The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
new Saw film has been released every year since 2004. These seven
movies have diluted the unique concept of the first film, turning them
into gory squirm fests. Last year the first video game in the series was
released. Now, like the films, there is a cash-grabbing sequel that
eviscerates what few good ideas the first game possessed.
The story revolves around Michael, the son of Detective Tapp, the
Jigsaw-obsessed ex-cop featured in the first film and game. Michael is a
newspaper reporter with some shady business practices, and it’s time he
atones for his sins. Predictably, Jigsaw places him in life-threatening
situations to test his will. Throughout his harrowing yet shallow trek
through demented traps, he must free fellow victims, all of which are
one-dimensional, terribly voice-acted, and inexplicably hostile upon
being freed. If you suffered through the first game because you liked
the story, don’t expect such rewards for your sado-masochism here.
II: Flesh & Blood saws off every limb the franchise was limping on.
The first noticeably dismembered gameplay mechanic is the combat. While
the original Saw game’s combat wasn’t good, it allowed players to set
clever shotgun-door traps and trip wires for enemies. Now every combat
situation is a terrible quick time event plagued by awful button prompts
and horrendous animations. The only other combat situation involves
playing matador with lunatics wearing spiked helmets, which results in
countless sloppy deaths and snags in the environment.
of the environment, Saw II skillfully recreates the dreadful atmosphere
of the first film’s claustrophobic dungeon. The problem is that every
texture looks like it’s from the iconic little room, thus every location
feels nauseatingly familiar. The game variously insists you’re in a
hotel, subway, or factory, but it all looks like the same dilapidated
On the rare occasion that some of the game’s
locations begin to creep you out, you’ll be shuffled into an enclosed
puzzle room. You’ll spend half of the game aligning electrical wires,
matching TV monitors, playing blackout, or scratching your head looking
for a vague clue to an unexplained puzzle. Sometimes the punishment for
failing puzzles is interesting and gory, but mostly it results in a
generic explosion. Failure results in a loading screen and a trip back
to a checkpoint, which more often than not requires you to repeat some
mundane task. The only innovation in Saw II’s minigames is a
first-person lock-picking sequence I never tired of.
year’s title was a messy new entry in the dwindling survival horror
genre, but at least it had potential for improvement. Unfortunately, the
second game fails to polish any of the concepts. Saw II
doesn’t just take a step backwards from the first game – it performs a
reverse swan dive off a balcony into a swimming pool filled with
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