Saw

Most of the decor in the Whitehurst Asylum is of the blood and guts persuasion

Konami Saw
  • Konami Saw
  • Konami Saw
  • Konami Saw
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Amazing graphics, non-linear/realistic gameplay, seamless loads and level advancement

Cons

  • Sub-par voice acting (just like the movie), puzzles are too easy, fighting system is stiff

Bottom Line

Compared to other survival-horror games on the market as of late, Saw is one of the top titles. Is it worth $110? Not so much. I do suggest renting it or picking it up later on down the road when it's half the price.

Would you buy this?

Grinding the Left Analog Stick like a madwoman and spamming the A Button, I narrowly escaped the clutches of the infamous reverse bear trap that was on the verge of turning my head into a medley of gore.

After taking quick moment to catch my breath, I am soon confronted with another puzzle: escaping the room. Like most puzzles in Saw, this one was fairly easy. Read the reflection in the mirror for the combination to the lock on the door. With a newfound freedom to roam the asylum you're holed up in, you can't help but feel more trapped than ever. You soon find out through keen detective work that a key has been implanted in you while you were out cold and all the crazies running around want it. You're quite literally the key to their freedom, unfortunately, and thanks to the puzzles and tough life decisions on your plate you have a lot to overcome before you can put this whole nightmare behind you.

The Key Lies Within

Most of the decor in the Whitehurst Asylum is of the blood and guts persuasion making every turn a real piece of eye candy. You also have the honour of sticking your hand in various disgusting things to solve puzzles such as toilet bowls full of filthy hypodermic needles and vats of acid. This was one aspect of the movie I was especially curious as to how they'd execute in game form. When you stick your hand in a dirty place it goes to the profile of the object in x-ray mode and you have to move your hand around with the Analog Stick violently before your pain meter reaches max and all hope is lost for continuing on. Obstacles come in all shapes and sizes with emphasis on Shotguns. Shotguns await you on the other end of doors with a pulley mechanism that gives you a small window of time to disarm. There are also shotgun rigged trip wires that add to the homey feeling you already get walking the deteriorating floors of the asylum.

Saw compels you to think fast as you embark on a seemingly never-ending game of obsession. With every large scale puzzle comes a bevy of small puzzles the player must conquer in order to reach your final goal. For example, one objective is to free the drugged woman who later turns out to be the aspiring sociopath Amanda. In order to reach her you have to make it through shotgun-rigged doors, insane minions, and perform a balancing act across a beam with a pit of nails below. If that isn't enough, you also get to dig through bodies with a scalpel in search of a key using toe tags and x-rays in order to find the right one. In addition, you have to move through rooms rigged to blow with dynamite. After overcoming the damn near impossible, you can finally save the ungrateful Jigsaw prodigy Amanda Young.

Overcome Obsession

You may be wondering how the hell a movie like Saw gets translated into a game. I too had that lingering question before I popped that sucker into my system. The answer is seamlessly. The game is a perfect translation of the movie in almost all respects. Each puzzle tests the question of whether or not you appreciate your life even if it means taking another's life in order to continue on. The best and worst part about the game involves the puzzle system. Saw offers a large range of puzzles, but the bulk of them are painfully easy, even the timed challenges. One of my favourite puzzles involves a Shotgun Necklace you acquire later on thanks to Ol' Pig Head. Anytime you get near a person who is also wearing the necklace it sets off a timer. If you can't escape their presence in time you'll blow up. If you do, they blow up. This isn't necessarily a puzzle in itself, but the precautions you can take such as bolting doors and watching them incinerate from the other side is mildly amusing in its own.

The game isn't necessarily scary, but it will make you anxious as hell. Time-based puzzles are enough to make your heart explode, as are the variety of reoccurring traps. Arguably one of the best aspects of the game is the ability to create your own traps. There is nothing like setting up a trip wire rigged to explode and watching a crazed man storm right into it unexpectedly. The fighting system is a bit laughable, asking players to handle both the left trigger and the controller's face buttons. The end result is really inconvenient and a bit finicky. Luckily health is easy to come by so it's not so horribly you can't advance through the game. The fighting system may be a bit stiff but the weapon selection is vast and oftentimes hilarious. A good example is the mannequin arm you find well into the game. Trust me, there's nothing quite like beating a guy down with a doll arm. Overall, the weapons are big thumbs up but the less than stellar fighting system detracts from them.

Compared to other survival-horror games on the market as of late, Saw is one of the top titles. Is it worth $110? Not so much. I do suggest renting it or picking it up later on down the road when it's half the price.

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Read more on these topics: games, XBox 360, konami
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