SkyDance Interactive brings us once again a post-apocalyptic formula full of action and survival. After an excellent first chapter, the formula expands and the city of New Orleans needs us again. Will the second chapter surpass one of the best VR games? Available for Quest 2, PC VR, and PSVR2.
The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners of New Orleans
The second chapter of The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners places us at the end of the events of the first title. If you have played first, you will resume here a story of survival with already-known characters, and you will even be able to load the progress of your previous game to continue in this second chapter with all the improvements acquired during the journey that has led you to this Retribution. However, if you come back to this immersive virtual reality saga, the creators have included a summary video of the events of the first chapter and you will be able to enjoy the story without any problem (although it is true that it is always better to have played the first to capture all the references and winks to what we can already consider one of the most successful game series in virtual reality, along with for example moss).
The game suffers from excessive continuity in some aspects, such as the tutorial. And it is that the developers have not made a new tutorial regarding the first installment, and it will be the same one that we could already enjoy in the first chapter. In this sense, we think that some time could have been invested in creating a new tutorial from scratch to explain all the mechanics, and to give those who already own the first chapter the feeling that chapter 2 is not such a conservative proposal, and includes weighty news that will incline us to have a very bad time again in a harrowing adventure that always plays with the limits of our patience and tension.
We will return to this apocalyptic New Orleans that is plagued by the living dead and deserted streets. Our battle will not only be against the undead, but also against the survivors. And it is that, as in the television series, people tend to be more problematic even than zombies, since they are more unpredictable. We will put ourselves in the shoes of the tourist again and we will resume the events at the end of the first chapter. The main novelty of this chapter is the inclusion of an archenemy that will follow us at every step we take and that gives an image to this sequel. That strangely armored foe will be a breath of fresh air.
For the saga and a reason to always be attentive to each step we take. It manages to increase the tension of a proposal that already keeps us on edge all the time.
One of the most Immersive Proposals for VR
The title has three difficulty levels: history, standard and advanced. If we want to enjoy a narrative-focused journey, we’d better choose the most affordable level, but if we really want a survival-based challenge, the advanced mode will put us on the ropes. As in the first installment, our decisions count and can completely change the course of the plot. The controls remain the same as in the first chapter and we will have two spaces in our waist to place two weapons. On our chest, we will have access to the flashlight and the notebook, and on our back, we will be able to access to handle the ax (if we have one in inventory) and open the backpack (in which we can store everything from supplies to weapons).
In the center of our waist, we will store the ammunition, and the aiming and reloading system continues to be just as realistic as in the first chapter, having to remove the spent ammunition and place new ammunition and cock the weapon before firing again. In this sense, we will achieve a sensation of immersion similar to that already achieved in other high-level production proposals in VR.
The title will take us for newbies and will introduce the mechanics throughout the first bars of the game. Soon we will reach the rest area, which was already present in the first chapter, and which will be our base of operations. We will be able to create new weapons, rest and organize and store our inventory. This rest area is now larger and has more storage possibilities, so its appearance and dimensions have been improved compared to the first chapter of the saga.
This new chapter has autosave and is something to be thankful for, since in the first installment we had to reach a rest area to be able to do it and it cut the rhythm of our game since playing in VR is not the same as playing a title in flat, and we will have less room for maneuver if it is limiting the saving of our progress. In this sense, Sky Dance Interactive has done a great job and it is a point to be thankful for and that facilitates the playable section of this sequel compared to the original title.
We must always be looking behind us, as it has dark environments and lacks lighting. If we are not always prepared, the zombies can take us by surprise, and the fights against the rest of the survivors deserve a special mention, which will be an even greater challenge than the fights against the undead.
In the notebook located on the right side of our chest, we can consult the objectives of the adventure at all times to be able to progress in the main plot. From there we can also consult the map to find out where we have to go, and we will have a series of boats distributed throughout the entire scenario through which we can make fast trips to each of the locations as we unlock them. The places already visited in the first installment will be unlocked, and we will have to discover the rest of the locations as we progress in the plot of this chapter 2.
Completing The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution can take us approximately 20 hours, and even more if we want to complete all the secondary missions and see all the collectibles. Sky Dance Interactive puts on the table a proposal that doubles the duration of the first chapter and that goes beyond the duration standards of VR games, which usually revolve around 3-5 hours in total. If you are looking for a title that will give you hours and hours of fun, this sequel is undoubtedly for you.
