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Saw II: Flesh & Blood

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Saw II: Flesh & Blood
256px-Saw II Flesh & Blood
Information
Developer(s) Zombie Studios
Publisher(s) Konami
Distributor(s) Lionsgate Films
Designer(s) John Williamson
Jaime Benecia
Composer(s) Alex Guilbert
Morgan Green
Series Saw
Engine Unreal Engine 3
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release Date October 2010
Genre(s) Third Person Action
Survival Horror
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: M
BBFC: 18
PEGI: 18+
ACB: MA15+
Media Blu-ray Disc, DVD-DL

Saw II: Flesh & Blood is a third person survival horror video game developed by Zombie Studios and published by Konami for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is the sequel to 2009's Saw: The Video Game, both of which are based in the same fictional universe as the Saw films. It was released on October 19, 2010 to coincide with the release of the seventh film, Saw 3D. The game is set between Saw and Saw II.

Saw II picks up right after Saw: The Video Game when David Tapp's son, Michael, becomes the new protagonist as he searches for clues behind his father's death. In doing so, Michael becomes a target of the Jigsaw Killer (voiced by Tobin Bell) and his mysterious apprentice Pighead II. The game expands technically on the previous game, also using the Unreal Engine 3. Gameplay improvements also include the ability to use the environment to combat enemies and a redone combat system based on quick timing and defensive techniques.

Plot

Flesh & Blood is set between the first and second films in the series. The new protagonist, Michael, is the son of David Tapp, who begins to seek the cause of his father's death which eventually leads him into conflict with the Jigsaw Killer and his apprentice Pighead II. The game takes the player to numerous locations including hotels, factories, sewers, and other places to pursue Jigsaw and find clues behind David Tapp's death.

The first part of the game involves Campbell Iman, a drug addict placed in the "Venus Fly Trap" who has to cut beneath his right eye to retrieve a key to stop the deadly mechanism. He then has to go through numerous, deadly traps in order to retrieve his long lost son, who is also a drug addict. It ends with Campbell having a choice between sacrificing himself for a "stranger" or letting the stranger die so he can escape.

The game then cuts to Michael Tapp at his father's apartment after his suicide. He is kidnapped by Pighead II and forced to play Jigsaw's game in order to investigate his father's death. Throughout the game, numerous case files and audio tapes from Michael's father are found, revealing it was Michael who revealed his father's botched sting, which caused the death of Detective Sing, at Jigsaw's workshop without a warrant, putting his father out of the police force, and by extension, fulfilling his only obsession with Jigsaw. The main plot involves a drug cartel run by a group of corrupt cops, who try numerous times to kill Michael and other victims in order to eliminate all loose ends. It is later revealed that their goal was also revenge against his father. There are also many enemies, who are ex-cons that were arrested by Michael's father when he was a detective, involved in the cartel. In the end, all of the drug cartel gets wiped out by Michael and Pighead II.

Finale

After confronting his final victim of the Cartel, the game flashes back to the protagonist of the first act, Campbell, who was left with a decision early in the game. Jigsaw reveals that Michael is the "stranger" whose fate is in the hands of Campbell. Depending on the choice the player made early in the game, there are two possible endings:

If the player chose the Path of Blood and saved Campbell, he will get on the elevator and Michael will be crushed to death by the surrounding walls. Jigsaw then confronts Campbell and says he is now free and can find his son outside. However, Campbell suffers a breakdown and convinces himself that his son can never live properly in a world with people like Jigsaw in it. Campbell becomes belligerent and attempts to attack Jigsaw, only to be killed by a flying scythe. Jigsaw approaches his corpse and mutters, "game over" as the game ends.

If the player chose the Path of Flesh early in the game, Michael will get into the elevator and a tape will play, claiming that he and Jigsaw are similar and would both like to give justice to a world of criminals. Michael then faces two doors; one leads Michael to freedom and the chance to use the evidence found by his father to print the story of Jigsaw and the drug cartel. The other door reveals a Pighead costume and an offer to help people see the truth inside themselves, implying Michael can become another Jigsaw apprentice. The choice made is not revealed to the player before the game ends.

