Evil Dead Fistful of Boomstick for Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
Ash is back, baby, and more bitter than ever in THQ's follow-up to Evil Dead: Hail to the King. The city of Dearborn, MI, has been infested with Deadites and there's only one man alive who can clean them out. As the one-handed Ash, players can whack enemies with a shovel, shred them with a Gatling gun, rip into their bodies with a chainsaw, and make them chew lead with the boomstick, a 12-gauge double-barreled shotgun. Played from a third-person perspective, the game lets players use two weapons at once and features the wisecracking voice of Ash himself, Bruce Campbell. Up to 50 enemies can appear on the screen at any given time, but Ash can call upon the Book of the Dead's dark magic whenever he's in a pinch. Magic is replenished by collecting the souls of Deadites, and spells are acquired by finding scrolls hidden throughout each stage. Levels also feature multiple objectives that could involve locating more weapons, meeting with a certain character, or finding a way inside a specific building. Items such as keys to buildings, health packs, and other tools needed to advance are automatically stored in inventory. The heart of the game is combat, and players can attack creatures independently with either hand as well as block. A lock-on targeting system is used to isolate specific creatures, with two colors used to indicate whether or not an enemy is in range. If an enemy is in range, the lock-on system lets players keep attacking it no matter where its position is in relation to Ash. Finding the chainsaw allows Ash to perform special combos, such as the backhanded slash or chainsaw impale, with the latter freeing Ash's other hand to finish the job in gruesome fashion. Each completed level is available for play in a separate Arcade mode, where players try their hand at killing Deadites using a preset list of weapons. Letter rankings are awarded based on factors such as time, health remaining, number of kills, and body parts severed. Statistics earned during Arcade mode are also saved at the end of each stage, but recording progress during the main game requires players to find special tokens. Evil Dead also features video commentary from Bruce Campbell on the making of the game as well as concept art.