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Saw (video Game)

Saw (video Game)

Saw (video Game)

Saw, also known as Saw: The Video Game, is a survival horror video game that was developed by Zombie Studios and published by Konami. The game launched on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, with a downloadable version released soon after for the Microsoft Windows platform. The game was first released on October 6, 2009, in North America and was released later that year in other regions. The Microsoft Windows version was released on October 22, 2009. Being a tie-in game of the Saw film series, the game is set between the first and second films.

In Saw, The Jigsaw Killer has healed Detective David Tapp from his gunshot wound, and places him in an abandoned insane asylum to teach him a lesson in life appreciation. Obsessed, Tapp traverses the asylum and gathers clues along the way in hopes of finally apprehending Jigsaw. As he progresses through the asylum, he encounters several people with past and current connections to him, whom he must save. The asylum also has inhabitants who are in games of their own, ordered to kill Tapp. Along the way, Tapp uncovers the origins of Jigsaw and the motives behind his tests. The development team brought in the Saw creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell to write a new storyline and create new trap designs exclusive to the game.

Upon release, Saw received mixed reviews. It was praised for the storyline and multiple endings, as well as the immersive environment that is true to the Saw film series. The controls and combat system, however, were panned by critics. Since Konami purchased the publishing rights after former publisher Brash Entertainment went bankrupt, Konami had a significant input on the games' final outcome. They stated that they had plans to make Saw their next big franchise as well as a spiritual successor to their other survival horror series, Silent Hill. A sequel, Saw II: Flesh & Blood, was released on multiple platforms on October 19, 2010. Later in 2009, it was banned in several countries, including Australia.

Saw (video Game) Plot

The story centers on the kidnapping of David Tapp by The Jigsaw Killer. During the first Saw film, Tapp witnessed his longtime friend and partner, Detective Steven Sing, fall victim to one of Jigsaw's traps. This left Tapp mentally unstable and he was soon discharged from the police force. Later, Tapp was shot in the chest by Zep Hindle after chasing him in pursuit of Jigsaw. Jigsaw had Tapp healed and concealed a key in his chest. Tapp was then placed in an abandoned insane asylum. Tapp wakes up in a bathroom with the Reverse Bear Trap on him. He quickly pulls it off and ventures into the rest of the asylum. He is led to a medical wing by another victim of Jigsaw, only to be betrayed by the man. Tapp learns that he is being hunted by other victims in the asylum who need the key inside his chest to escape their own games. In the medical wing, Jigsaw informs Tapp that there is a woman trapped in the area who needs Tapp's help to survive. He quickly deciphers that it is Amanda Young, whom Tapp interviewed after she survived her first test. He saves Amanda, and she follows Tapp until a mysterious figure called Pighead captures her to fake her escape; she is actually Jigsaw's secret apprentice.

Tapp is forced to move further into the asylum, where he is captured by Pighead and is placed in the Shotgun Collar, which is later used in Saw III. Still in the trap, Tapp finds a second victim who is being held by Jigsaw. The victim, Jennings Foster, blames Tapp for being in his trap and thus harbors hatred for him. Tapp finds Jennings in a Pendulum Trap similar to the one used in Saw V. Tapp releases Jennings, who quickly runs away, believing that Tapp would get him killed if he stayed with him. Tapp moves on to find the next victim left behind by Jigsaw. He traverses the asylum and is led to the grave of his former partner Detective Steven Sing. It is there that Tapp discovers that Jigsaw has captured Melissa Sing, Detective Sing's widow. She has become a neglectful parent and is convinced that it is Tapp's fault that her husband was killed. Melissa is found in an Iron Maiden-esque Trap with spinning blades that will mangle her body should the device close on her. Jigsaw informs her that Tapp did not call for backup when searching Jigsaw's lair and that every one of the traps there could have been easily avoided by using standard police procedure, which makes Tapp responsible for his partner's death. Tapp saves Melissa. She says Jigsaw gave her the option to leave Tapp, so she quickly runs away. Tapp is beginning to learn that these people all have a dark connection to him. He proceeds to the offices of the building and finds Oswald McGullicuty in the next Jigsaw trap. Jigsaw felt that Oswald was perverting his message, and so he was placed into a Folding Table Trap, which would snap his body in half if Tapp failed to save him. Tapp saves Oswald, but he is swiftly killed by a compacting metal slab before either have a chance to react.

Jigsaw then leads Tapp to the asylum's crematorium, where he informs Tapp that some people actually desire his tests, much to Tapp's surprise. At the crematorium is Obi Tate, an arsonist who had put advertisements in the newspaper seeking for Jigsaw to test him. Tapp saves him from a burning furnace, but Obi is still frustrated because he wanted to survive his own test. Feeling that Tapp is throwing away a gift from Jigsaw, Obi runs away. Tapp then ventures through a theater, where he finds evidence that a former Jigsaw victim being held there. He soon finds that it is Jeff Thomas, the man who was saved by Sing while he and Tapp were in Jigsaw's lair. Jeff has since become suicidal from Tapp's incessant questioning, and has been recaptured by Jigsaw. Tapp saves Thomas from a wall of spikes. Thomas is still frustrated and confused, so he runs away, wounded. As this was the last victim in the asylum, Tapp is free to pursue Jigsaw, but encounters Pighead again. Jigsaw informs Tapp that Pighead wishes to surpass Jigsaw and sabotage Tapp's game, so he must be stopped. Tapp confronts and kills Pighead; Jigsaw labels him a murderer, in order to get a key to proceed.