Gameplay

See also: Gameplay in Saw and Saw II retains the same gameplay style as the first game, being primarily a third-person survival horror game with action elements. Puzzles of the original game return, such as the "circuit puzzles"; though instead of matching them with the same color, the player needs to match wires of opposite color (red to yellow and vice-versa). Lockpicking returns, but uses a new minigame that has the player manipulate the tumblers to unlock. Environmental puzzles are also presented in a new way, such as having to turn a flashlight on-and-off in certain areas to show certain clues. Quick-time traps are back; in addition to shotguns being placed behind doors, swinging scythes, closing walls, and loose floorboards are placed throughout certain environments for the player to avoid by pressing a button in a timely fashion.[4][1][5]

For the sequel, the entire combat system was reworked from the original game. There are two types of combat: melee and puzzle-based. Puzzle-based combat encourages the player to use traps or the environment to execute enemies such as opening an elevator shaft as an enemy charges into it to kill them. The other type, melee combat, consists of the player using weapons or their hands and feet to neutralize an enemy. The basis of the combat will be on quick maneuvers and defensive reactions to defend the player from aggressive enemies. Timing is also essential to fighting and neutralizing enemies.[4][1][5]

The "Case Files" from the first game return. The subject of the files are varied but some focus on Tapp's testimonies on his raid of Jigsaw's lair and his entrapment in Whitehurst Asylum. A new collectible scattered throughout the game are small Billy the Puppet dolls that can be found, though are not required. Players are able to solve more difficult puzzles in hard to reach areas to obtain the dolls. Multiple endings return, but this time around players must complete the game again in its entirety to unlock a different ending due to the decisions made during the game that affect the ending.

Development

A close-up shot of Campbell held in the series iconic "Venus Fly Trap". He is in a dark room and grabbing at the trap with a severely injured right eye.Following the release of the first Saw video game, Konami stated intentions to turn the franchise license into their next great survival horror franchise.[7] Relying on visual intensity rather than psychological terror, Konami felt both Saw and their other survival horror franchise, Silent Hill, could survive together without competing.[8] Plans for a sequel were further evident when a cryptic "case file" was placed in the first game and an internet job listing by Zombie Inc. for a focus group was released, both pointing to a possible April announcement of a sequel in Los Angeles via press release.[9][10]

The game was officially announced at Konami's Gamers Night 2010 by a trailer and details accompanying after. The trailer depicted Jigsaw voicing over an anonymous man in the "Venus Fly Trap" cutting his eye out to retrieve a key before failing and being killed. In the same press event, details followed including the new setting between Saw II and Saw III as well as the basic storyline of David Tapp's son and protagonist Michael investigating his death and encountering Jigsaw along the way. Martin Schneider, European Marketing & PR Director for Konami, stated that "[the] original Saw video game gave horror fans and gamers a new outlet to advance their favorite genre, but left them wanting more. Saw 2 will give it to them, but be careful for what you wish for! Our successful partnership with Lionsgate allows us to advance the survival horror genre, giving players the most intense look into the Saw universe ever."[2]

On May 5 it was confirmed that Saw II would be displayed by Konami at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010.[11] At E3 2010, Tobin Bell was announced to return to voice the Jigsaw Killer as well as lend his likeness to the game; in addition, the subtitle Flesh & Blood was confirmed.[12] The game was also shown at the San Diego Comic-Con 2010 at the Konami booth.[13] In an interview, producer Jaime Benecia stated that all of the characters and plotlines present in the game had to be approved by Lionsgate to fit the canon of the films.[14]

Release

Saw II: Flesh & Blood was released on October 19, 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, ten days before the release of the seventh film, Saw 3D.[15]

Reception

[hide] Saw II: Flesh & Blood
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 51%
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 4.5/10[16]
GamesRadar 7/10[17]
IGN 4.5/10[18]
Official Xbox Magazine 4/10

Upon release, Flesh & Blood received mixed reviews from critics. It currently holds a 51% in agregator GameRankings. Matthew Castle GamesRadar gave the game a 7 out of 10. In his review he praised the improved combat and elaborate set-pieces, as well as the puzzles, comparing them to the "Riddler's Challenges" in Batman: Arkham Asylum. His only negative remarks were poor checkpoint locations and subpar graphics.[17] Game Informer gave the game a 4.5 out of 10 saying "The game failed to polish the concepts of the original." Anthony Gallegos of IGN gave the game a negative review, 4.5 out of 10.[18]

Characters

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