The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Review
One of the biggest VR titles of the year is The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, which released on PCVR headsets back in January of this year. It was met with acclaim by both fans and critics, and was later announced to be coming to PSVR and the Oculus Quest. Ever since this news PSVR fans have been asking and wondering when the game would release, but we hadn’t heard anything relating to a release date. Until May 5th, when all of the sudden reports came in of the game releasing on the European playstation store. Everyone was shocked, including myself, and I had wondered whether or not the game was supposed to release, or if it was an accident. But later in the day the game released on the North American store, and trailers released on Playstation’s official YouTube channel. It was a shock to everyone that they released this so soon and without warning too, but this begs the question. Is the PSVR port of the Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners any good?
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a VR game based off of the hit TV show and comic series that takes place in New Orleans. You play as The Tourist, a known survivor trying to survive in this zombie infested world. The game has both main missions and side missions, and you can choose to do them in whatever order you want, but I won’t be spoiling the story in this review.
The gameplay of The Walking Dead consists of fighting off zombies, or known as walkers in this world, and a ton of survival elements. You start the game off in your hideout where you can craft items, recycle junk for parts, rest, and contact people through a radio. And soon after you find a raft that is what leads you to other areas in the game. Your character has both a health and stamina bar, which you’ll have to be very mindful about while playing the game, because the maximum stamina and health can decrease from mistakes you make. And the only way to bring back up your max health and stamina is to find or craft healing items or consumable food and drinks. The items you find in the world are usually not too effective, like dirty bandages or soda that increases your max stamina, but decreases you max health. The best items come from crafting, where you can make quality items that’ll better increase your maximum health or stamina. For the consumable items you collect, you can just eat them by putting the item in front of your mouth. But for the bandages you’ll have to wrap them around one of your hands, which is a really neat mechanic that adds to the immersion. As for the combat side of things, you can use a variety of different weapons including knives, axes, pistols, shotguns, bottles, baseball bats laced with sharp objects, and a ton of more unique weapons. Your character can wield two light weapons at the hips, one heavy weapon over your right shoulder, and another heavy weapon inside of your backpack, but we’ll talk more about the backpack later. These weapons all have durability to them, which furthers the survival aspect of the game, you’ll have to strategize how to use all of your weapons, and whether or not you’ll want to escape from enemies or use some durability to kill them. As for how you interact with the walkers, you can push them off of you, grab their head, and of course stab them in the head. The interactions between the walkers is intense and amazing. The combat mechanics are some of the best I’ve experienced in VR, the melee weapons are extremely satisfying to use and work really well, and the guns also work really well, with a manual reload system to increase immersion even further. And just like the healing items I discussed before, you can also craft weapons at your base. Which will come in handy, because you can’t find every weapon just by looking around the world, some of them can only be used from crafting them. Now about that backpack I mentioned earlier, there is a very smooth inventory system built into the game. Items you find you can simply move over your left shoulder and drop to put them into your backpack. Then at any time you can pull out your backpack from your shoulder, and access several pages of inventory to pull out your items. This is one of the best inventory systems I’ve seen in VR, and it works extremely well. One other thing to note about the inventory is that if you die in a level you’ll have to recover your loot from the area you died in. But if you die before recollecting your loot, you will lose it all. You also have a notebook and flashlight, which are located on your chest. The notebook allows you to take a look at maps, your current objectives, notes you’ve collected, crafting recipes your tracking, and current upgrades and buffs. And the flashlight works just how you’d expect it to, but you will have to shake it every once in a while to keep the light on. There is also a watch that shows you when the bells will ring. The bells are what summon hordes of zombies, so you’ll definitely want to stay safe during those times. Now before we move onto other aspects of the game, let’s quickly discuss the controls in the game. The game uses the move controllers only, which work and track really well. The game also has all of the movement and comfort settings you would want. For hardcore players you can turn off comfort settings, and use full locomotion and smooth turning, or for more casual players you can turn on vignette and change the speed of your movement.
The World Of The Walking Dead:
The world of the walking dead is a special one in VR. It can be both calm and intense at times, and is usually a bleak world. When it’s calm all you hear is nature and the sound of your footsteps, and when it’s intense, there might be zombies or humans trying to attack you with intense music playing in the background. The game might be in a cartoon style, but this definitely doesn’t detract from the games atmosphere or intensity. The graphics are also top notch, with detailed environments and little blur to be seen, though I am playing on the PS4 Pro, so I can’t account for the original PS4 edition.
There are several different areas to visit in the game, and each of them are varied from each other and look fantastic. Everything from the sound design to environments to music is extremely well done in this game.
The only issues I found with the game were that sometimes when I tried attacking an enemy with a melee weapon it would just rub against them instead of stabbing them, which caused me to die a few times. And my only other issue is the load times, but even then it wasn’t that big of an issue because of how long you get to play after the loading screens. I really had to nitpick to find issues with this game, and the ones I found really weren’t that much of a problem.
In conclusion The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is fantastic! The gameplay, environments, missions, story, graphics, and controls all make for an extremely immersive and fun VR game, and honestly one of the best VR games I’ve ever played. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a must have for everyone, whether you like The Walking Dead or not.