I expect you to die 2 mix up escape rooms and comedies
In I Expect You To Die 2, players are immersed in the role of an international super-spy who must escape deadly traps – or die trying.
The sequel to the 2017 VR spy comedy, I expect you to die 2 the player plays the role of a globetrotter James bond-type which is found in many dangerous situations. It mixes the logic of the escape room with a skillful parody, the result of which is a tight and pleasurable experience. The game is available for various VR platforms and CBR was able to take a look at the Play Station VR version, played on a PS5.
Taking place over six individual levels, I expect you to die 2 forces the player to use everything around them to solve various puzzles. While they can pick up items and manipulate them with their controllers, players will be forced to use the main character’s mysterious telekinetic powers to manipulate items out of range or bring them closer. Each level expects the player to sit in one place all the time and is built around this idea. This control scheme works and feels much better than the “point to and teleport to a location” feature that some other VR video games use.
Sometimes the player finds himself under pressure – he runs into grenades, enemy shooters, and of course, deadly lasers. It’s too easy to die, and the player is treated to a pretty Game Over screen with an embarrassingly accurate autopsy report. Dead in I expect you to die 2 happens quickly and ruthlessly and can sometimes make the player wonder what they’ve done wrong, but the levels are so short that it’s usually not too frustrating to start over. The first level is an exception as its final riddle is a glove of enemy agents who can all end the player’s run if they don’t know exactly how to deal with them – dodging bullets is a bit finicky sometimes so there is actually very little time to test solutions before the screen goes black and it’s time to restart. Fortunately, the following levels are much fairer and have fewer urgent tasks.
The puzzles in this game are moderately challenging, being somewhere in the center of a ladder with escape rooms on one end and point-and-click adventure games on the other. Veterans of either genre will find the game easier, but no less enjoyable compared to those who need more time to sort out issues. The novelty of physically interacting with the environment to find new clues and implement solutions is a breath of fresh air and keeps things very engaging. Some puzzles also have multiple solutions, which can make repeated games more enjoyable.
Another way the game encourages level replay is through its collectibles which are scattered throughout the game. Each of the game’s six levels has six “memorabilia” to collect. These are either objects with which the player must interact, or unusual interactions that the player can implement, such as placing a helmet on the statue of a bear. These are signified by a casual jingle and make a nice side focus for successful hunters. Likewise, each level has a speedrun objective to reward players who enjoy testing their memory and dexterity.
In terms of plot and tone, I expect you to die 2 delves deep into the realm of parody. Spy thriller tropes are used with abandoned and mercilessly dissected in a wonderfully comical way. The game takes the player to classic spy locations such as a stand-alone jet, a Swiss castle, and an enemy HQ. These sets feature dozens of incompetent henchmen, liberal use of poison, incredibly complicated consoles, and even an example of a slowly advancing doom laser – even complete newcomers to the genre will quickly appreciate this letter d. love to spy stories.
Thanks to the brightly colored environments and comical props (a scorpion barely hidden in a sandwich comes to mind), the game is very light despite the life and death situations the player is forced into. This lightness is one of the game’s greatest strengths and makes it the unique and enjoyable experience it is.
The cream of the crop comes with the villains of the game. The Fabricator is a stereotypical evil genius whose plans and creations are too complicated to ridiculous degrees – something that’s perfect for a VR escape game in which to confuse instructions. and routines are a joy and not a chore. However, not to be overshadowed, Wil Wheaton provides the voice of John Juniper, the game’s eventual main antagonist. He absolutely delivers when it comes to delivering a villain with a gigantic ego, and it’s a joy to listen to. throughout the game as his implication in the plot becomes clearer.
The general direction of the voice is excellent – the dialogue in the game is full of fantastic comedic timing and some really funny moments that feel organic. The characters react to the player’s actions realistically, with the villains berating their success and the manager showing how impressed they are. The developers have also shown their foresight through the script – playing through the levels fast enough to anticipate instructions or clues will attract amazement and accusations of being a mind reader. It’s a fun way for the game to recognize itself in a meta way, rewarding the player with almost breaks on the fourth wall.
An area where I expect you to die 2 wobbles a bit is accessibility. There are no subtitles, nor sound options to increase the volume of the dialogues compared to the ambient noise and the different tracks. This has the unfortunate consequence of unintentionally making the puzzles more difficult for hearing-impaired players who may not clearly hear the clues. A puzzle involves following audible instructions from the manager of the player character; without subtitles this could become a frustrating and futile effort that would likely force some players to search for a guide online.
Despite the flaws, I expect you to die 2 is a great game. It shows the potential of virtual reality as a puzzle delivery mechanism and satisfies a curiosity or a desire to experience an escape room from one’s own home. Its control scheme feels natural, it is suitable for fast bursts of play, and it has replay value for those who like to get their money’s worth. The game has something for everyone and is a fantastic addition to any VR game collection. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of what it would be like to be an international super spy? For those who wish to try it, I expect you to die 2, developed and published by Schell Games, is available now for Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR and Steam VR.
CBR has received a copy of the game from the publisher for review.
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