Saw - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Saw
PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360

Reviewed on: PC

Developer:
Zombie
Publisher: Konami
Rated: "M" for Mature



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

When it comes to horror movies, I guess you could call me a fan of the classics. I’ll take Dracula and Frankenstein over any of the new-age terror any day. That being said though – there’s something inherently awesome about the Saw franchise. Pulling no punches, it delivers just what you’d expect, some of the most uncomfortable gruesome moments in movie history.

So, a Saw game sounds like a no brainer right? If only it were that easy. Konami’s attempt to bring the sadistic horror franchise to the interactive realm is full of frustrating holes, broken gameplay mechanics and moments that will leave you scratching your head in confusion. Do you want to play a game? Yes, but not this one.

Saw: The Video Game puts players in the shoes of David Tapp, the detective from the first film, who’s become Jigsaw’s latest torture victim. The little creepy murdering doll has placed a key that opens up the doors of Jigsaw’s make-shift prison directly in your chest, making you a prime target for the rest of the players in Jigsaw’s deadly game. Without giving too much away, the game holds pretty true to the movie’s cannon, and fans of the series will appreciate the little nods to the films sprinkled throughout the game.

"... the puzzles don’t get harder – they get more frustrating."

 
   

Most of your time in Saw will be spent wandering around the asylum’s dark corridors and participating in puzzles. Some of these will seem familiar to fans of the series, like trying to get the infamous bear trap off your head, while some are new to the series. Most tend to be on the easy side, but the key here is that you’re working against the clock in most puzzles, which does a decent job making even the simplest puzzles feel more important. At the same time though, the timer can prove to be frustrating, especially later in the game. As you progress through the game’s campaign, the puzzles don’t get harder – they get more frustrating. For instance, not only will you have to free yourself from a set of chains, and then enter a secret combination to stop a flow of poisonous gas from reaching you, you’ll also have to defend yourself against a group of attackers. The natural progression of these type games is to face tougher puzzles as you go on. It feels cheap to be given the same puzzles over and over, only with added distractions

Remember how I mentioned fighting off attackers above? Yeah, good luck with that – the combat system in Saw is so terrible; it’s amazing that it didn’t get cut from the game completely. In short: it’s broken. Like most current games, different face buttons will perform different attacks, but the system is so unresponsive you’ll find yourself sticking with any attack that works, which thanks to shoddy collision detection, is pretty much any attack that comes within five feet from its intended target.  You’ll have a number of weapons available to you, including baseball bats and crowbars but they get weak and break after only a few hits, becoming useless.

Luckily, if you play smart you’ll be able to pick off your opponents before you have to even worry about fighting them. Using items you’ll find lying around the asylum, you’ll create traps that will often kill your opponents instantly. The system isn’t incredibly deep, but you’ll be able to piece together things like trip wires that spray toxic gas out when your opponents cross it or just go old fashioned and rig an explosive to go off when your enemies get anywhere near it. It’s also fun to spot puddles in the water, and electrify your enemies with a couple of conveniently placed wires.

"... everything feels like it’s in slow motion..."

 
   

It’s best to think of Saw’s combat system as similar to Batman: Arkham Asylum’s...if you were on heroin. You’ll wander around a maze-like asylum, competing in mini-games, puzzles and challenges – only everything feels like it’s in slow motion and nothing seems to work as well as it should. In Arkham, you learn to develop a rhythmic timing with your combat, which is next to impossible in Saw thanks to the unresponsive controls and shoddy mechanics.

The game’s saving grace would have to be its spot-on recreation of the world the Saw films have created. Make no mistake about it, this game feels like it came right from Jigsaw’s twisted mind. Everything from Tobin Bell’s raspy performance as Jigsaw, to the screams of victims feels pitch-perfect and believable. Impressively, the developers even nailed the lighting effects in most areas, creating an eerie and uncomfortable mood that feels perfect for a round of "find the key in the toilet bowl of syringes."

If Saw: The Video Game was a trap concocted by Jigsaw, it would be a painful one - -having to sit through shoddy gameplay and unfinished mechanics for achievements (the game hands them out very freely), luckily this one is escapable just by hitting the off button on your console or PC. Unless you’re a dedicated fan of the series, it’s best to skip Saw

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: One Hit Kills, Unlimited Pain

The trainer for Saw isn’t large – it doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of cheats some of the other trainers do, but what’s key here is that the trainer makes the game more enjoyable...because it makes it more bearable.

The combat is absolutely broken, so you’ll want to use the one hit kills whenever you can to get through the combat segments quickly. That being said, it’s still going to be tough thanks to the unresponsive controls and broken mechanics. You’ll also have access to unlimited pain which – I don’t think I have to explain just how key that is.

 

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