Saw II: Flesh & Blood Review

There have been very few horror games that you just simply wouldn’t want to play. On the other side of things. There have been very few games based on movies that you would want to play… unless if you are a hardcore fan. So what would the final result be if a game was made that could be classified as both? Time to find out!

If you enjoyed the previous Saw title then you might as well stop reading now. Saw II merely tweaks what was on display in the first. For fans of the Saw movie franchise the main motive for buying this title will be the story which takes place between the second & third films.

The game helps clarify the movies better but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to share the same kind of horror aspect. Traps can be avoided with quick-time events; although the game fails at helping you feel any form of sympathy for the featured characters. They’re just not that well “fleshed out”. The puzzles in the game are also largely the same as with the previous game. The only noticeable change is that “circuit puzzles” no longer require you to match wires of the same colour. Instead now you have to match wires of the opposite colour.

The game is filled with “quick-time events” all the way through. It helps keep you on your toes but might get a bit stale the more you encounter them. Fortunately if you get sick of the typical combat you can try killing enemies using all kinds of rather gruesome devices placed all through the game at just the right locations. This is the kind of title you may want to play through twice, as the game has multiple endings, although the game will start to judge you from the very first moment you start playing.

Sound is one area of the game where the developers should have probably looked for a second opinion. Some of the atmosphere and effects just don’t seem to pack as much of a punch as they should. You’ll still get a jolt from the first shotgun trap that catches you unaware. The problem comes when you start to anticipate the traps, it’ll just all start to look & sound the same. To expect different reactions from the same traps might be unreasonable, but for the developers to use slightly different sound effects isn’t. At the very least they could have had two different sound recordings for each trap. This will probably only bother you if use something other than your TV’s speakers though.

Most of the gore in the game feels a bit artificial & just doesn’t have quite as much of a horrifying effect as you’d hope for. There are some bits that may leave you feeling like you wish you could look the other way, but this could perhaps rather be because of the way they’re implemented, rather than what you’re seeing on screen.

Locations all have that “horror movie feel” although they may not be the best looking, they’ve managed to stay true to the Saw films.

Bright colours & visual effects are reserved almost exclusively for areas of interest or locations & items the player should investigate. This helps to ensure the game always keeps you on edge & makes you feel like you are in a hostile environment.

Conclusion:
Saw II Flesh and Blood is filled with numerous thrills & puzzles that are sure to make that “lazy Saturday” just blissfully pass by. The game has does need improvement, but since most of it is either quick time or puzzle based you don’t need to be an experienced gamer to enjoy it.  As is the case with most games like this you may need some outside knowledge from the films to fully enjoy this game.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 5/10
Sound: 6/10
Graphics: 6/10

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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