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Saw II: Flesh and Blood review

Solid
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AT A GLANCE
  • Some nifty logic puzzles
  • Greatly improved level design
  • No more crappy combat
  • Frustrating restarts and badly placed checkpoints
  • Not super great looking
  • Some repetition in the QTEs

This article comes courtesy of GamesRadar sister magazine 

Saw: The Videogame positions itself much like Saw: The Movie – an annual dose of interactive gruesomeness. And as with the films we find ourselves begrudgingly returning, not out of enthusiasm, but bleak curiosity. Zombie Studios follows up spine snapping and chest scything with explosive vests, acid baths and drowning tanks, preceded by a literally eye-opening kick-off. ‘Accidentally’ mess up the puzzles and you get to watch Jigsaw’s cruel machinations play out in ropey HD.

But where the films are quite happy reheating last year’s gore, Flesh and Blood actually manages to improve upon its predecessor. Gone is the sub-Silent Hill combat, replaced with occasional skull-cracking QTEs. Nail bats to the face bring to mind Manhunt. And the tired labyrinthine level designs are greatly improved. Now, each stage is constructed around saving a victim from a building-sized trap, forcing our hero (the son of the last game’s protagonist) to find escape routes in hotel lobbies and acid factories.

How on earth the allegedly cancer-ridden Jigsaw has modified several street blocks into trap gauntlets is never explained. Just be glad he’s moved beyond the original’s dull corridor-puzzle-corridor. Here you’ll have to ease trolleys past arsonists, dodge dirty cops with cover-to-cover dashes and decipher visual clues to open doors. Zombie Studios has taken a well-chosen leaf out of Arkham Asylum’s book with some Riddler-style perspective challenges too.

Many of the survival horror trappings are a tired leftover from the original. The game loves a good sudden death QTE. One in three doors is rigged with a shotgun or scythe. Must suck to be the postman in this neighborhood. Certainly sucks to fumble a button press and get whisked back to horribly placed checkpoints. We get it: Jigsaw is an unforgiving bastard. But he’s holding the game back. There are some brains here; why waste them by splattering them all against the wall?

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Oct 19, 2010

More Info

Release date: Oct 19 2010 - Xbox 360, PS3 (US)
Nov 26 2010 - Xbox 360, PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
Published by: Konami
Developed by: Zombie Studios
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
PEGI Rating:
18+

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12 comments

  • shinigamiDude - October 22, 2010 5:14 a.m.

    I find the first game to be a bit enjoyable even though most puzzles are dull and repetitive. I'm pretty sure I'll love this sequel. :D
  • Syncmaster - October 20, 2010 2:03 p.m.

    another one so fast?
  • JayBeat - October 20, 2010 9:05 a.m.

    Is it a bad sign for a game if a 7 actually impresses?
  • AlpineGuy - October 19, 2010 4:57 p.m.

    Looks interesting. Might pick up the first though, just 'cuz it's cheaper.
  • wittynickname - October 19, 2010 2:24 p.m.

    I'm with reaperman; the combat was the only thing holding me back from unreservedly enjoying the first Saw game. I'll definitely pick this up at some point, though not likely before the new year.
  • Cruddi - October 19, 2010 2:09 p.m.

    i think i may wanted to play this game... played the first one and kind of like it... kind of
  • tomtatoe - October 19, 2010 11:44 a.m.

    I was hoping this review was going to tear Saw II a new one, but I'm genuinely surprised to hear that it's pretty good. Could this be a new trend for movie-games? Probably not. And I'm not sure why, but the picture leading into this article reminds me of TimeSplitters 2.
  • bluscorp - October 19, 2010 11:22 a.m.

    I kind of enjoyed the first one, so i'm seriously thinking of getting this seeing as its improved. Great review.
  • FrozenImplosion - October 19, 2010 10:26 a.m.

    Yay! The last one was pretty good, but if this is even better than I'll definitely have to check it out :D
  • reaperman22 - October 19, 2010 9:20 a.m.

    well considering the combat was the only thing i really didn't like from the first one (and one of the puzzles annoyed the hell out of me for a while) i will probably get this when the price drops which should be fast since most people aren't interested and the last saw game took an extra month to come out in my town
  • CH3BURASHKA - October 19, 2010 7:40 a.m.

    I was not aware this was coming out. That's a pretty good score for a game I wasn't aware existed. It's somewhat surprising how good it is for a licensed game. If it was a different license, I think people would care a hell of a lot more.
  • McSpermie - October 19, 2010 7:19 a.m.

    lol, this was MOST DEF the review everyone wanted to see.

Showing 1-12 of 12 comments

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