Evil Dead Regeneration Review

I have to tell you that I’m a big fan of the Evil Dead movies. How could you not love the series reluctant hero Ash? Here’s a guy that is just your average Joe, and who holds down a thankless job working at S-Mart (“shop smart, shop S-Mart!”). However, when a weekend at a cabin with friends quickly degenerates into an assault by demonic forces Ash rises to the occasion. He chops off his own possessed hand and replaces it with a chainsaw, using it and a shotgun to dispatch the legion of demonic deadites back to hell while managing to insult each one with a pithy one-liner. Now that’s some great entertainment!

Bring it on.

The Evil Dead: Regeneration storyline picks up right where the original movie left off. This is a bit odd, since the game is obviously designed to appeal to fans of the movies and these fans will be left wondering what happened to the time vortex that sucked Ash back into the Middle Ages and into the sequel Army of Darkness. OK, so you just have to accept that fact that in this case the events in the brilliant Army of Darkness never occurred, which is too bad since its story is far better than the game’s alternate timeline. Anyway, in Regeneration Ash is arrested after the night in the cabin and charged with murdering everyone in a two mile radius. Since he can’t stop talking about demons he is relegated to the Sunny Meadows Asylum, where our hero sits awaiting an appeal by his lawyer. Well it just happens that Ash’s lawyer gets her hands on a memo written by the asylum’s chief doctor mentioning that he is experimenting with the book of the dead that unleashed the demons on the cabin in the first place. This of course makes the lawyer suddenly believe everything Ash has told her, but unfortunately she has this change of mind a bit too late. The good doctor’s experiments go terribly awry and next thing you know the asylum is overrun with deadites. It is up to Ash (you) to put an end to the mayhem and rescue your pretty lawyer friend.

Regeneration is a third-person action game with plenty of deadite killing. To accomplish this you’ll be able to dual-wield a gun and a weapon attached to your arm stump. Of course you’ll make plenty of use of Ash’s classic chainsaw and shotgun combo, but you can also obtain other weapons such as a pistol or a hook to pull enemies toward you. All of the weapons have unlimited ammo so you’ll probably just pick a weapon and stick to it. I found that the old standby of chainsaw and shotgun served my purposes for the first part of the game. After that more powerful weapons such as the flamethrower are not just a firepower boost but a necessity. The game includes a target-lock system which is used by squeezing a trigger. The target lock can be handy in spots, but the control in the game is good enough that for the most part you can forego locking on and just blast away.

The game includes a combo system, but it’s pretty much useless. Early in the game you can wipe out legions of attackers with shotgun blasts and occasional chainsaw swings, and later on the heavy weapons pretty much do the job for you. There’s just no real benefit to entering combo sequences when simple attacks do the job nicely. The finishing move feature is pretty cool, though. Enemies near death are signified by a glowing mist effect. Pressing Y when near such an enemy will result in a finishing move animation such as a behind-the-back shotgun blast or a chainsaw impaling. Gruesome no doubt, but entertaining nonetheless.

Once you escape from the asylum, you will be introduced to the game’s unique play mechanic. Ash reluctantly joins forces with a half-deadite dwarf named Sam, and proceeds to use and abuse him for the rest of the game. Since Sam is already dead, he can continually be put into harm’s way and if he is smashed, impaled, or generally eviscerated, he will rematerialize no worse for wear. Sam is primarily used by kicking him soccer-style at an approaching enemy. Sam can take out weaker enemies himself, but when launched at a strong enemy he makes himself enough of an annoyance that you’re free to take out the distracted foe. He can even hop onto the back of giant deadites and steer them around smashing their confused allies.