Developer / Publisher – Skydance Interactive
Price – US $39.99 / CAN $54.99 / EU €39.99 / UK £32.99 / AU $59.95
Release Date – May 05, 2020 (PSVR)
Input – Tracked Motion Controllers
Play Area – Standing, Sitting
Store – PlayStation
Reviewed on – PS4 Pro
The PSVR gets its 1st Walking Dead title in the form of Saints of Sinners, which is based upon the comics that started this behemoth franchise. For those looking for an in-depth review of this game, I urge you to check out my original review here. For this review I will be focusing exclusively on the PSVR version and more importantly any notable differences and changes when compared to the PC version.
The most notable difference would be the use of the aging Move controllers which, as we are all well aware, lack the thumb sticks and thus major navigation option from our PC counterparts. Instead, PSVR users are relegated to button pressed to navigate though thankfully, the game utilizes one of the more common Move schemes similar to what we have seen in games like Skyrim VR or Borderlands 2 VR. A few buttons move you forwards or backwards while “steering” with your left hand (or right if that’s your preference) allows you subtly change your walking direction with buttons on your main hand used to turn. It’s worth mentioning that while you can adjust the blinders in this game to your comfort level, the only way to move is by smooth locomotion. Teleportation is not an option. While the Moves may sound clunky in their implementation, I can assure that they play very smooth and while it did take me an hour or 2 to become completely comfortable with the button layout, Saints and Sinners gets the most out of their use . This is largely due to the very intuitive inventory system that stores items at yours sides, on your chest, and over your shoulders and to use just about anything in this game requires you to physically grab it from it’s position on you. Not only does that bypass any clunky and cumbersome menu systems but also adds a sense of authenticity to just about every action you perform. You can easily play this sitting or standing and any items you see on the ground or close to you can be teleported to your hands so there is no risk of losing tracking from those hard to reach places.
Visually, Saints and Sinners holds up remarkably well when compared to the PC version of the game and while visual sacrifices were clearly made to get this running to Sony’s strict VR requirements, unless you knew what to look for, I think most of us would find very little to complain about. Textures seem slightly less sharp and some other visuals are slightly washed out and I think the game may even be slightly darker then on the PC side, but overall this is just as striking on the PSVR as it is on PC. In fact, I’d go as far as to say this one of the better-looking games for the PSVR with an art style tailored to maximize the limitations of any current gen headset. One issue that did occur frequently was the amount of pop-in throughout my play. When stages initially load, it can take a few seconds for everything to render fully as fuzzy textures become clear. Unfortunately, as I wandered the variety of New Orleans locales, I often ran into a fair bit of pop-in that was a little off putting. This only seemed to occur on the scenery with the zombies and humans all being rendered wonderfully but it is probably the 2nd most notable issue with the PSVR version.
Audiowise, there is absolutely nothing to complain about with the 3D audio here being some of the best I’ve heard and with audio queues possibly being the only sign of a nearby enemy, it’s very welcome that they nailed that side of the presentation as well as the overall cinematic feel as you listen to notes read aloud and the music inspired by that part of the world.
The differences between the PC and PS version really are minor at best with my only other bone of contention being the 2-handed weapons which I just seemed to struggle with on the PSVR, at least at first. It’s notable because I did not have any issues playing on my Rift but no matter if I had an axe, bat, or crowbar, my death blow swings would be anything but, rarely doing anything beyond a light tap followed by me getting mauled by the undead. I’ve watched others play who seem to have no issue in this department, but for the life of me, I struggled with 2-handed weapons and while I did land more solid blows further into my game, I still ran into collision issues that just didn’t feel like my fault. In the grand scheme of things though, any issues I mentioned here are actually quite minor as this crammed full of awesome and unnerving moments. Throw in just how much depth this game has from a lengthy 10 hour campaign, multiple side missions, crafting system, clever & realistic puzzles that typically reveal special loot and you get game rife with content and replayability.
I played this back when it originally released and once I beat it, set is aside for other gaming ventures. This PSVR port has me reinvested in this world, perhaps even more so then in my 1st go around as not only do I know the stakes, but I can make all new choices that affect not only the outcome of individual quests and conversations, but change my path through the game entirely. It’s visceral, intense, rewarding and unlike anything we have ever seen before and as long as you’re not adverse to adult language and excessive gore, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.
What would I pay? I was cool with the $40 US asking price for the PC version and given the quality & content value, that same price for the PS version is perfectly fine!
Skydance Interactive provided The VR Grid with a press code for this title and, regardless of this review, we thank them for that!