Evil Dead Review

For Dreamcast and PlayStation

By Contributing Writer Jimmy Payne

Rating: Average
   As a big fan of the Evil Dead movies, I was more than a little excited 
when I found out that THQ was working on a game based on the hilarious 
trilogy.  To my dismay, the only thing that THQ and developer Heavy Iron 
Studios could come up with is a bad hack-and-slash game that isn't worthy of 
the beloved Evil Dead name.
   The only reason to play this game at all is to listen to the funny voice-
overs by Bruce Campbell, who could very well be the king of catch phrases.  
In addition to phrases from the movies, the game also has brand new ones that 
would make Duke Nukem proud (such as killing an enemy and then saying, "Say 
hi to disco for me").  Of course, a game that bases its appeal solely on 
voice-overs tends to get old as soon as you've heard all of the voice-overs.
   It's frustrating to play Evil Dead because it's clear that Heavy Iron has 
some level of talent; they just didn't know how to use it when they were 
making this game.  The eye-pleasing backgrounds do their job of giving the 
game the same dark and smoky atmosphere of the movies, with familiar 
landmarks like the destroyed bridge, the tool shed, and the deserted house 
itself.
   When it comes down to the actual gameplay, Evil Dead is no better than the 
average game from 989 Studios.  The Resident Evil control set-up works very 
well in Resident Evil because you usually have plenty of time to stop, turn, 
and move on.  On the other hand, when a game like Evil Dead throws fast-paced
action at you on a constant basis, stopping and turning often results in 
abrupt deaths.
   As if the control wasn't screwed up enough, the overall direction of the 
game is also sadly misguided.  You'll often find yourself surrounded by 
enemies and spending large amounts of time just trying to fight your way 
through them all.  What makes this so excruciatingly annoying is the fact 
that the vast majority of the time when you kill a monster, another one pops
up to take its place within seconds.  This makes combat a ridiculously time-
consuming process and also eliminates any potential exploration aspects that 
the game might have otherwise had.
   Evil Dead feels even more like a poorly-designed arcade game when you 
consider the fact that enemies can surround you and severely injure you with
relative ease, but with each kill you acquire another health pack.  The 
entire game seems like a horror-themed version of Tekken 3's repetitive 
side-scrolling mode, only without the enemies dropping entire turkeys 
whenever they die.
   Succeeding or failing in Evil Dead doesn't have much to do with skill, 
which is strangely fitting since it didn't take much skill to create the game 
in the first place.  Even the most loyal of Evil Dead fanatics would have a 
hard time justifying the purchase of this mindless button-masher.

Send your thoughts on this review to jimmy@mastergamer.com

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