going into my playthrough i was under the impression that this game was terrible and borderline unplayable, so i was surprised to find out that it was actually fairly passable for a licensed PS3 game. everything worked as intended for the most part, and if nothing else the game does deliver on the Saw theming.
Saw: The Game has you play as Detective Tapp – one of the main characters from the first movie. you roam abouts an abandoned mental hospital that Jigsaw has outfitted with a number of elaborate traps, and along the way you encounter people whom Tapp has wronged during his investigation into The Jigsaw Killer. the game is so reliant on information from Saw 1 that if you haven’t seen it you might get lost on the finer story details, which is actually pretty cool in my opinion. this is a game for Saw fans, not Sawannabes.
what’s not very cool is the gameplay, which is repetitive, bland, and repetitive (repetitive). you roam through the dimly lit mental hospital (which looks largely the same throughout the full game) completing puzzles, unlocking doors, and occasionally helping out (or murdering) other Jigsaw Killer victims. i think this could have been all well and good if there was some variety in the formula, but there’s only so many times that i can find a 3 digit lock combination or re-wire an electrical box before i’m feeling more like a hospital handyman rather than a victim of Jigsaw.
the combat is a highlight, albeit for the wrong reasons. during my first fight i attempted to use a weapon, but couldn’t swing it fast enough to connect before my opponent beat me to death. when not holding a weapon, though, Detective Tapp is an unstoppable killing machine, downing any enemy he comes across with a series of swift punches to the jaw (and sometimes the armpit). although the game provides you with a number of different weapons, i rarely used them. even the last boss was felled without much of a fuss, just a few series of pit-punches and the job is done.
the following clip really sums up the highs and lows of my playthrough: murdering a Jigsaw victim with a series of punches, followed by running into one of the many hard-to-see shotgun traps littered throughout the game. (these shotgun traps were the worst part of the game for me, holy shit. so cheap.)
if you’ve never seen Saw before, there’s really no reason for you to play this one. i think even casual Saw fans are going to find their patience tested. Saw: The Game is for the die-hard Saws out there, and even then i think you should expect a slightly goofy, dimly lit, very repetitive game with a story that’s not all that interesting. it’s not a bug-riddled mess or anything, but it’s also not particularly engaging either. i’m not sure i could have gotten through it alone – if it weren’t for the company of my stream chat i’d have quit way before reaching the end.
at the end of the day Saw: The Game isn’t as bad as you might expect. however if it was worse, maybe it would have been a bit more memorable.