I think Saber Interactive’s Evil Dead: The Game caught us all by surprise. In fact, we even said so in our review (opens in new tab), noting that B-movie franchises tend to be grist for quick, lazy cash-grabs. But it turned out to be really good: “The game is absolutely exhilarating—one of the true left-field sleepers of 2022,” we declared, slapping an outstanding 85% score on it.
It was a nice surprise for sure, and now here’s another: Today’s rollout of the free update that will send players to Castle Kandar, the setting for the cult classic zombie flick Army of Darkness.
Army of Darkness—the movie, that is—is a lot of fun, although it didn’t grab me in quite the same way as the first two Evil Dead flicks. It moved away from the “buckets-of-blood” approach that epitomized those films, and instead more overtly embraced the inherent goofiness of the whole thing. Sometimes it worked—”This is my boomstick (opens in new tab)” didn’t become an immediately recognizable one-liner for nothing—and sometimes it was just awkward and overlong. The larger cast and bigger premise does seem like a more natural fit for a videogame redo, though, if only because there’s a lot more to see than just a cabin and a car.
Speaking of which, other locations from the film that players will be able to visit in the new map include the windmill, the Arthurian Outpost, Fort Gort, and the Castle Kandar keep. To help with the sightseeing, the update will also add a new singleplayer Exploration Mode, which opens up all maps in the game to free-roaming solo play—although you’ll still have to deal with the Deadites on your travels.
Two new weapons will be added with the update, the slow, skull-crushing Mace and the Explosive Crossbow, and of course there will be a number of new cosmetics available for purchase, including Ash’s S-Mart (opens in new tab) outfit and a collection of new looks for Lord Arthur and Henry the Red.
Evil Dead: The Game is available on PC from the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab) for $40.