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PS4 (PSVR) Game Review

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I Expect You to Die 2
The Spy and the Liar


Format: PS4 (PSVR)
Publisher: Schell Games
Developer: Schell Games
RRP: £19.99
Click here to buy -
Age Restrictions: 7+
Release Date: 24 August 2021

Welcome back, Agent! Right now, Zoraxis believes you are dead. To capitalize on this moment, we are sending you deep undercover to explore some diabolical intelligence the Agency has received regarding Zoraxis’ move for world domination. Here’s what we can tell you now...your first mission is to protect the prime minister, who is attending a theater production featuring world-famous actor and celebrity John Juniper...

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After each mission you return to your agency truck, which is kitted out with the latest technology (for the '60s), to plan your next move

I Expect You to Die 2 is the sequel to Schell Games's original 2016 game. It's a spy puzzle game that is presented in an escape room style. Each scenario sees you seated in a confined space. All of the tools to complete the level are there... you just have to find them and work out how to use them. One thing is guaranteed: You WILL die and often. At other times you'll be stuck scratching your head. The trick is to look through everything in the room and then look again... and eventually everything clicks into place. And when that happens you feel like a real secret agent.

I've had this game on preorder for a little while and I originally planned to play it 1 second after midnight as soon as it was available to download. However, life got in the way and I ended up loading it up at a sensible hour after a good night's sleep. And I have to say, I've glad I did. You really need to be alert and refreshed if you're going to take in all the information that's thrown at you. Sure, some of it is set dressing that won't help you at all, but there might be the occasional snippet of useful information - and it helps to flesh out the characters in the story.

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After a successful mission you can quaff champagne and treat yourself to an edible snack

One of the beautifully compelling things about replaying each level, as you try to fathom everything out, is how quickly you can actually get back to where you left off. While it can take a little time to figure out the clues when you first start each level, once you know what's expected of you, you can quickly get back to the moment you previously failed, avoid that error and... er... make another one that will see you back where you started. To be fair there are not that many instant death instances but they're amusing, and sometimes shocking, when they do happen.

I saw the opening credit sequence, which like the first game has a Bond-esque song and title sequence, online weeks before the game released and I thought "Ah, that's okay. But it's not as good as the first game." And then when I experienced it in VR... a shiver went down my spine. It's a whole other matter when you're immersed in the sequence.

The gameplay is identical to the first game (why fix something that isn't broken?) with you being able to use telekinetic powers to reach things out of grasp and pull them towards you, as well as leave them floating in midair so that you can find them easily in a hurry (and for useful items you really will need quick and easy access to them).

One thing that is different is that this game incorporates a little combat... sort of... I don't want to spoil anything, so I won't go into details. But even here you can, for the most part, avoid some of that combat. And this is the beauty of the game, while parts of it have to be completed in a certain order for you to move onto the next part, you can still use a little flair to get the job done.

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The game opens with another homage to the James Bond movies

And once you've completed the levels you can go back and find all the hidden collectables, secret tasks as well as try and beat the time runs that the developers have set. In all honesty once you know how to finish each level (and you should be able to actually complete the game in a lazy afternoon - unless you get really stumped) you can run through them again in almost no time at all. The layer upon layer of puzzle means that once you've completed it, you should be able to put the game aside for a few months and return to and you'll still have some elements that will have you trying to remember what to do.

The game punishes those who try to be too clever. There was one part where I knew I needed to stop the flow of a battery to a microchip and I tried just about every tool at my disposal... but in the end I accidentally stumbled upon the answer and I was left smacking my forehead in disbelief at how stupid I'd been.

There's plenty of hats and fancy dress items to try on (and DO try them on, as you'll not only get the occasional amusing reaction from the other characters, but they can also house clues that you'll need).

Jared Mason returns to voice "the agent in your ear" and Wil Wheaton appears as actor John Juniper (a star that "the agent in your ear" has always wanted to meet).

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"Pay no attention to that undercover agent behind the curtain"

There were a few minor issues I had, but I'm sure these will be patched in the coming months. Firstly I had to reset levels because an item I needed had fallen into an area that wouldn't let me reach it. There was one instance where I put a mask into the dumbwaiter and Juniper refused to acknowledge it (despite the fact you need to do this to progress the level and I'd done it successfully in previous play throughs - and after restarting the level it worked fine). But possibly the most annoying element is that it's too easy to flick switches when you don't mean to. One instance is in the surveillance van you return to between levels. It's very easy to hit the eject button accidentally on the mission tape. And on one of the levels there is a security monitoring screen that is very easy to switch on/off accidentally. But, as I said before, these are only minor issues and certainly nothing that should spoil your enjoyment of the game too much.

While it might be a fairly short game, it's one you'll want to revisit and it's also a great game to watch someone else play as you chuckle waiting for them to open that drawer or eat that food item that will mean instant death. Also, as they did with the first installment, there's a good chance that Schell will release more levels in the form of a free DLC pack in the future.

Another slice of escape room fun that constantly surprises and delights.


Darren Rea

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