The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners - Chapter 2: Retribution deserves recognition. Never before have we seen such a verbose title manage to communicate so little while saying so much. It fails to convey to newcomers that it’s a standalone game complete with its own campaign, and it coyly obfuscates the fact that this isn’t quite the fully-fledged sequel Saints & Sinners fans have hungered for.
With that mess of a name, we want to communicate as clearly as possible that Chapter 2 is still great. It’s more Saints & Sinners with new horde-clearing toys to play with, gratifyingly stressful night time expeditions, and more excuses to risk life and limb while scavenging the undead-inhabited streets of New Orleans. The plot is thin and the new additions are limited, but its strong Saints & Sinners core makes this a retribution still worth seeing through to fruition.
Foundational to the success of Saints & Sinners is its remarkably satisfying gameplay, with the visceral combat being at the forefront. A few minutes is all it takes for the physics-focused melee zombie slaying to click. There’s a deliberate nature to it all, be it with the dislodging of something sharp from a walker’s sturdy skull or hurling a two-handed edged weapon that'll hopefully hit its target. It demands brisk but belaboured movements that are punctuated with rewarding jolts from the PSVR2 Sense Controllers whenever you make contact.
The gunplay is similarly solid and proves most effective against the far more agile human foes that inhabit the dilapidated city streets and structures. Adaptive triggers and haptic feedback combine to make each pull of the trigger feel meaningful, regardless of whether it’s a pot shot around a corner or a carefully aimed headshot. Throw Chapter 2’s new chainsaw or grenade launcher into the mix, and you’re spoiled with a smorgasbord of dangerous playthings to take for a spin and experiment with.
The combat in Saints & Sinners is superb, and it’s further elevated by a foundation of surprisingly rewarding resource management. Post-apocalyptic New Orleans is full of stuff that can be recycled for resources and turned into weapons, ammunition, or upgrades back at your school bus base of operations. Emptying your pack of junk and turning it into valuable resources that get you a wee bit closer to the next upgrade you’ve been eyeing up encourages an infectious itch to get back out there and scavenge some more.
Scrap items are plentiful in Saints & Sinners, but valuables and crucial consumables are rare, resulting in frequent stretches of nerve-racking tension. There are so many factors and mechanisms working against you while exploring one of the game’s self-contained destinations – limited stamina, breakable weapons, and finite inventory space are all limitations to overcome. Taken together, these mechanics make escaping in one piece feel like a mini-miracle, but they’re all problems that can be circumvented with stealthy sleuthing or adequate preparation in advance.
Everything that makes Chapter 2 so great is essentially the same stuff that made the first game so good. The gameplay is largely unaltered and there are only a few new locations to explore, so the completely new story is the closest this chapter comes to feeling like an actual sequel. Retribution takes place shortly after the events of its predecessor with you once again inhabiting the role of the otherwise nameless Tourist, tasked with running errands for various folks around the flooded remains of New Orleans, Louisiana while uncovering more details about the merciless faction in power dubbed “The Tower”.
Outside of the excellent use of Axeman as an always-watching antagonist and the big climactic conclusion, the plot is too trivial to provide much motivation. It boils down to being strung along a series of fetch quests for a few uninteresting characters with dialogue decisions that only allow you to choose what degree of snark to use in your reply. In contrast to the first, Chapter 2 only has a few notable decision points, none of which have major ramifications in this game.
The wide range of dismal moral dilemmas aren’t replicated in Chapter 2, but there is one big new addition in the form of night time excursions. You’re now able to visit two destinations every in-game day instead of just one, with the second stop taking place at twilight when the undead hordes are inescapable but rare materials are plentiful. It fits beautifully into the Saints & Sinners risk/reward balancing act, and makes for even more magnificent moments of desperation as you push through undead hordes in the darkness to try and make it out alive with the treasures from your trip.
The new additions with Chapter 2 are made so much easier to enjoy now that it’s finally been freed from the Meta Quest 2 where it was exclusively available before. The gnarly PS1-era fog, clay-like textures, crummy performance, frequent crashes, and long load times are all completely gone. Outside of some still low-resolution assets, the hardware upgrade is borderline transformative. If you’ve been waiting on Chapter 2 until it could be enjoyed at its best, consider that wait over.
