Review: I Expect You To Die (PSVR)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Oculus Rift

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Optional (1)
  • Move Recommended (2)
Title: I Expect You To Die
Format: PSN (1.08 GB)
Release Date: December 13, 2016
Publisher: Schell Games
Developer: Schell Games
Original MSRP: $24.99
ESRB Rating: E10+
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
I Expect you to Die is one of those games that grabs the player immediately and lets them know they are going to have a great time from start to finish. Schell Games is not shy about where their inspiration comes from. The stylized credit scene at the beginning is ripped straight out of a Bond film.

The game puts you in what are essentially escape rooms. There is an objective to be completed but you must also avoid traps and handle situations as they arise, such as lasers and disarming bombs. Some of the traps are also copied from Bond films.

Unlike James Bond, who always manages to escape certain death at the last possible moment, you will die. You will die a lot. This is not really that surprising as it’s in the title. Death is not from a lack of skill but from trial and error puzzles. Surprised by a laser? Next time you will know it’s coming and be prepared to move out of the way.

The game does rely on trial and error quite a bit. At times it can be a little annoying to make it halfway through a scenario only to die and have to repeat everything to get back to that point to make another attempt to solve a particular puzzle.

However, every time you replay a certain scenario you become quicker and prepare for situations ahead of time. Once you know how to successfully avoid all traps and complete the objective, you can fly through each area.

Unfortunately, there are no cool gadgets from Q in the game. Instead, agents have telekinesis?! This clever mechanic is not about having psychic powers but simply the ability to grab an object to bring it to you or suspend it in midair.

… The game is wonderfully interactive …
In each area you’ll stand in one place – there is no moving around or teleportation. When exploring a new area you can grab objects in the back of the room and bring them forward for closer examination. You can also find posters with helpful information or tools that will be useful later and suspend them in midair in front of you.

The telekinesis also helps you avoid avoid the tracking issues that plague many VR games. When looking around an area, you’ll be surrounded by items that you can interact with. Being able to grab an object and pull it closer means you’ll never run into a situation where you’re trying to pick something up off the floor but the camera cannot see the controller.

The biggest problem with the game is that there are only four missions. There are however multiple ways to complete each objective and escape. Completionists will enjoy replaying each mission to collect all the souvenirs. The souvenirs are not hidden collectibles but interactions with different things in each level.

The game is wonderfully interactive. You can pick up a thermos and pour yourself a cup of coffee while washing a window if you want before taking the thermos and smashing it through the window. You can interact with almost any object in each scenario. Expecting players to see how much they can do and allowing it happen was a nice surprise. How many people have picked up a lighter in VR and unsuccessfully tried to light everything on fire with it? Well in this game you can.

There is even dialogue written for many occasions. Light a book on fire, toss it aside and accidentally set a large portion of the room on fire, and your boss will comment on all the unnecessary destruction or your destructive behavior. Destroy a bottle of aged Single Malt Scotch and comments will be made on your wastefulness.

… My only complaint is the length …
Visuals:
This game has a great artstyle. Each area is unique and fleshed out with detail. It’s the little things such as seeing clouds or fish pass by when you look out the window that help bring the world to life.

Audio:
There’s only one voice actor and his commentary and directions are will written. There are jokes about the dry martini budget and books about how to build secret lairs for an evil genius. The dry British humor never made me laugh out loud but I was constantly chuckling to myself.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only with no online component.

Conclusion:
I Expect you to Die starts with a bang and does not let up until the end. The old Bond style oozes from everything while the dry British humor and puzzles are well written.

My only complaint is the length. The game is just too short. It needs at least two more puzzle scenes. That said, I would gladly pay for DLC. Each area was well polished and thought out. It’s certainly not a reason to rush out and buy a PS VR unit but for those who already took the plunge, this is a must buy.

Score:

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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