The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

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The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Developer(s)Skydance Interactive
Skybound Entertainment
Publisher(s)Skydance Interactive
Director(s)Adam Grantham
Designer(s)Roy Orr
Cathy Trang
Artist(s)Jake Geiger
Writer(s)Davidson Cole
Ben Furhmann
Composer(s)Michael David Peter
SeriesThe Walking Dead
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)
ReleaseOculus Rift, PC
January 23, 2020
PlayStation VR
May 5, 2020
Oculus Quest
October 13, 2020
PICO 4
January 23, 2023
Genre(s)First-person shooter
survival horror
Mode(s)Single-player

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a virtual reality first-person shooter survival horror game for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, and Oculus Rift, developed by Skydance Interactive in partnership with Skybound Entertainment. It is based on the comic book series The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. Initially released on Steam and Oculus platform on January 23, 2020, it was released on PlayStation VR in May 2020. Additionally, the title was ported to Oculus Quest in October 2020,[1] alongside PICO 4 in January 2023.[2]

Gameplay[edit]

The player can kill walkers by "braining" them,[clarification needed] stabbing them through the skull, puncturing the brain. The player is able to scale buildings to ambush enemies and attack from a distance with throwing weapons, bows, and long-range firearms. Physics-based combat control how melee weapons are controlled.[3] There is a watch on the player's left wrist, notifying the player when The Tower will ring the bells to "Stir the Herd". Once the bells are rung, a horde is spawned in and chases after the player.

There is a linear crafting system at the home base, where the player must scavenge different items and salvage them to make new items or weapons. Crafting recipes are unlocked by either upgrading crafting stations or finding them in safes or random drops. There is a random event in each location that an Exile will appear, who will either ask the player for supplies in exchange for materials, or hold the player at gunpoint demanding for supplies. There are four types of zombies, or walkers. The first is a regular walker that is spawned in naturally. The second is spawned from when a regular human is killed without "braining" them.[clarification needed] The walker that is spawned in replicates the human that is killed, replicating cut off limbs, helmets, armor, and looks. The third is a special "infected" walker which, when stabbed using melee weapons, will bring down the player's max health. The fourth walker is an "elite walker". These walkers are usually seen wearing helmets and body armor, and are more difficult to kill due to their helmets blocking braining attempts.[clarification needed] Weapons can have different weights that effect how the weapon is held. Occasionally, there will be territories claimed by either the Tower, or the Reclaimed.

An alternate game mode is available on all existing platforms is called The Trial. In the game mode the player must kill zombies to earn "bitecoin" which can be spent unlocking more supplies. "The Trial" can be played on three maps, with two difficulties. Hanging zombies can appear within the maps, and can be shot or stabbed for a double bonus boost, where shooting it gives a food which when eaten, gives the player infinite ammo and weapon durability, and using a melee weapon will get a food that, like the previous boost, gives them infinite weapon durability with infinite stamina.

A gamemode called "Aftershocks" released on September 23, 2021 as a free update. It takes place after the main story of the game. It is designed to add new end-game content to the experience including new missions, story elements, and threats.[4] The player will be sent to supply caches to bring back to the base.

Plot[edit]

The game is set in New Orleans after the walker outbreak. The player is taking the role of the Tourist, who is either male or female depending on the player's choice. At a campfire, Henri tells the player the legend of The Reserve, an old military bunker filled with supplies and weapons. Henri explains that there are two factions attempting to take control of New Orleans, the Reclaimed and the Tower.

While in a boat, the Tourist gets swarmed by walkers hiding in the water and crashes onto a cemetery. After navigating through the cemetery, the Tourist finds Henri strung upside down and close to death. The player can either talk to him and find out what happened and then mercy kill him or let him die. After Henri is dead, the player finds a broken down bus made into a survival shelter where Henri was doing his research. In the bus the player finds some food, old military codes, and a broken radio, which Henri was trying to repair. The player already has an automotive battery and an antenna, but is still in need of a microphone. The player must head out to the first location on the map to salvage the sought after item. After installing it, the player makes contact with Casey, who is trapped in the reserve due to a flooding of the bunker. The player agrees to help Casey get out of the Reserve in return of the valuable items inside it. Whilst talking to Casey, the conversation gets interrupted by a lantern lighting up on the graveyard. After further investigation by the player, a coffin is found where a mysterious person has been gathering intel from the Tower. After finding the intel and putting it in the coffin, the unknown person asks the player to meet them in front of the church courtyard. The unknown person is revealed to be May Benoit, who is a wanted traitor of the Tower. She asks the player to gather Tower intel for her in order to help her and her group of protégés. After getting all of the intel, May gives the player the Reserve key. (May can be killed to skip her entire story line and get the key immediately). Casey wants the player to find and install pumping systems to pump out the water in the Reserve. After finding the first two, the player travels to one of the locations (The Bastion) and meets JB, the leader of The Reclaimed, who gives the player the water pump after talking as well as the code to control the water pumps, telling the player to flood all of the reserve, as it would be better for everyone. After leaving the building that JB is in, the player is stopped by Georgia, The second-in-command of The Tower and niece of Mama, the leader of The Tower, who tells the player to kill JB and they will forgive the player for all that happened. The player can either tell JB that The Tower is right outside the door and fight alongside him or kill JB in favor of the Tower. The player returns to the graveyard and installs the last pump which lights up the entire Reserve, showing everyone where it is.

