All of the same mechanics from the first title carry over to this new entry in the series. The weighted weapon handling, the inventory system, and the scavenging aspect are all back and still feel great. The weapons all feel like they have their own weight to them which adds to the immersion. I really appreciate the fact that the lead pipes and other two-handed weapons are all handled appropriately in the game. If you try to swing a two-handed weapon with just one hand, you will probably not do as much damage and the swing will be slightly off to compensate for the added weight. This is where Saints & Sinners shines. The immersive combat and zombie killing are top tier.
Walkers are dangerous in packs and amusing alone. One can simply grab a walker by the head and stab it in the brain with any sharp weapon for an instant kill. There were times when the game didn’t recognize the kill and at first I thought this was a glitch. It turns out that if you don’t stab the walker with enough force for the knife to actually penetrate the skull, they will still try to chomp you. I loved little details like this which made the world feel more alive, even with the streets riddled with the undead.
There are moments in this game where you will encounter human enemies and it seems like the AI has been improved upon from the first game, but not much. During my 17-hour playthrough, I noticed that the human AI does not always react to environmental cues like doors being opened or closed, and in some cases, items being thrown. This was not a consistent issue but it did make my time in New Orleans just a bit easier at times, and unfortunately not very immersive.
The sequel also brings in some new weapons including the fan-favorite chainsaw, new shotguns, and dual pistols just to name a few. The talk of the town is definitely the chainsaw, and it is a blast to play with! Sawing through the undead is quite fun, especially after having a vendetta against a particular walker that killed you right before a checkpoint, but that’s beside the point. It is a great addition to the game. I just wish it was a bit more detailed when it comes to hacking off limbs. For example, legs cannot be chopped off for strategic dismemberment (thanks Dead Space) which kind of forces you to just use it at their face or chest. I suppose this is a small complaint but again, VR is all about immersion and trying to keep the player feeling immersed at all times.
Is the gameplay any different than the first game? Not really. Is this a bad thing? Not really. You see, Skydance definitely played it safe with this title and gave us more of what was known to work well with players. The inventory system returns which accommodates the survival aspect very well. The game also brings back your graveyard “home base” which allows you to sort through your scavenged items and upgrade your weapons. Again, it’s more of the same.
Speaking of “same” the game only has a handful of new areas to explore. This was my biggest disappointment, along with the frame drops, and it’s a shame that some of these new areas can feel a bit shorter than the original ones. Now, you will have to tread back through all of the original areas at some point and now you can explore them at night, which gives these maps a little more intrigue but honestly I would have much rather had a whole new set of areas to scavenge and survive.
As I mentioned earlier, the final boss is very underwhelming and really just felt like a waste of time. I would appreciate the efforts made but unfortunately, it didn’t seem like there was much creative thought poured into this fight and it shows.