wWork as a team of four survivors to kick Deadite’s ass and banish the vile demon Kandarian. Or you can become the demon yourself, using its possession powers to stop the good guys. And let’s be real, possession is the real fun to be had. You can attack other survivors, waste their ammo, separate them from the group, and other things that are best left untouched.
In order to win against the Demon, players must collect Necronomicon Pages and then the Kandarian Dagger and use it to defeat the Dark Ones protecting the Book of the Dead. You’ll need to close the portal while fighting the Kandarian Demon and the Deadites that spawn along the way. With 13 different survivors split into four different classes, there are many ways to play the game. Each survivor has an active ability: craft amulets that work like shields, upgrade teammates, or have unlimited ammo. Additionally, they also have a passive ability. This allows you to mix and match team compositions for chaos or for strategy.
The four classes are Leader, Warrior, Hunter, and Support. Leaders focus on strengthening the team with their auras and resist fear (a gauge you definitely need to worry about). Warriors focus on melee combat and tank the enemy with higher health (that was me). Hunters specialize in ranged weapon damage, carry more ammo, and have more stamina. And finally, the Support class has the ability to remove negative status effects and is able to provide more shields to help the team get through the night. Additionally, you can upgrade your powers with Spirit Points, allowing you to build your character’s skill tree.
That said, not all good guys have fun. If you choose to play as a demon, you can belong to one of three classes: warlord, necromance or puppeteer. Warlords deal direct damage to players and can increase damage dealt and reduce damage you take. Necromancers summon skeletons, which help you overwhelm survivors. And finally, the most fun to play is the Puppeteer, which allows you to possess Evil united which allows you to reinforce their threat towards the players. Once you reach level 10 as a demon, you also have the option to unlock a boss character like Henreitta, Eligos, or even Evil Ash to come and play with the survivors.
When it comes to level design, there’s beauty in the dark that Saber Interactive has managed to capture with the landscape design, caves, and buildings you can enter. Nestled within these environments are many lore elements that work perfectly to immerse you in the world of Evil Dead. Trying to take a shortcut? Well, watch out for the trees that will knock you down. Are you looking for a weapon? There are over 25 choices, each with their own special nods to the franchise.
Evil Dead: The Game also offers a solid single-player experience as well as challenging missions that immerse Deadites in the world of Evil Dead. Of course, you can play in a 4v1 match as a survivor or a demon (choosing which one you want by selecting the mode), but you can also play as a group of survivors against an AI demon, play solo with a fully AI team, host private matches with your friends, or play Mission, which lets you play solo with Ash and his friends in short side missions based on iconic moments from Evil Dead history, unlocking characters and The Knowby Tapes along the way.
By creating a vast world to fight and survive, Saber Interactive has also kept replayability at its core. Even in the single-player missions, I had to run a few times to even feel like I had a sense of the scenery, and just as I was doing it, a tree popped me out of nowhere and I felt lost. again. The ability to play a map over and over while discovering new elements adds to the game’s ability to engage you. Additionally, the game’s gore and violence nails the camp and gore the franchise is known for. When attacking enemies, you’ll have the option to do a sometimes quite gnarly finisher that has different animations for different weapons, and a few per weapon as well. While it doesn’t kill the Deadite all the time, they are definitely fun to watch, especially a chainsaw animation that has Ash walking sideways after like the cool guy he is.
That said, a lot of the confusion I experienced is what fueled the game’s difficulty. has been dedicated to working on the missions, which are hard-these elements are always taken into account when playing multiplayer. Balancing health, shields and fear is a difficult dance in itself, throwing away scarce resources and the management aspect adds anxiety while playing. The hardest gauge for me to constantly focus on was the fear level.
While managing your counters and supplies is important, using dodge is key to surviving (as well as stealth in multiplayer). Health never seems to be enough, regardless of class, making dodging essential to surviving even for a small amount of time. Also, with no difficulty levels, what you see is what you get and the learning curve is quite steep. That said, the game features a killer tutorial and pop-ups seamlessly integrated into the landscape, so it’s relatively easy to at least know what you’re supposed to be doing. Executing what you’re supposed to do, on the other hand, is where it gets tricky. Aiming in melee or ranged range can go wrong and when you’re close it’s more than easy to get yourself into a bing you can’t get out of.
At first, I was beyond concerned with making sure I didn’t lose health, drinking Cola to maintain it, and sprinting to the next point. But then the fear set in. Constantly rising to different levels as you encounter Deadites, Light brings fear down, combat brings it up, and in multiplayer, so does venturing alone. If the fear level gets too high, your vulnerability also increases, distorting your screen, adding distracting noise that makes it hard to hear where enemies are, revealing your location, and leaving you demon possessed. This makes it necessary to ration and use the matches you find. Lighting fires can make a big difference in the face of crowds.
The only big issue I have with the game is how ridiculously dumb the AI is, especially in the all AI mode. That leaves you with just two options, Missions or the classic 4v1 multiplayer, for a more interesting time. It’s not exactly a terrible thing, and something that can easily be fixed over time, but the constant clustering of surviving AI and lack of daemon challenge makes all AI sessions more “meh” than “groovy”. That said, one minor thing is the game’s HUD which isn’t adjustable in size and relatively hard to read at first, at least until you’ve played enough to keep track of everything on your own.
I know people will come Evil Dead: The Game for the multiplayer aspect, but the most fun I had was in the single player missions. They’re challenging, fun, and lore-filled for Evil Dead fans. It’s a pleasant surprise as a mostly solo player myself. The ability to have fun both with friends and alone isn’t always easy to do, but Saber Interactive nails it.
So if the multiplayer aspect kept you from making a purchase, I can attest that it’s a lot of fun to play alone – however, most missions, depending on your resource management skill, can be completed in about 45 minutes. -minutes to one hour- I’m very bad at resource management and dodging, so this time is a bit inflated for me. However, at only $39.99 for the standard edition, I can definitely recommend this experience to all Deadites.
When all is said and done though, Evil Dead: The Game is an explosion. It’s fun to play, challenging in places, and something I can see myself coming back to over and over again just to keep exploring and learning, as well as unlocking new things because I’m sure they’ll become available over the lifetime of the games. Plus, for Deadites out there, it’s beyond a good buy with lore plugged into just about every design choice, dialog line, and landscape element. So pick him up and all the baby king.
Evil Dead: The Game was released on May 13, 2022 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC via the Epic Games Store and NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW.
Evil Dead: The Game
Evil Dead: The Game is an explosion. It’s fun to play, challenging in places, and something I can see myself coming back to again and again just to keep exploring and learning, as well as unlocking new things as I’m sure they’ll become available at the over the lifetime of the games. Plus, for Deadites out there, it’s beyond a good buy with lore plugged into just about every design choice, dialog line, and landscape element. So pick him up and all the baby king.
Kate is co-founder, EIC and CCO of BWT. She’s also a certified Rotten Tomatoes reviewer, host and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Was it necessary?. She also handles all PR dealings for comics, manga, movies, TV, and anime. She holds a master’s degree in cultural anthropology and religious studies focusing on the impact of pop culture on society.