Three decades ago a little movie was made in a cabin about one man’s survival against his demonically possessed friends. Then there was a sequel and a third movie where he went back in time. Evil Dead Regeneration branches off in a tangent between Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. Half the focus of the movies were horror, the other half was enjoyable comedy that was sometimes cartoonish, and full of one liners from actor Bruce Campbell. The game is a third person hack and slash shooter in a nightmarish world.
Bruce is back for the role, but don’t worry, you don’t need to see any of the movies to know that you are Ash, a man with a chainsaw for a right hand that carries a “boomstick” shotgun to kick some demon tail. The game gives you a quick tutorial on your easy to understand controls. Hold the R trigger to automatically lock onto a target enemy, and press the X button to shoot it. Press the B button for the chainsaw. Its really simple. White button to switch guns, black button to switch between arm gadgets (chainsaw, flame thrower, hook shot). A to jump. Its very easy and very enjoyable combat.
The story isn’t all that important, but basically a book called the Necromonicon has been stolen by Ash’s psychiatric doctor that intends to do evil things with it. He also kidnaps Bruce’s beautiful lawyer (the princess to rescue). Basically, the plot has been done before, so has the game.
The game itself seems very much like a 3D Castlevania. As Ash, you will break boxes for health (instead of candles), find secret unlockables (like behind the scenes videos), secret health upgrades, get new weapons, new abilities like the ability to go berserk, all while facing undead enemies and possessed people. There is a nice puzzle element to the game too that will have you using your smarts to figure out things.
It has a very nice flow to it and there is a good dynamic with Ash’s sidekick Sam that he finds along the way. Sam (voiced by Ted Rami) is an undead little person, and because of this, he dies in several hilarious ways only to respawn. Ash can boot him flying, Ash can possess him for a change of pace and a different dynamic (along with some cool music), but most importantly the two will banter back and forth. This is where the game shines, the comedy both of these two ooze between the two of them and even alone.
Many might criticize the game for using Sam to pad play time of the game. Such as Ash will possess Sam, who will then crawl through an area only he can get to, battle enemies, solve a puzzle, flip a switch, then Ash will have to go into the area to do something else. Ash will then need to defend Sam as they go back to a previous area. Even though there is plenty of that, it never seems tedious or monotonous, because Sam and Ash play completely different.
In all, this is a really enjoyable game! Plenty of secret unlockables, differing gameplay, puzzles, great quirky comedy, and some very fun combat that includes some brutal fatalities. Rent this game, buy this game, you will find something to love about it.