It isn’t quite a full-on sequel and doesn’t do much to move the franchise forward, but Saints & Sinners - Chapter 2 is still an incredibly enjoyable extra helping of walker-slaying entertainment. Its smattering of new additions and novelties prove compelling enough to make post-apocalyptic New Orleans worth the revisit, especially if you passed on the initial Quest 2 release for a more polished, well-performing, and visually pleasing product.
So if you didn't play the first ..which should we go for ..the first or this if we only want one
The original release of Retribution on Quest 2 was an absolute shocker! Game was in an atrocious state. Glitches everywhere, game breaking bugs, freezes, save file resets, completed missions that hadnt registered, zombies/npcs appearing and disappearing and dreadfullly dated graphics. Deleted it after the secret wine cellar/sewer quest as it just wasnt worth the hassle. Glad theyve sorted it out for PSVR2 and PC. Hope it unlocks at midnight. Cant wait to play it...
Edit ... unlocks in 3hrs48mins. Yay!
Nice review and I'm hearing good things about how well the psvr2 runs compared to high end PCs, bodes well for PSVR2 going forward. (Assumption, one swallow doesn't make a summer and all that).
@StylesT I would suggest getting the bundle (£17 more or a £10ish upgrade if you have PS+ version, free if you have tourist edition) and play the first one. Nb. I've yet to play SandS 2 but the story continues.
@StylesT Given that you might have the first one from PS Plus and will be able to upgrade to the PSVR2 version for 10$, I’d say the first one seems a logical choice…
If you don’t have the first one from Ps Plus and no upgrade path than I guess I would still go with the first given that I like narrative with choice and dilemma which they say is not in this one. (I haven’t played the first one yet, but to me it seems like the safest best).
I was replaying the first one on psvr just before psvr2 launch day (to get my sea legs back) and forgot how addictive the scavenging can be. I wish I had booked tomorrow off work to play this! I think £50 is very fair for the part 1 and 2 bundle if you've never played either.
@CaptD I was just about to ask about the upgrade path applying to PS+ version, thank you!
@CaptD where you hear it compares well to the PC version?
I have aftershock via ps plus. Whats my upgrade options......if any?
Multiple reviewers mentioned this:
Pay £8/$10. Or just pay slightly more for the double game bundle straight up if you are getting the sequel anyway, and if you don’t feel like being beholden to a subscription, because you will be playing the game for a long time!
@lindos A couple of youtubers, Beardo Banjo and Gamertag VR. I haven't seen any other reviews so it is quite a small sample.
@thefourfoldroot1 if you upgrade by the fee or by buying the Tourist edition upgrade then getting it for free would remove the PS+ licence. I don't know for sure so could be wrong.
I think if you upgrade the free game to the tourist one you would still need the sub because you can’t just play the upgrade on its own. Unless you get a whole new license and it counts as a new SKU when upgrading, but I don’t know of any game that’s done that before.
Just started playing it and wow, everything looks and feels excellent. Really solid gameplay, crisp graphics, colours are great and the haptics on weapons are brilliant. Early days but loving it so far.
It is one of the worst names for any game ever. It's like they had a drunken bet to see who add the most words to the title.
Plus the box art is also atrocious. What were they thinking???
I'm moreso looking forward to hearing how the PS5 version of Part 1 looks and plays. I need to finish that before I can consider buying Part 2.
I wanted the first one but if looks like i will be waiting on a sale as the asking price is too steep for a style of vr game that i get notoriously dizzy playing. Ive struggled with most VR games thst involve moving. The rhythm games seem to be ok tho.
After years I can still get queazy with smooth turning, but snap turning removes all problems for me.
I cannot figure out how to upgrade my PSVR1 version tbh. I cannot buy it seperately, nor can I upgrade or something. Can one of you please help me?
In the app, if you search the original Saints and Sinners on PS4, then go to “add on”, it lets you get the “tourist edition upgrade”. I presume this is it but haven’t tested.
@thefourfoldroot1 thanks I saw that too... unfortunately it is labeled PS4 so it is not the upgrade.
I thought to ps4 version was the version from which you have to upgrade - Last gen tourist edition to free PSVR2 upgrade. I don’t think there will be a PS5 tourist edition to upgrade from.
I’m not even sure if the upgrade is available yet because the entire game has gone back to “announced” and is unavailable for purchase on my app (U.K.) even though it says available today.
Edit: they seem to have messed up and it can’t be bought currently. What a sh*tshow!
