SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$39.99

DEVELOPER
Heavy Iron

PUBLISHER
THQ

RELEASE DATE
12/00

Evil Dead: Hail To The King Review

By: John Doe


Everybody loves shooting at zombies and horribly disfigured, albeit, animated flesh-eating corpses. What's not to like, it's fun for the entire parochial family. Just look at the popularity of games such as Doom, Quake, Resident Evil and Time Splitters. How could a game based on a popular cult movie franchise that incorporates many of the same elements not be hit? If it's crap, that's how.


Highs:
Lows:

Evil Dead: Hail to the King is not by itself a bad game but when compared to the aforementioned titles, a process it will not escape, then it will certainly be relegated to the been-there-done-that-many-times-better files. It does posses some scintillating moments but unlike the movies there is no innovation, little imagination and a whole lot of confusion going on.

The storyline of the movies is followed up in the game which attempts to tie all the loose ends of all the developments to give the story some cohesion or clarity. The problem is that if you've seen the movies it's apparent that the developments were thought up as filming went along. If it looks good, do it, seemed to be the philosophy behind creating these films. After all, they thought, we don't have to explain anything to anyone. We can paint ourselves in the corner and tomorrow we'll think of something to get us back on the main floor. But Heavy Iron has taken it upon themselves to do some explaining and it sounds not unlike the ramblings of a schizophrenic criminal pleading his defense to the arresting officer.

This whole mess stared during a weekend vacation at a cabin in the woods where the group of young adults found the Necronomicon, the book of the dead, and accidentally brought the evil dead and all their entourage to life. It's a blood-splattering gore fest with disgusting special effects and a vein of black humor which is mined to good effect. To make a long and confusing story short, the video game version takes place back at the cabin, but in the past.

Nothing comes naturally in this game as far as control manipulation goes. The axe is difficult to swing, the rifle doesn't inflict much damage on the dead and the chainsaw is a very cumbersome weapon to wield - not like in the movie. If you like pushing buttons, and who the hell does, then you can expect a workout here. The lack of quick control and a virtually useless collision detector will have your character in more tight spots than Clinton on a college campus. The rendering is awful in places. It's hard to discern characters and the action is spoiled by taking place in the distance. What about a close up of some of that gory gut oozing that made the movies a hit? Stripped of its association with the Evil Dead franchise this title is nothing more than a lame shoot-em up.

The fleeting elements of brilliance this game displays are included in some of the background graphics, witty one-liners and the soundtrack supplied by a 42-piece orchestra and a 40-person choir. It's so strange to see such inconsistencies in quality displayed in this production. I just can't recommend this game as it falls so short of other popular games in this genre.

You'll laugh, you'll cringe and you'll cry when you realize that you wasted your money on this haphazard presentation. I think the real evil dead invaded the Heavy Iron studios and sucked the life out of the programmers while they were developing this game. That's the only logical explanation.

OVERALL
4.5

GRAPHICS
6.0

CONTROL
4.0

MUSIC/FX
7.0

FRUSTRATION
7.0

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