Evil Dead: Hail to the King

Evil Dead: Hail to the King
2
Platforms: PC, Dreamcast, PlayStation
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Heavy Iron Studios
Genres: Adventure / Survival Horror
Release Date: April 1, 2001
Game Modes: Singleplayer

Dead on arrival.

14No movie franchise was more ripe for a brilliant game conversion than Evil Dead – you’ve got laughs, you’ve got creepiness, you’ve got plenty of gore. And of course you have Ash, the laconic, can’t-be-ruffled badass who morphed over the course of three movies from a lowly department-store clerk to the universe’s most feared demon-slayer. It’s eight years after the end of the last flick – Army of Darkness – and Ash is still haunted by the past. To face his fears, Ash and his new girlfriend Jenny go back to the old cabin in the woods that started it all. As you might guess, all hell breaks loose.

To return things back to normal, you must find the lost pages of the Necronomicon (the Book of the Dead). After you find them, you’re transported back to medieval times where you have to find even more pages. The plot is so thin it could give you a paper cut, and the gameplay isn’t any more substantial. Wave after wave of Deadites (ghosts, skeletons, bats, etc.) are out to “swallow your soul” as you smite them with your chainsaw, axe, revolver, “boomstick” (shotgun), or rifle. So it goes — there comes a point at which you realize it’s smarter to avoid Deadites than encounter yet another spinning bone-puppet or goo-spewing phantom.

Evil Dead: Hail to the King is a console port, and not a good one at that. Saving your game requires first finding a “blank tape” and then taking it to an “inventory chest.” Load times between scenes are distractingly long, and the graphics look like they’d be right at home on the Sony PlayStation. The game desperately tries to rip off the suspense quotient of Resident Evil, but never musters up the genuine scares that classic did. It’s not creepy, and if it weren’t for Bruce Campbell, wouldn’t be all that funny either.

It’s possible to find worse Resident Evil clones than Evil Dead, but you’d be hard pressed in doing so. It’s eventually up to you to decide whether it’s worth dipping your toes in console hell to hear Burce Campbell’s Ash routine.


System Requirements: Pentium 160 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Windows 95

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