Edit2: there is actually a ps5 tourist edition. They really screwed this up.
@thefourfoldroot1 well this is simply bad advertising and miscommunication imo. Sony Store at its best... as you said they removed the bundle of the Deluxe Edition Chapter 1 and 2 PS5 today too? WTF.
For those in the UK, looks like there is a countdown on the PS store website now (not in the app). 3 hours 35 minutes to go as of 13.25
I will be buying this but what I want is The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners - Chapters 1+Chapter 2: Retribution physical…does it exist? PlayStation uk are selling a version but are vague about if it’s physical or not..Is the deluxe version physical?…it’s driving me nuts trying to find out!
@Pedski There will be a physical version of chapter 2 in april... so nothing for you unfortunately mate.
is the psvr 1 version still planned or did that secretly get canceled?
This is a masterclass in how not to market a video game. I too got the PS Plus version and never bothered to play it on my PSVR. I am completely mystified as to what my upgrade options to PS5 and bundle options with the new chapter are. The new game is meant to be out today but appears unavailable. The publisher could have done a better job.
@Wolfie_Pie thanks for sharing this info - was wondering when it’d be available 👍
Thanks for the info @ORO_ERICIUS…Not to long to wait then!
@Wolfie_Pie this is good to know. Been checking the app at work all day and wondered why it wasnt available to buy. Really i just want the first part but it looks like it works out alot cheaper to buy part 1 and 2 in the double pack. No way am i paying £33 for part 1 then an extra £7 to upgrade it to the exploration edition to be eligible for the upgrade. Cant even see the souble pack listed now. They dont seem to make things very easy.
So now it isn’t even on the psvr2 page. You can search it, but only episode 2 comes up, the bundle with the first game is removed. Yet apparently it’s still due out today…not going to play 2 without playing though 1 first, so don’t even know if I can give them my money yet. Absolute shambles.
@Kidfunkadelic83 Yeah this is one of the worst store presences I've seen in a while, even by Sony's standards! So it is available to buy finally, but by default it will say "wishlist" (so it looks like they have pulled the bundle for now, as @thefourfoldroot1 said). If you click the 3 dots on the store page then select Standard edition you can buy it. What a mess...
To upgrade the first game from PS+ version, you have to ignore the PSVR2 sku, find the psvr1 version instead, then scroll aaalll the way down to Add-Ons (because hooray for inconsistency) and purchase the Tourist Edition Upgrade for 8 squiddly diddlies (at which point you will also unlock a dynamic theme, what a kick in the jaffas), then go aaalll the way back to the PS5 version which will be marked as free. Installing now...
Yeah this is a terrible ***** show of a launch. All i wanted was to play the first game on PSVR2 to see if i would like it but its going to cost more than part 2🤷♂️🤷♂️. Now people are having issues with the upgrade and the double pack of chapter 1 and 2 has been removed, as has the explorer edition, apart from the upgrade. So to own both i would have to buy the standard edition, but the explorer update and then update to the ps5 version. Part 1 would cost £40 quid and part 2 costs £33 when 4 days ago they were selling the now removed double pack for £50 🤔🤔🤔🤔
@Wolfie_Pie i havnt even got the PS+ version so it would have to be full retail price and then upgrade it. No way am i paying that.
Yes, I found this too, but the bundle of both isn’t available. Don’t really want to buy an upgrade for a Plus game as I’m not sure if I’ll lose access once I let my sub lapse (which I will if they don’t add VR games to the service).
@thefourfoldroot1 Huh... that's a very good point! I'd be pretty angry if I paid to upgrade but lose access without PS Plus. Guess I'll find out next year...
Well, the game is back on the store but without the bundle deal including the first game. Wondering whether it’s because this has been delayed, which they should really tell us before we have to decide if we are going to buy the sequel now or later…
Checking out videos of the first game remaster, and it seems it crashes a lot. They’ll get it patched I’m sure, but don’t mind waiting now. Lost my launch day money by messing the store up it seems lol.
Works. Upgraded the PS+ Version to the tourist one for 9,99€ and was then able to download the PS5 Version. PS4 Version was 7,8GB and the PS5 17GB.
