horror gaming: SAW [and] SAW II: FLESH & BLOOD

It’s always tough to make a game based on a movie, am I right? especially if it’s based on a series that spanned over seven films by it’s release. If the wasn’t difficult enough, how the hell are you supposed to make a game based around someone in “death traps” and then what happens next? Well, for that reason, today on “horror gaming” — I’m bringing up SAW and SAW II: FLESH AND BLOOD!

Like last time, the SAW games are available for both Xbox360 and Playstation3 so if I’ve caught your attention enough; they’re fairly cheap now. But the question is why? Why were they so badly overlooked? Was it because SAW is considered “torture porn”? Maybe, but the games were actually decent, at least for what they were. I’m going to try and explain this the best I can, without getting too confusing. As explaining the differences/similarities between the games and films can be kind of tricky. sigh. Okay, here we go;

The first game takes place between the movies: SAW and SAW II. You play as Detective Tapp, who we last heard — was obsessing over the death of his partner Sing and doing everything to apprehend Jigsaw. The game however, [which I presume starts at the end of the first movie] starts with Tapp in a reverse bear trap [similar to the one Amanda wore in the first film] and already you’re up to the challenge of getting him out of it: rotating the joystick counterclockwise and pushing the corresponding button flashing in the corner. When you finally get the device off, is where the game begins [see what I did there??]

It’s in that moment you realize you’re locked in what looks like public bathroom. and although the lighting is quite terrible, you find a lighter on a table nearby, which becomes is your light-source for about 95% of the entire game! when you make your way to the door to exit — it’s [naturally] locked with a combination lock. The code is found painted backward on the doors to the bathroom stalls and you need to close them all and look in the mirror to read it and get the fuck out!

Now that’s all I’m going to say about the beginning [I’m not writing this as a walk-through haha] but as for story-line you come across quite a few news files [which are collectibles] which tie the game you’re playing to the films. Mentioning names from various SAW characters [old and new, including Tapp‘s son?] and what they have been doing. Throughout the game however, each chapter is divided by a person’s name; which is the person you have to save in each chapter. The final game chapter, is titled only as TAPP. Which I took as symbolism for “saving yourself”. I won’t say much, but I will say one thing — that ending is pretty extreme. even for a game based on SAW.

The second SAW game is where the extremities really stepped up. It’s a direct sequel to the first game, as you now play as Tapp‘s son, Michael. [but not before doing some crazy opening knife cutting sequence, which looks exactly like the opening to the film SAW II and works the same way as the start of the first game] While you’re not put in a reverse bear trap, like your father, you’re stuck in a train shaft [at least that’s what I thought it was..] and have push gated barriers out of the way, creating an opening to exit through — almost like a reverse Tetris. As with the first game, you come across people to save and files to collect, but this time around you get to collect seven Billy dolls, one in each chapter of the game — probably symbolizing the seven movies, the catch is that each one is hidden behind the most difficult of traps.

The ending to SAW II: FLESH AND BLOOD was much more of a higher note than the first SAW game. While still fairly extreme in story telling, it wasn’t as depressing to see, making you question if helping the people in the first game was really worth it.

If I had to choose FLESH AND BLOOD was definitely the superior game, both in fear, and in quality. In the end, it’s still “game over” as there were only two games, and probably no chance at a third. [correct me if I’m wrong!]

Also, if you’re still interested in more SAW, that the first SAW movie is going to [select] theatres on October 31st 2014 to celebrate it’s ten-year anniversary date! finally, don’t forget to join me tomorrow for my final “horror gaming” sequence, before we go back to scary movies until Halloween! Tomorrow’s game is none other than the SILENT HILL series!!


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