The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution Review – A Sideways Step

Developed and Published by Skydance Interactive

Available on Quest 2

MSRP: $39.99

When you look at a list of top VR games, you’ll quickly see the same few. Beat Saber, Pistol Whip, Resident Evil 4, and Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. So when we got an announcement that a sequel was being developed, VR fans rejoiced! But a lot of pressure would be on Saints and Sinners Chapter 2: Retribution. How do you follow up on one of the best VR games out there? 

 If you still need to play the first game, even though there is a recap going over significant events of what the tourist got up to in his first go around in New Orleans. Mechanically, I suggest you play it because right off the start, it feels like your expected to have all this presupposed knowledge from the first one, including how to balance your inventory, which weapons work for you, and when to fight and when to run.

Story-wise, it takes place a few months after Walking Dead Saints and Sinners. We once again embody the Tourist, and very quickly, we learn that we are being hunted by the Axeman mentioned in the Aftershock DLC from the first game. Interestingly, the first time we meet this man, he gives up his name and connection to the Tourist. At this point, I knew Retribution was asking a lot for new players. At this first meeting, you are stuck in a small room with about ten zombies coming through the only exit. A seasoned player will have an easier time here, but this might be too early for newer players. The struggle will go unknowingly over newcomers’ heads when he talks about his connection. I can’t go into this too much because it spoils alot of the first game.

That being said, even for newer players starting fresh in Retribution. Your crafting tables will start off being level five, which is halfway to the max, and the two new tables that are introduced that are focused on the new weapons and upgrades start off at level one. Speaking of the two new tables, you’ll need the new crafting resource introduced in Retribution, phosphorus, found mostly in nighttime missions, which you’ll easily find using the new attachment to your trusty flashlight, the UV. It lets you see these new resources in a bright purple glow and highlights hidden writings left by past survivors, leading you to hidden caches or objectives. Not to mention your bus will be filled with mid-leveled weapons and healing items. After the first few missions, though, these items will be scattered to the wind unless you figure out how Retribution wants you to play, which is stealthy.

 While the gameplay remains about ninety percent the same in Retribution. The biggest addition to the game is its nighttime missions. Bringing complete darkness, more zombies, and better loot. It was a nice mix-up here as it brings this sense of horror back to the series, even for veterans of Saints and Sinners

When you start Retribution, you can import your save from a complete save file from chapter one. Since all my completed playthroughs have been on PC, I had to skip this and hope my decisions didn’t matter. From what I can tell it mostly imports bench upgrades. Which would have been nice, but since it’s a staggered release, ill have to wait until February to see that in action.

When Retribution was first released, it was a buggy mess. Thankfully within twenty-four hours, they started releasing almost daily patches. For the first two or three days, I could not play the game for more than twenty minutes before the game crashed or bugged out to the point where I would fall through the map. Thankfully It is in a much better state. While zombie spawners are still messed up, they will spawn zombies two feet in front of you already attacking you, and the textures look kind of muddy. It is stable to play for hours on end now, and the pop-in, while still present, isn’t nearly as bad.There is hope here for the performance as each patch gets better and better. It is nice to see that Skydance is hard at getting Retribution to the point they are happy with. They have been listening to community feedback since day one.

 Overall, if you are a fan of Saints and Sinners chapter one, you should pick this one up easily, no question about it. The new weapons the game adds, like the marque chainsaw, are amazing. With that, the addition of the nighttime missions really works out well and plunges the player back into the horror of the zombie apocalypse. Performance wise as I said things are getting much better already. If you had asked me on day one, I would have said to skip this until they can get it to a playable state.But they quickly realized that and went to fix it. Now Retribution can stand with its peer as one of the better VR games. Do I think it’s on the same level as Chapter One? Almost. With a better onboarding system for new players, it could easily soar above. I look forward to seeing where Skydance takes the tourist next, and I can’t wait to give Retribution another playthrough when it hits PCVR in 2023.

For more interviews, reviews, and features, stay locked to DreadXP. Go check out Saints and Sinners. It really is the epidemy of great VR gameplay.