The player scrambles to hurry to the church to get to the Reserve, where a huge battle breaks out. If the player chose to kill JB, the Tower people will not attack the player, if not though, the Tower will attack the player but they will be ignored by The Reclaimed. During the battle, the player sneaks into the church and finds the control room where they are informed by Casey that something has gone wrong and that the player has to flood a room to save him. The player can either flood the communication room where Casey is trapped in, killing him, flood the armory where the weapons and supplies are stored, or flood everything. If the player floods the Armory, Casey will come out in the church. If May is still alive by that point of the game, she is tugging on a rope of the church bell to send the horde after the factions that are fighting. The player can either choose to kill May, kill Casey and let May pull the bells and kill everyone, kill both of them, or let casey kill her . After deciding, the player heads down into the Reserve, gathers whatever supplies are left from either the communication room or the armory, and leaves on a boat.

Reception[edit]

The game received "generally favorable reviews" from critics according to review aggregator Metacritic.[11]

IGN enjoyed the story, and highlighted the morally grey choices the player had to make, "Saints & Sinners’ ending depends entirely on the decisions you make throughout the campaign too, few of which are decidedly ‘good’ or ‘evil".[12] While criticizing the survival elements as chore-like, Destructoid praised the horror aspects of the title, feeling that it made the player consider every action, "Even an event as rote as walking through an abandoned house is fear-inducing, as you slowly grip each door handle with the assumption that a (well-animated) zombie could be staring you in the face".[13] PC Gamer liked the way tension increased throughout Saints & Sinners, "With each day that passes, the available supplies in the world dwindle, while the number of zombies shuffling around increases. This means crafting new equipment is not simply a way to empower yourself, but imperative for keeping up with the ever-growing threat".

The Washington Post criticized the performance of the title, stating, "Playing the game on an i5-4690K computer with a second-generation Nvidia Titan X graphics card, I encountered plenty of frame-rate hiccups as well as audio glitches where the sound dropped in or out".[14] UploadVR felt that the game felt incredibly immersive because of its overlapping systems, "The degree of control, mixed with the tactile interaction, really helps root you in its world in a way few other VR games have replicated".[15] Road to VR liked the time limit present in most levels, writing "It’s a clever, anxiety-ridden way of making you assess things quickly".[16]

It was nominated for Best VR/AR at The Game Awards 2020,[17] as well as Immersive Reality Game of the Year from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences during the 24th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards.[18]

Sequel[edit]

A sequel, titled The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution, was released for Meta Quest 2 in December 1, 2022, and is set to be released for PlayStation VR and PlayStation VR2 in 2023.[19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parlock, Joe (27 January 2020). "The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Is Coming To PlayStation VR And Oculus Quest Later This Year". Forbes. Archived from the original on 29 August 2023. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Pico 4: VR games already announced". 19 October 2022. Archived from the original on 29 August 2023. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  3. ^ Takahashi, Dean (23 January 2020). "The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners debuts as marquee VR game". Venture Beat. Archived from the original on 5 May 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  4. ^ "The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Aftershocks Launches Soon". 3 August 2021. Archived from the original on 2023-08-29. Retrieved 2021-10-20.
  5. ^ "Review: THE WALKING DEAD: SAINTS & SINNERS for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on August 29, 2023. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  6. ^ "Review: THE WALKING DEAD: SAINTS & SINNERS for Playstation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on August 29, 2023. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  7. ^ "The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners Review". IGN. 28 January 2020. Archived from the original on 4 July 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  8. ^ "THE WALKING DEAD: SAINTS & SINNERS REVIEW". PC Gamer. 6 February 2020. Archived from the original on 20 January 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  9. ^ "Review: The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners". Destructoid. Archived from the original on October 19, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  10. ^ "The Walking Dead : Saints & Sinners - Un survival viscéral mais imparfait en réalité virtuelle". Jeuxvideo.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  11. ^ "THE WALKING DEAD: SAINTS & SINNERS". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 9 June 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  12. ^ Moss, Gabriel (27 January 2020). "The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 4 July 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  13. ^ Carter, Chris (25 January 2020). "Review: The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners". Destructoid. Enthusiast Gaming. Archived from the original on 18 June 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Review | The VR experience in 'The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners' prevents it from being just a zombie cliche". Washington Post. 2020-01-30. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2022-05-07. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  15. ^ "The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Review - The Best Zombie Apocalypse To Date (Updated 2021)". UploadVR. 2021-09-24. Archived from the original on 2023-05-21. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  16. ^ Hayden, Scott (2020-01-23). "'The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners' Review – Satisfyingly Drenched in Existential Angst". Road to VR. Archived from the original on 2023-05-21. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  17. ^ Tassi, Paul (11 December 2020). "Here's The Game Awards 2020 Winners List With A Near-Total 'Last Of Us' Sweep". Forbes. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  18. ^ "2021 Awards Category Details Immersive Reality Game of the Year". interactive.org. Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  19. ^ Stewart, Marcus (April 20, 2022). "The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution Gets Its First Trailer". Game Informer. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  20. ^ "The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution announced for PS VR and PS VR2". PlayStation.Blog. 2022-06-02. Archived from the original on 2022-10-27. Retrieved 2022-06-03.

External links[edit]