Aftershocks ticks the box of delivering more of a VR game we’ve been away from for far too long. Read on for our The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Aftershocks review.
It speaks to just how good The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is that, even after spending 20+ hours with it on multiple platforms and coming back for last year’s Meatgrinder update, I still want a lot more of it. In fact large parts of the game still feel new to me, like I didn’t get to spend enough time with them in the existing campaign. And that’s always been a frustration with Skydance’s zombie game; even as one of VR’s longer titles, it ends before you’re really done with it. And, while the wave-based survival addition was fun, we’re all really looking for more excuses to dive back into its survival sandbox.
Aftershocks finally delivers those excuses, and plenty of them.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Aftershocks Review
Aftershocks is essentially the endgame content Saints & Sinners has been missing for the past year. It’s a set of missions that are anchored around a simple premise – boxes of valuable resources have appeared, spread across the game’s existing maps, and it’s up to you to find them. Each mission tells you the map where you’ll find your next cache, but it’s up to you to travel there, seek it out and deal with any threats that might be in your way.
Think of Aftershocks as Saints & Sinners: Remixed, then. Skydance reexamines its current maps and rejigs them with twists both old and new. Existing paths are blocked, enemies occupy new areas and there are some small cosmetic changes too. One cache might be embedded deep within an enemy stronghold, for example, or you may need to navigate a series of tripwires to discover one.
Nothing here dramatically changes up the gameplay so much as it does expand upon it. Saints & Sinners was a game about slowly and steadily building an arsenal but, when you finally got the best weapons and the resources to make ammo for them, the ending credits weren’t far off. Now there’s the chance for plenty more high-level play, especially once you open up a cache and are treated to more crafting resources than you’ll find anywhere else in the campaign.
And, seriously, what a reminder of just how brilliant these systems are. Saints & Sinners really is one of the best sandboxes you’ll find in VR; at one moment it slips my mind that a group of enemies I’ve just shot through will reanimate as the undead. They do so just as I’m flanked by another group, providing the unexpected distraction I need to slip away and refuel. Often when you open a cache you’ll find new enemies populate the scene, making extraction just as unpredictable as infiltration was.
The melee, meanwhile, is still tremendous, and I don’t think anyone’s come even close to topping it in the 18 or so months since launch. It is a shame, though, not to see any truly new weapons or tools added to this update. Nothing you’ll find in the supply crates will do much more than replenish your supplies back home. You’ll also encounter the same old issues like the troublesome human AI, which often fails to make sense of a given situation. There is an upgrade to your flashlight that adds an interesting little catch to some of the later levels but, again, this is really Skydance doing the best with the tools it already has more than it is crafting something truly new.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Aftershocks Review: Final Impressions
And that’s okay. Aftershocks is, quite simply, more of the Saints & Sinners you love. It extends the game’s original runtime by a few more welcome hours and gives you more excuses to visit Skydance’s stunning zombie sandboxes kitted out as an undead-chopping, Reclaimed-shooting juggernaut. It’s good to be back, even if we’re more than ready for a full sequel.
For more on how we arrived at this rating, read our review guidelines. What did you make of our The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Aftershocks review? Let us know in the comments below!
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