Survive One More Day
Gathering loot and materials will be essential for survival, and in the rest areas, we can create new objects and improve our character through recipes located on a cork or some kind of panel. We will be able to improve these recipes to create even more powerful objects that give us advantages in combat and that favor our ability to survive outside of safe places. It will be important to take care of our energy and health bar to get out of the fighting. We will be able to recover health with bandages, and our energy bar will be consumed if we run or perform combat actions such as hitting enemies.
On our wrists, we will have a watch that will indicate the remaining time until nightfall. We will have to be very careful when this time of day arrives since the presence of enemies will multiply and it will be very difficult to deal with the hordes of zombies that will appear throughout the scenarios. We can avoid this situation by sleeping in the rest area, but with each passing day and each new day the number of undead that will exist in the game universe will increase, so we will have to weigh very carefully whether to make a new day come to an end. If they kill us we can continue to the level where we left it, with hardly any equipment, or restart the level keeping all the objects we had.
The only way to kill an undead will still be to go for its head. We can do it with knives or firearms. If, for example, we do it with a knife, we will have to do it with force, it will not be worth just sliding the weapon over his head, but we will have to exert that resistance that will make the combat experience an even more immersive moment thanks to these small details. The manual reloading of firearms will make us always tense since we could be surrounded by hordes of enemies, for example, and run out of bullets at a very compromised moment.
The combat experience compared to the first chapter is still intact and hardly any new features have been included. It is true that we will face new and more difficult enemies and new powerful weapons are included, but the sensations at the controls are the same, and we are talking about very similar mechanics that hardly contribute any significant news. Two of the great new additions are the laser sight (which improves our accuracy) and the chainsaw, which will give us incredible moments in close combat.
Another of the great innovations in the gameplay is the inclusion of an ultraviolet light that will allow us to explore the locations at night and will reveal hidden objects and secrets that will expand the playable experience and will mean a leap in quality compared to what was seen in the first series chapter. The secondary missions extend the useful life of the title and they will allow us to obtain objects and weapons as rewards that we cannot obtain at the work table with any of the available recipes. It will be a win-win since we will increase the lore of the story and its universe and we will get unique rewards that will be very useful for our progress in the adventure. We will also have collectibles scattered throughout the game that we can use to decorate and customize our rest area. It wasn’t all going to be shoot and slash in this proposal.
A Graphic Section that Could be Improved in Quest that Nevertheless Surprises with its Physics
The graphic section of this second chapter in Meta Quest can be improved at least, and it has left us with some bugs that, although they do not prevent us from enjoying the game, can be an impediment to total immersion. The gameplay more than makes up for this limited graphic section, and if we want to enjoy greater technical fidelity, we will have to play the PC VR version or wait for the launch of the game on Sony’s new virtual reality device: PSVR2. The launch of the title on that platform is scheduled for March 2023, and will presumably have graphics on par with what the PlayStation 5 hardware offers.
When we carry out analysis of Quest titles, we usually point out that the work on physics and collisions is non-existent and collides with the total immersion that is intended to be achieved. This is not the case with this chapter 2 of The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners, which does include excellent collision work. Virtually any element that is around us will not be traversable by our hands (except our own hands between each other). Checking that there is that resistance and that vibration that tells us that there is an obstacle that we cannot overcome no matter how much we want is pleasantly satisfying, and makes us wonder why this functionality is not included in each and every one of the games that come to the platform. It is undoubtedly the path to follow to achieve more real experiences in the current Quest catalog.
The sound design is still magnificent, and its effects will make us feel part of this post-apocalyptic world full of zombies. The sound of the weapons, the zombies and even our reactions to each danger borders on excellence, and its selection of themes manages to keep us tense throughout the adventure. The title comes dubbed into English and with subtitles in Spanish, so we can follow the course of the story without any problem, and it is another point to applaud in this proposal that is postulated as one of the best games for virtual reality of this year 2022.
The title has options for all types of players and allows us to play sitting or standing. We can select our dominant hand and adjust the gaming experience to the desired comfort depending on our level of VR experience and our susceptibility to dizziness and nausea.
The summary of this chapter 2 could be: If something works… why change it? And it is that in The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution we find ourselves facing a very conservative proposal in all its sections, which is still just as good and enjoyable because the first chapter is still one today. one of the best games for virtual reality. Special mention to its secondary missions and the work done with physics and collisions. Sky Dance Interactive brings us a more and better manual in one of the ones that will undoubtedly be a candidate for the best virtual reality game of 2022.