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E3 2010: Saw II: Flesh & Blood (Impressions)

Posted by: Tina at 6/22/2010 1:27 PM
After brutally removing a key from your own eye socket on command of the Jigsaw Killer, the protagonist of the game - Michael, Detective David Tapp’s son - has to pursue the killer as he drags, and forces people to their deathbeds.

I’m pretty sure everyone knows of the popular movie franchise of Saw. Essentially: a cancer patient on the trails of death reflects on life and decides to make less than morally apt people earn the right to life by forcing them into death-traps and into making decisions to save their life (usually at the loss of a limb or two). Much of the gameplay of the original Saw game is seen in this sequel, namely that of the third person survival horror centered on the main objective of solving puzzles at hand.

What’s new to the sequel is a bigger tribute paid to physical combat, however minuscule that might be. Combat will oftentimes be puzzle-based, such as an incident I encountered playing the demo in which an enraged brute of a man with a spiked helmet would charge at me. Opening an elevator door leading to the empty shaft allowed me to trick him into running down to his own defeat. Other times, combat will entail weaponry or basic hand/feet fighting.

Puzzles are the most focused aspect of gameplay, which is only appropriate given the Jigsaw Killer’s nature. You’ll come across lockpicking puzzles, circuit breakers that need reworking, and environmental puzzles. A lot of the experience of playing Saw II is based around these puzzles, as well as Quick Time Events that will test your response to certain actions that you cross paths with.

The biggest appeal to Saw II is similar to the biggest appeal of the films: namely, that of the eery quality of the murderous rampage of a slightly deranged and dying man. You’re constantly seeing the Jigsaw Killer torture his victims, oftentimes catching sight of his robes where he stands watching ominously over them. This quality is one of the reasons I loved traversing a place like Arkham Asylum; the curiosity of unraveling the secrets of a madman is enough motivation to want to pursue the goals of the game.

Saw II: Flesh & Blood is being developed by Zombie Studios and will be available on the PS3, 360 and PC listed as “coming soon.”