Saw and Saw II: the torture porn of survival horror video games

saw-games

I’ve always been a fan of a good spanking, but I must be more hardcore than I realized to take the punishment the Saw video games administer. Why would I have expected anything less from games based on a movie franchise that was never a scary experience and relied more and more on increasingly heinous depictions of onscreen torture with each new installment?

saw 1 G tv

Unfortunately, I purchased both Saw and Saw II in good faith, figuring, since they were survival horror games, there was no way I wouldn’t find something to like about playing them. I figured way wrong and ended up subjecting myself to months and months of mental torture.

saw 1 VG scenery

This isn’t Silent Hill or Resident Evil. No fun scares here. You get lots of grungy underground settings, but the only monsters are other victims of Jigsaw who come running out every once in a while to beat you to death because you have some gadget they need to stop their torture device.

saw 1 VG baddie

Other than that, these two games are a series of unending booby trap puzzles. Most often, there is absolutely no logic or intelligence needed. No deciphering of the puzzle or figuring out a pattern. You just randomly punch buttons or spin dials until you somehow hit upon the correct sequence to stop a trap. No intellectual skills necessary. Just repeated “game over” screens until you happen to get lucky. And have I mentioned, these nonsensical puzzles are always on a timer and often with some other distraction added to take you away from the “puzzle solving”?

saw 2 VG puppet

Do the games have a story? Yeah they do, and apparently they are tied directly to the movies (which were a chore to follow anyway). There are case files to find and audio tapes to listen to. But seriously, you won’t give a fuck about any story. You will just want to get through the games as soon as possible. I played the first Saw in October of 2012. I didn’t have the energy for Saw II until 6 months later.  I didn’t finish Saw II until 6 months after that—one year after I started the series.

saw 2 VG fight

See, as bad as Saw is, the game mechanics were changed and made even worse for Saw II! It got to the point where I could only cope with one challenge a night and then I needed a week to recuperate. It’s THAT tedious. Plus, Saw II is loaded with quick time events. Actual video game combat in the first game is replaced with timed button pushing in this one—and there’s no explanation as to how you are supposed to execute the random bars and moving line cues onscreen. Tripwires you just had to spot and dismantle with a button press in the first game become sudden unexpected button-tapping warnings on screen in this one. And don’t even get me started on the virtually impossible balance beam controls.

saw 2 VG trap

I’ll just never understand how any game developers could be proud of creating games that will most assuredly have every player quitting before finishing or completing and then never wanting to play again. Hey, game developer dudes. That means you made a CRAPPY GAME.

I honestly don’t know how I managed to finish these games. I guess I’m just a glutton for torture.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES.

I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.

This entry was posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror, What I'm Doing With My Joystick and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply