The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Chapter 2: Retribution – Test, action-adventure

These obviously very starched zombie pants can withstand even the chainsaw.

Genuine successor or hidden expansion?

After tons of simple shooting galleries, a survival title two years ago provided an unusual depth of play in the VR area. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners not only gave me nasty moments of shock when zombies unexpectedly grabbed out of the dark. Carelessness and poor planning when crafting were also immediately punished. The fight for survival in the dark alleys of flooded New Orleans quickly became the favorite of many virtual reality fans and earned over 50 million dollars. No wonder Skydance Interactive has released the standalone sequel The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution.

These obviously very starched zombie pants can withstand even the chainsaw.

One surprise, however, is how much was recycled. Various well-known, semi-open mission areas are unlocked here from the start. Even the tutorial hasn’t changed. Despite the price of 39.99 euros, what is on offer is more reminiscent of an independent expansion than a completely new game. Nevertheless, some things have been expanded: The story continues with a fresh story and there are new areas, weapons and factions. In the meantime, the progress from Part 1 can also be imported. That wasn’t possible at the launch last Friday, so I started the game with a fresh save without any “recipes” for particularly powerful weapons that I had found at the time.

Lots of enemies, lots of guns

The adventure once again puts me in the role of the mysterious “tourist” who takes a boat from his hiding place to zombie-infested areas. On the way I not only collect loot for my local workbenches, but also get to the bottom of some secrets. The Tower faction, which dominates with an iron hand, seems to be preparing for a threatening event that could endanger not only the outcast “Exiles”. During my trips to the covert resistance, I uncover more and more fragments about armored warriors and executions, apparently designed to consolidate the power of Tower boss “Mama”.

I also meet early on the mysterious, axe-wielding Axeman, who seeks revenge after the events of Chapter 1. The right equipment can’t hurt against such overwhelming opponents, which is why I occasionally drop by the seedy pawn king. His daughter’s commissions give me the right contacts to Exiles and other useful characters in the post-apocalypse.

Always these tourists

Even before such alliances, the tourist is a lot stronger than before, meanwhile he has matured into a true survivor. Now, even on the more dangerous night, he goes on excursions with more roaming walkers. Because of this, my lost save didn’t turn out to be quite as annoying. After all, the developers equipped me with a number of deathbringers, workbench upgrades and junk that I can use for the recycling machine to start with. But the most impactful and entertaining are the things I craft after unlocking a few workbenches, including some variations from hidden recipes. Of course, upgrades like armor or a laser sight will also come in handy.

Quietly sneaking into a heavily guarded colonial-style property is twice as much fun with a silent bow! Even in the dark, the arrows fly remarkably accurately into the skulls of the living guards. Unfortunately, your AI still reminds you like a startled flock of chickens. In small groups, however, they can quickly become dangerous with their firearms. On the outskirts of villas or clinics, it is worth keeping an eye out for ledges. Climbing is integrated in a much more meaningful way than in the Horizon Call of the Mountain PSVR2 demo. After all, I have to keep an eye on my stamina here. It also prevents me from running away too quickly during the zombie onslaught. If I overexert myself, it takes a toll on my health.

With sensitivity to the coarse chopped

The mysterious Axeman has a personal ax to grind with the tourist.

The mysterious Axeman has a personal ax to grind with the tourist.

After I’ve grabbed an important note in the villa, it’s the turn of the also very practical distraction arrows – they reliably lure the meat brains to the rattling firecracker. This trick doesn’t get too overpowering either. As usual, the number and resistance of the walkers that I encounter on manageable maps and in the explorable buildings increases with each passing day.

Even with good gear, a mission can get pretty sweaty when the crowds suddenly stagger in from all directions. The massive physics is noticeable in close combat. Shotgun, ax & Co. have a pleasant amount of weight when dealing out and chopping up the undead. The controls feel more polished than, say, in Bonelab, even if I sometimes accidentally reach for the map or flashlight instead of the knife. Even in the dense scramble, I can still pull myself out of trouble with a targeted grab for heads and shoves.

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