|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Zombie Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 6, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
To pad the game's length, Jigsaw has thrown in some violent thugs into the mix who want the key inside your chest, a scenario familiar to anyone who's seen the films. Fighting these people is never fun, especially after doing so again and again every time you beat a puzzle and have to go on to the next room. It feels forced, and there's a good chance they were added to the game to make it seem like there was more content than there actually is.
A game feature that sounds interesting at first but eventually becomes annoying is the traps that are aimed at killing you. Things like hidden shotgun traps that instantly kill your character if they're not quickly evaded are fun at first, but they quickly become frustrating after getting killed time after time. There's also the occasional glass-covered floor, and since your character is barefoot he's hurt by the glass. My only issue with this is how much health the glass takes off, which is way too much.
So the combat and story aren't very amusing, but the traps are why we expose ourselves to the gory trash that is the SAW series, right? Yes, the traps are clever and brutal, but unfortunately some of them are recycled from the films, like the reverse bear trap from the first SAW and the Pendulum trap. There's one particular trap that really made me wonder what type of twisted designers were working on this thing, and that would be the Iron Maiden. In this trap the victim is on a stand with their legs bound keeping them upright, while two walls armed with circular SAWs close in on them. To save the victim from the trap you have to successfully beat several timed puzzles, and when you fail the victim becomes one step closer to being brutally maimed. I've never been terribly fond of timed puzzles, my anxious mind just can't handle knowing there's a time limit, but these puzzles are certainly triumphant in keeping me on the edge of my seat.
In the end this game feels less like a thrilling adventure and more like an eight to ten hour endurance test. It's a good looking game, though the visuals will never 'wow'. The traps that we haven't seen before are as messed up as we've all come to expect from the series, and the combat is, in a word, terrible. However, if you're a fan of the films, there's definitely a chance you'll find something here worth a rental, and for me that thing was the deliciously twisted Tobin Bell.
CCC Freelance Writer