every Friday, AV . Club Staff starts our weekly open thread discussing 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 will you play this weekend?
The moment I kind of fell in love Evil Dead: The Game It’s the moment I realized it was already Sam Raimi Simulator 2022.
That is, I went from thinking that the new licensed multiplayer game was pretty much just a moderately capable version of Friday the 13th Game A few years ago – mixed with a little good, old, dead has evolved-Until the moment she played the titular evil. (Instead of Team Survivor, made up of A Much from Bruce Campbells, and a few other characters from around the franchise). Which is when I discovered the idea of the individual genius that lifts this entire bundle above those thorny roots: when you play the evil of Evil diedYou don’t just play as a group of zombies, evil clones, or skeletons. You play Like Remy cam, madly heading through the jungle to hunt people, jump inside their bodies, and unleash chaos.
in other respects, evil dead It will remind you of those other asymmetric multiplayer games mentioned above; Survivors run around completing objectives (in this case, collecting a magical knife and pages of Necronomicon) while Evil is functional on defense. Survivor’s gameplay has some interesting quirks, including a class-based structure to differentiate evil deadAshley Williams’ support version of the Warrior version found in dark army. (Evil Dead 2 Ash hunter. there be Characters who aren’t from Ash, but would you really miss all those newly taped Bruce Campbell pranks with their pick?) as with a lot of games of this genre (dating back to the sophisticated tactics of left 4 Dead game games), a lot of emphasis is placed on locking up enemies so they can’t use debilitating attacks to split the party. All is well, most likely.
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.