Saw 2: Flesh and Blood has such a promising opening, where you pry a key lodged in the flesh under your eye to unlock the bear-trap around your neck primed to snap. Pretty neat, huh? Well it's a pity the rest of the game is such a chore, with lackluster exploration, clumsy combat and generally poor visuals. Even the deaths fail to excite, falling back on tired Saw cliches. However, if torture-porn in videogame form is what you want, then you shall get it. And for a good price, too! Saw 2: Flesh & Blood is now just £19.85 at ShopTo. That's a mighty big saving of just about seven pounds. It's not for the squeamish, however. If slicing into your own virtual flesh with a rusty scalpel upsets your insides, this might not be for you, I'm afraid.
If you're a fan of the Saw francise then the chances are you're more than a little open to the idea of a juicy bit of torture porn and if there is one thing that can be said for Flesh & Blood it's that it has gory torture scenes aplenty. It's certainly reminiscent of the film series but unfortunately it's just not very good; the combat and puzzle segments really come up short and the whole affair is actually surprisingly dull.
As a license, Saw might not seem like the perfect fit for a videogame. The films rely on the audience's lack of participation, unable to intervene and rescue Jigsaw's hapless victims from yet another death-trap, instead forced to watch actions unfold in gruesome detail. 'Torture-porn', however, is a genre with untapped potential on videogames, a medium obsessed with blood, guts and viscera.
But what can you expect from Saw II: Flesh and Blood? Is it a worthy successor to the films, capable of picking up the mantle when the series ends this year with the final 3D iteration? Or is it, like Jigsaw himself, twisted and doomed to die?
Saw II: Flesh and Blood begins with a bang. Well, actually, more like a slice. Michael Tapp, son of the first game's David, wakes up on Jigsaw's operating table, what looks like a bear-trap attached to his neck and primed to snap. Jigsaw, via his usual method of communication, an old TV, informs Michael that the key to unlocking the trap is nearby. Did I say nearby? Sorry. I meant near his eye. In as underneath it. Flesh and blood, indeed.
Now I'm not squeamish. But drawing a scalpel to Michael's swollen eye, and dragging it along the stitched-up wound to pry the key loose from its fleshy tomb, was an unsettling experience. Unsettling, but true to the series, and ripe with potential. I was impressed, and suitably rattled. Forcing the audience to become the participant in a trademark Saw scenario was executed with aplomb.Click here to read the rest of Felix's review...