In our many years of reviewing VR games, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners still stands out as one of the best examples in the genre – bringing the world of the ever-popular series to life in VR with strong gameplay and an ever stronger sense of atmosphere. When The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Chapter 2: Retribution was announced, we couldn’t wait to dive back in on a Quest 2 headset.
As the title suggests, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Chapter 2: Retribution isn’t miles off from what we saw before, and that ends up being true in more ways than one. Narratively, it picks up right after the events of the first game, which you’re reminded of in a quick flashback. In case it’s been a while since you played there’s also a tutorial, but we think it’d be a shame to dive into this as a newcomer – Chapter 2 is best enjoyed after playing the first game, and probably at its best if you play them back to back.
Our protagonist is still The Tourist and you’re still in New Orleans, although Chapter 2 does let you explore some new parts of the city. It also introduces a new adversary in The Axeman, adding an additional layer of scares on top of the undead that still roam the city – which itself is as atmosphere-rich as ever. And that’s without delivering the kind of visual fidelity that other VR games have offered, as Chapter 2 is rather seamless with the first game from an audiovisual perspective. For better and for worse, as although we like its stylized look it also means it’s not high on detail and there’s a fair share of pop-in, especially outside of indoor areas.
There are some subtle visual differences that also affect the gameplay though, like missions that take place at night. A friend to both the processing power of the Quest 2 and the ability of the game to instill terror and dread, these sections are some of the standout elements of Chapter 2, evoking memories of some of the dread-inducing sequences in Resident Evil VII in VR.
Other changes can be seen in your arsenal of weapons, which has been expanded to included several new melee and ranged weapons, and even a chainsaw. That one is especially great if you feel like channeling your inner Ash, though the trade-off is that zombies tend to be drawn to its loud sound as well. Come get some. You’ll probably end up resorting to some of the safer options at your disposal, but it sure is fun.
We’d say that if you played and enjoyed the original Saints & Sinners, then Chapter 2 is a must-buy. It features the same audiovisual style and many of the same gameplay mechanics – though some will lament its lack of innovation and change for that same reason. But if you, like many others, enjoyed your first VR journey to New Orleans, then you can’t pass up the opportunity to do it again. And the developers have made it as seamless as possible too, even including an option to import your saved game into Chapter 2 so you can import your base the exact way you left it.
Our issues with the game were minor – we didn’t mind the lack of gameplay innovation at all because we loved the formula of the first game, but we did wish they had squeezed a bit more visual fidelity out of the game for the sequel. The game also has a few small bugs at launch (mainly with zombie pathfinding), but these didn’t affect our enjoyment either – for fans of Saints and Sinners, this is a great way to end the year.