We reviewed The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners back at the start of the year, and now PlayStation VR users can finally get their hands on the game as well. We checked out the new version to see how it holds up on Sony’s platform.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners has a very wide release window, with the PC-based version coming out at the start of 2020 and the Oculus Quest edition not due until the end of the year. Sandwiched in the middle is the PlayStation VR version, which was always going to be a good indicator of how the developers were going to deal with a downgrade in hardware (coming from the PC version). The good news: they dealt with it quite well this time around.
We’ve also reviewed the game before, so I recommend reading that review for more discussion of the game mechanics – our focus here is mostly on the PSVR port and issues that are specific to that version. Luckily, they’re mostly minor, as the quality of the conversion is very high, making this one of the top PSVR titles of 2020 so far.
This is largely due to the fact that most of the game’s visuals have made the transition intact, and the downgrade is only really noticeable when you put the two versions side-by-side. There are very minor differences in how detailed textures are and their resolution, but this doesn’t really apply to the human and undead characters in the game – which is where your focus will be. In the backdrop behind all that, the atmosphere of the city of New Orleans is still as convincing as it was before, with any visual differences literally fading away in the background.
On a more technical note, the drawing distance on the PSVR version feels slightly more limited as well. Keep your attention on the foreground and you won’t notice, but if you’re actively looking you’ll see a few textures pop in to the screen a little later as you move along. This mostly happens in larger outdoor areas, with the indoor scenes still being as eerie and claustrophobic as ever. This is enhanced by the excellent audio landscape that the game throws at you, with quality voice acting and plenty of subtle effects that signify that something’s going on either nearby or in the distance. Headphones are definitely recommended for this one.
Of course, the biggest change is that the PSVR version relies on the use of Move controllers, which for us was the biggest question mark surrounding the PlayStation version. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners doesn’t offer gamers a teleportation option, opting instead for smooth locomotion. We’ve seen this be troublesome on PlayStation VR due to the lack of thumbsticks on the Move controllers, but Saints & Sinners handles it as best as it could. Steering yourself through the world while pushing down the ‘forward’ or ‘backward’ button is initially a bit like rubbing your belly with one hand and patting yourself on the head with the other, but once you get used to it it’s a serviceable control method that gets around the hardware limitations of the Move quite well.
Most of the other control mechanics have survived the transition to PSVR quite well, so the inventory system and the combat are comparable to what you get on a PC. That essentially means that the excellent The Walking Dead experience that Saints & Sinners delivered initially is still intact on PlayStation VR, making this one of 2020’s essential purchases for PSVR headset owners. There’s a sacrifice to be made if you go with this version rather than the PC one, but it’s a small one – fans of the franchise shouldn’t think twice about picking this up.