Evil Dead: The Game. Who’d a thunk it?
It isn’t at all surprising to me that another title has come along that is trying to nail the asymmetrical horror gameplay that Dead by Daylight has so mysteriously held onto like the plague that just wont quit. Among the many, many smaller titles that have attempted such a feat, Friday the 13th and Last Year are the only two I can actually remember. One of them was defeated by a lawsuit while the other was so insignificant in quality that I never really heard anything about it other than “Meh.”
Enter Evil Dead. Ash is a character that’s become nearly synonymous with the asymmetrical horror genre almost entirely thanks to his inclusion into Dead by Daylight (DBD) a few years ago. Naturally (or not so naturally), he’s appearing in his own game that attempts to do DBD, but in a far more interesting way. And when I say interesting, I mean it.
Evil Dead: The Game pits one “killer” against four “survivors”. And it is there that the similarities between DBD and the ED stop. The games are completely different, both in tone and in mechanics. Players fond of DBD might feel like they are little too “hands off” in ED as the killer, while survivors might feel like they aren’t taking part in any enthralling mechanics. On the other hand, fans of ED will be able to enjoy gameplay that’s far more varied and action packed than the average DBD match.
The two are extremely difficult to compare, but in short, you could say that DBD is to a classic game of golf where ED is basketball but with trampolines. Both fun for different people and, in this industry, both competing for the same share of playerbase. And its about time.
Dead by Daylight, since its inception, has been one of a kind. There’s no denying it. No other game in the industry, in the history of gaming, has been able to replicate the kind of elusive quality that DBD brings to the table. This is both a blessing and a curse for Behaviour Interactive, the game’s developing studio.
DBD is one of a kind, which means there’s no where else to go but it if you want the kind of gameplay that it offers. DBD is also the only of its kind, which means Behaviour has no where else to go for inspiration towards new gameplay mechanics, content, or in-game events. It all has to come from within. I credit the original artist as much as the next guy, but when it comes to DBD, Behaviour, who we’ll refer to as BHVR from now on, has a long history of showing up empty handed.
Decisive strike, Moris, Vacuum pallets, infinite loops, keys, the hatch system as a whole, the absolutely terrible bloodweb design, their MMR system, their ranking system, the inability for solo queuers to communicate to one another, the absolutely broken nature of 4 stacking, the disgusting map imbalance, the cheaters, that one time they made flashlight and pallet saves guaranteed, Brand new parts, triple blink Nurse, on-release Legion, Iridescent Heads, and oh boy, could I go on! I really could go on!
DBD, if it were any other game without that special lighting in a bottle kind of core gameplay, would have died ages ago in the hands that it is currently in. There is no other development team in charge of a reasonably large title I can think of that has made more blunders more consistently than BHVR. And now, with ED, there is a real contender to keep them worried about their performance. If DBD falls into another low point due to developer performance, ED will be there to cradle up the frustrated player base with warm arms. With fun arms. With arms made for trampoline basketball, what joy!
I love Dead by Daylight, and given the incredible reception Evil Dead has entered into the fray to, I imagine I’ll love it, too. Hopefully the pair will share enough competition that they’re simply forced into perfecting their craft. Or maybe ED will die, leaving DBD alone in the genre once again. What joy.