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Evil Dead Regeneration

Poor Ash. One minute he's on a perfectly innocent daytrip with his girlfriend, the next he's trapped in a cabin in the woods fighting demon-possessed corpses and hacking his own hand off with a chainsaw. His reward for such a traumatic experience? Being locked up in a mental asylum while the doctor in charge starts tinkering with a brand-new breed of Deadites. Talk about starting your day on a downer.

But after the so-so Fistful of Boomstick that's exactly what we want from the second Evil Dead Xbox game - something that genuinely manages to capture all the over-the-top, brutal action of the films. Here's a man with a shotgun in one hand and a chainsaw bolted onto the other: why wouldn't he want to hack up as much undead flesh as possible?

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The real evolution to the series in terms of gameplay is Sam, a three-foot Deadite who Ash must form an unwilling partnership with. Apart from spouting a never-ending monologue of hilariously puerile filth, Sam is an integral part of much of Evil Dead: Regeneration's puzzle solving. Thanks to his ability to regenerate, it's possible for Ash to punt Sam into amusingly lethal situations, the end result being that new paths open up to explore. For example, hurling Sam into a furnace might cause it to explode, but you'll blow a hole in a nearby wall as well. It's bloodthirsty as puzzle solving goes, but charmingly effective with it.

But what of Evil Dead's legendary star, Bruce Campbell? What does he have to say on this latest reincarnation of the Evil Dead legacy? Quite a bit, actually, especially since not only has he been involved in the design process from the beginning, but he's also providing his recognisable voice for Ash. "They use the characters everyone knows," says Campbell, "And then within minutes they kill each other. I approve!" And if it's good enough for the man Campbell, then it's definitely good enough for us.

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