Saw (video Game) Gameplay

Saw is primarily a third-person survival horror game with action elements. The player controls David Tapp, a former detective trapped in the Jigsaw Killer's asylum filled with traps. The primary goal of the game is to traverse the asylum and solve traps in order to escape. Tapp has several abilities in the game, such as the ability to search things like toilets and corpses to find items such as weapons, health, or clues he can use to fulfill his objectives. However, he does not have the ability to pick up shoes from corpses. Items such as case files and cassette tapes are found hidden around the asylum, and provide additional information about the asylum's past and give background information about certain victims.

David Tapp in a bathroom with letters written on the stall doors.

Tapp in a non-combat stance attempting to solve an environmental puzzle

The game's combat system allows the character to block, counter-attack, and perform attacks to fend off enemies. Tapp is able to stomp. There are over eighteen different weapons available to players, including lead pipes, mop handles, firearms, and explosives. Certain weapons may also be used for other purposes, such as cutting open a body to search inside, or breaking down a molding wall to reveal hidden paths. Weapons in the game deplete upon use in real time until they are rendered unusable. As a way to avoid combat, Tapp has the ability to rearm or place certain traps after activating them. For example, he can electrify water puddles or create and place explosive mines on one of "Jigsaw's Worktables". Tapp's health bar, once depleted, can only be restored by bandages or hypodermic needles, which can be stored in an inventory of items. When Tapp is losing health, the environment slowly fades to black-and-white until Tapp heals himself or dies.

At certain points in the game, the player will be joined by AI teammates that help Tapp. There are many points in the game where multiple paths are available that can be taken to avoid certain areas or uncover hidden items. Lighting plays a dynamic role in the game. While Tapp begins with a lighter, other light sources such as flashlights or camera flashes can be found later in the game. Minigames are a major part of the game. These include a searching game in which an X-ray view is used to avoid dangers like razors or syringes, and a game that involves grabbing a key before a "Pain meter" fills and wounds Tapp. Other puzzle minigames include powering fuse boxes, placing rotating gears in a box, and aligning steam valves. Doors rigged with shotguns attached to pulleys are in place all around the asylum. When the player encounters one of these doors, they must press a randomly assigned button before the pulley falls too far, or the gun will discharge. There are puzzles called "environmental traps", in which Tapp must use different elements in the environment, use the in-game camera, or go to certain locations to accomplish a task.

Reception
Saw received mixed reviews. The Xbox 360 version of the game currently holds an average score of 59 percent on the game aggregator Metacritic, based on 35 reviews; the PlayStation 3 version has 59 percent from 36 reviews. On another aggregator site, Game Rankings, the Xbox 360 version has a 60.89 percent score based on 27 reviews, while the PlayStation 3 has 58.57 percent from 23 reviews. The PC version holds a lower score of 44.33 percent, based solely on three reviews. On a third aggregate site, GameStats, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions hold a 6.4 and a 6.6 out of a possible 10, respectively. Although the game was nearly universally praised for the storyline and the two endings the game presented and critics consistently mentioned the immersive atmosphere and environment as being true to the Saw series, the quality level of puzzles were mixed, depending on the reviewer. The controls in general were not well received by many, and worse the combat system was panned by nearly every reviewer.

Official Xbox Magazine gave the game a 4.5 out of a possible 10, stating, "Whether you're swinging a pipe or a scalpel, the controls never feel responsive, and rotten collision detection will drive you mad before Jigsaw's twisted games even have the chance." David Clayman, writer for IGN, gave Saw a 7.5 out of a possible ten, earning it a rating of "Good". Clayman praised the unique take on the survival horror franchise and the omnipresence of Jigsaw, but criticized the repetitive puzzles and the flawed combat system. Clayman even called the combat the Achilles' heel of the game. He went on to say:

Overall, Saw is a welcome entry in the horror genre that provides a good dosage of thrills. Depending on your tolerance for repetition, it's a good way to test your nerves and scare yourself silly during a dark and stormy night.

While reviewing the game, many critics pointed out the quality of Guilbert's soundtrack. Eric Qualls praised the soundtrack, calling it a high point of the game. He stated that "The same sound effects and similar music and everything just sounds right". Qualls went on to compliment Tobin Bell's voice as a good addition to the music and the environment. Reviewer Kadath Bird noted the absence of the Hello Zepp theme, though the review did not comment on the soundtrack itself.

While Saw received mixed reviews, a general consensus among reviewers was that fans of the film series would enjoy it. Reviewer for Xbox 360 Achievements Alan Pettit wrote that while he enjoyed the game, it was not an outstanding title. Pettit commented that the game suffered due to the choice of Zombie Studios as the developer and that the franchise could be successful if a sequel was made with changes in developer and budget. Although he claimed it was repetitive, Pettit mentioned that "If there was only one thing the game did well, I'd say the puzzles that are put before you are excellently constructed, well thought out and best of all, difficult enough that you may not get it on your first attempt." The resulting score from Pettit's review was a 74 out of 100.


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