I'm happy enough with the part 1 upgrade so far but I'll wait for user reviews of the second. So far I'm really happy with part 1 upgrade, it looks smoother and the lighting looks better, especially on water surfaces. I still have my psvr1 connected so I'll compare both versions later to see if I'm imagining the improvements. One thing I will say is that if you do have noticeable mura effect on your headset, you will definitely notice it at night time in part 1. I'm actually going to try for a replacement from Sony as I think I pulled the short straw, it is particularly bad on my headset (compared it with another psvr2 headset recently and mine was much worse). The upgrade still gets my thumbs up!
Was about to purchase the bundle since it was on my wishlist, but it's not there now. Very dissapointed that I cannot buy Part 1 now. It appears part 1 is no longer available. I only waited because I wanted to wait for reviews, did not realise they would take a total game off the platform if you didn't preorder it prior.
I heard they didn’t want to cannibalise sales of the sequel with a cut price first game right off the bat. You can still buy the upgraded original for psvr2, but it’s now £32.99, exactly the same price as the sequel.
Yeah I just checked, and in Australia the 1st one is now $60 Aus, and the 2nd is $60. The bundle was $90. I don't have the original through PS Plus . All they have done is lose a sale, there's no way I'm paying $120 now for both. I didn't imagine getting this penalized for not preordering.
Doesn’t beat Kingdom Hearts 2.8 final chapter prologue.
@thefourfoldroot1 i just checked the origional version and it doesnt give the option for the ps5 version, only ps4 version and an additional 7.99 for the upgrade to the explorers edition. As @Digit2021 said, all they have done here is lost a sale. Very disappointed.
I presume you have to upgrade to the original ps4 tourist edition, then it gives the free upgrade to the ps5/psvr2 edition.
This is what they always said anyway. Although I do have the option to get the ps5 add on for 7.99, so it is a bit confusing. Maybe that’s just to avoid having to switch licenses twice, which makes sense. If anyone has done it post launch maybe they could clarify better.
Edit: sod it, only £8. I can confirm that if you buy the PS4 add on to the digital original (I had it from PS+) then you can then download the ps5/psvr2 version for free. Have it downloading now to play when I get home.
As it’s also a new SKU, rather than an upgrade connected to the plus version, I presume it’s mine to keep after I let my sub lapse. Sony aren’t smart enough to prevent that I don’t think.
@thefourfoldroot1 yeah that sounds about right. I dont own the ps+ version so i would have to buy the game at £33 then the upgrade for £8 that allow me to get the ps5 version so for me to get the first game on ps5 it will be £41 give or take a few pence. Thats alot of money to drop considering the 2nd game is only £33.
Yes, it’s awful. And I hear people who bought the complete physical version don’t get an upgrade path at all. As it is they don’t even list the originals remake on the psvr2 store page, they really seem to just want people to skip the original for some reason.
I’m sure they’ll release the bundle again after the sequels launch window.
@thefourfoldroot1 if the story didnt follow on then it wouldnt be a problem, id just jump in to the 2nd one but its strange they have taken this route. All i can think is that they wanted to maximise sales of chapter 2. I will re read the review and see if anything is missing from the first game. If all is improved upon i may just bite the bullet.
Well they’ve almost certainly lost money from me. I got an £8 upgrade, which will likely last me through to when the sequel is on sale. I only get about an hour a night to play so not getting my money for both upfront was likely a mistake for them.
@thefourfoldroot1 after re reading the review it doesnt appear i will be missing too much skipping the first entry and saving myself £40 in the process. I will will just watch a quick catch up video of the first game and jump in to chapter 2.
Well, given they are said to be only 15 hrs each for the main story, I’d rather play the first one first. This is because, If I liked the sequel and wanted more, I’d have to then play them in reverse. This would annoy me and mean that I lose my progress (because I doubt you’d be able to transfer a save from second to first like you can the other way round).
As there isn’t a huge amount different I’m confident that if I don’t like the first I wouldn’t like the second, so…
@thefourfoldroot1 this is all true and would be my preferred way to play the game as ive watched lots of footage and i liked the look of it. Had i already had the base ps4 game i would have upgraded but i cant bring myself to pay more than £40 for the origional. I may hold out and see if the double pack drops.
That’s understandable. Pretty sure the bundle will be put back up. They made the SKU after all. Probably the publisher decided that this will bring more return on investment around the launch window is all.
first one was pretty cool. the feel of removing the axe from a skull was satisfying.
the thing is, i dont plan to get the psvr2, and i am done with psvr1.
VR in general isnt appealing me anymore.
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