The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners is one of the iconic titles of the VRof those who manage to offer a truly immersive experience without lapsing into the simplistic and lazy transposition of elements of gameplay repeatedly repeated on a flat screen. How can this game claim such status? What’s the point of playing it on PlayStation VR 2 ? Does this latest version bring enough new features to redo it once the title is completed on other media? Follow the leader !
The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners is not a game that takes you by the hand.
TWDSS is a FPS alone in the universe of The Walking Dead. Although borrowing the codes of the latter, the adventure that is proposed is original, understand by this that the plot of the game is not taken from the comic strip, or from the series, or from other video games inspired by the same license. In the universe that is proposed, in addition to the zombie infection, a hurricane (which obviously brings to mind the catastrophe Katrina) has disfigured and flooded the local landscape. The title proposes to embody the Tourista nickname given because of the lifestyle of the latter: survival through discovery. It is therefore with the help of a small motorboat that you will sail in the bayou (Louisiana), in search of elements used to feed and protect you.. Your nickname is also synonymous with independence, in this state where two factions face each other : there Round (dictatorship similar to the FEDRA of The Last of Us), a kind of over-equipped fortress, and the Reclaimed (comparable to fireflies of this same game), mere pariahs. You would have understood it, everyone is trying to enlist you and your choices to help one or the other have consequences for what happens next..
The game is also split into two distinct parts. On one side, the Safe Havena kind of main hub taking place in a cemetery devoid of Walkers, where the player can perfect his equipment and rest; on the other, the city, where he must amass in his backpack as many elements as possible while carrying out various missions used to unlock the main plot. Every day, resources are becoming scarcer and the zombies are becoming more and more numerous, it is necessary to show discernment and tactics so as not to arrive on the battlefield more helpless than you were the day before!
Knowing that you can only visit one city per dayyou must try by all means to crafter elements as heterogeneous as they are important, but also to complete all the missions given to you before the time runs out. Eh yes, your hero has a watch telling you visually and by sound how much time you have left before the big bell of the Round rings, which has the effect of boosting the velocity and the number of Walkers. A beep warns you that you are halfway through the time, while a second indicates that you are three quarters of the time and the last announces that it is already too late and that you must clear off as quickly as possible.
Don’t expect to rush headlong into the fray hoping to magic your way out. Here, physics rules, your character has a health and stamina gauge. The first fall following the bodily damage suffered, but also the junk you ingest, as for the second, the fact of running, climbing and using your melee weapons will make it decrease. If your life gauge drops to 0, you will die, if your stamina gauge drops to 0, you won’t be able to do anything for a few moments while you catch your breath. To increase your health, you will need medicine and, to fill it, bandages. To improve your stamina, you will need food and common sense leads you to favor healthy foods in order to avoid cutting corners on your health. If you die, you get a second chance. Thus, you will be teleported to the start of the level and you will be able to pick up your backpack.
Never has it been so dreadful to evolve in a world populated by the undead.
The melee weapon attack system is arguably one of the most effective ways we’ve ever experienced the weight of objects in VR. By the way, when you wield the ax and want to split your enemy’s skull, two things must be taken into account: the inertia of the weapon and your physical capacity. If there are two Walkersthis is not a problem, but if they are more numerous and your stamina gauge is clearly in the red, then you can start to worry and therefore favor firearms. The game’s realistic combat system, both for the reloading of ranged weapons and the handling of blunt tools, greatly contributes to the success of the title. A little tip for beginners: take your free hand to grab the head of your Walkerthis one now stabilized, it is easier for you to perforate it. If you want to avoid them and go incognito, you can always (like in the series or the comics) disembowel one to cover yourself with its viscera.
