Despite them getting more and more silly, I like the Saw movies. For me they provide some truly gruesome contraptions mixed with some clever twists. We all know that movie licenses are rarely much fun but does Saw tip the balance?
You play as an unlucky character called Detective Tapp. You wake up in a mental asylum and unfortunately nice Mr Jigsaw has sewn a key inside you which all the inmates need in order to leave his little house of horror. Also, six of your associates have also been captured and each one faces a truly horrible death if you don’t get to them in time and stop the machines that will rip, chop and inject them to death. Nice!
You begin the game with a contraption on your head which will tear it apart. You then quickly have to input the right buttons and twirl the analogue sticks until you escape. Similarly, at the end of each chapter, you also have to solve more puzzles to help your friends. These moments really work. Trying to complete a puzzle whilst your friend is screaming and time is running out really gives you a sense of panic and has you making silly mistakes. So in this aspect, it’s thumbs up.
What’s less attractive is the game itself. It looks like a PS2 game. The textures are all dark and dingy as you’d expect but animations are terrible and people look like mannequins. The voice acting however is rather good, complete with the actual voice of Jigsaw asking you to “play a little game”.
Combat is also terrible. It feels worse than the original Silent Hill as you flail around trying to hit someone with a piece of pipe or, when you block and use a rudimentary system to perform some counter attacks.
Other puzzles when exploring the asylum include using perspective to find clues on walls similar to finding the Riddler’s question marks in Arkham Asylum and unlocking doors and disarming Saw’s booby traps in time when you open doors. They’re fun at first but do get a little tired once you’re over halfway through the game.
The shotgun trip wires are also a cheap shot as your head explodes when you run through one but thankfully you can also rig these up to use against the inmates.
Saw does capture the atmosphere of the films and will be fun for fans of the movies to play. I’d recommend renting this one as you could easily finish it on a wet weekend and you certainly won’t come back and play it again.
Saw gets an average 5 out of 10.
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