Never has it been so appalling to evolve in a world populated by the undead and the living who wish you death. Prepare to panic when your gun shatters, suddenly plunged into darkness, search for bullets you accidentally dropped, jump in fright when a door crashes (bringing its horde of zombies) , to ask you quickly what to answer to your interlocutor… In short, you will have understood it, we are there, this moment when virtual reality skillfully manages to put us under permanent tension, to immerse ourselvesto cause fear for our own person, to make choices not for the player we are supposed to embody, but simply for ourselves.
Question scenario, the title turns out to be correctwe take up the torch from our friend Henry who was murdered, notably by helping his comrade maria in his vengeful quest against the Round. We hope to find a path to the famous “reserve”, a place that is the object of all desires (fantasies some will say). And that’s good, because we help Casey (by radio only), stuck precisely in this famous shelter and which in exchange for information will allow us to enter it, if indeed it really exists.
If the proximity to maria remains debatable, the friendship that we weave with Casey is remarkable, we don’t know his face, we don’t know if we can trust him, but we have fun drawing his portrait and refining it over the discussions, as we would IRL. The studio, for lack of means, took the side of suggestion, which greatly helps immersion, because it makes our own imagination work. The other side of the coin is that all the NPCs that you will come across in flesh and pixels seem very bland next to you, the fault of the total absence of staging or animations worthy of the nameeven if a big surprise is reserved for you at the very end of the title.
Let’s not turn around the grave, the version PSVR 2 is very clean, indecently sharp and without reprojection, great art! It even pays for the luxury of increasing definition compared to the second opus, much more aliased. The title having been out for many years, you will not find the few graphic errors of the second part, it is faultless. Of course, the OLED and HDR couple works wonders : shadow areas, light and particle effects are particularly impactful.
In terms of haptic feedback, however, it is a big disappointment!
If the adaptive triggers are present during our shots, if the vibrations in the helmet are also part of the game, we were particularly expecting care taken in the handling of the various melee weapons. You will have absolutely nothing in terms of vibrations and therefore sensation! It’s a big red card as the game, with its realistic physics, lent itself perfectly to it. If you have the version PlayStation VR1 (or version Meta Quest) and you like the title, redoing it on this new version makes senseso important is the graphic facelift. For those with the PC version VRit is a useless purchasewhich surely would not have been if the haptic feedback had been worthy of the name.
Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a must-watch for those managing to pass the course of the first hours of play, which for lack of a consequent inventory obliges you to be discreet and to avoid contact as much as possible. As soon as you have unlocked the sawed-off shotgun, the game becomes easier and easier, until you no longer feel the fear of the first moments. So yes, the game is not free from flaws, you will surely complain about the difficulty of finding the object or the place indicated in the mission (the game being clearly stingy with precision), so much moreover that you will surely want to put down your helmet, watch a walkthroughthen put it back, in order to avoid losing a day, which would be synonymous with even greater difficulty.
Enemy AI has its pros and cons, if they are going to notice you from the noise you generate, they can also remain static, waiting for their buckshot shots. Also, the order of priority is somewhat haphazard, if your human opponents find themselves facing a Walkeryou will be able to knock out the group without any problem, focus being reserved for the living dead. Last criticism, the NPCs do not discuss among themselves, so they seem comparable to the zombies they are trying to knock out: lifeless. That said, these reproaches are anecdotal next to the pleasure that the title gives us. If ever you are one of those who hesitated to do it because of its off-putting difficulty, know that this is not the case, at least after having worked on it for a few hours. There you go, now you have no more excuses not to get it and live one of your best moments in virtual reality!
- Convincing music, sound effects and spatialization…
- The Aftershock DLC included to extend the fun…
- Confusing but effective gameplay
- Randomness (Walkers, items to craft) makes the game unpredictable
- An omnipresent tension and pressure that accentuate the immersion
- Graphically clean and crisp
- The game makes you want to platinum it
- … but some sound effects are missing
- …although the life of the main plot is short
- always strawberry ai
- Anecdotal haptic feedback, too bad!
- Some untranslated passages
- PSVR 1 to PSVR 2 upgrade conditions: unintelligible!