Ever see James Bond caught up in a villain’s elaborate trap and thought to yourself, ‘I bet I could work out how to survive that’? Well, I Expect You To Die 2, the sequel to developer Schell Games’ 2016 virtual reality escape room-style spy caper, challenges you to do so. With a selection of dastardly traps to deal with through clever sleuthing, it makes for an entertaining time too – even if you will die a LOT.
But I mean, c’mon, the game expects you to die, right?
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Much like the original, I Expect You To Die 2 sees playing facing off against the enigmatic yet undeniably villainous organisation Zoraxis, who, of course, are trying to achieve world domination. It’s up to you to go undercover across six different locales to unravel their schemes, though this brings with it a severe risk of death. Who said being a super spy was easy? It’s up to you to complete your mission, all whilst evading the many, MANY traps that are set for you in each location.
It’s your typical spy story for the most part, with espionage and sneaky plans at the forefront. That’s not to say that you won’t get absorbed into the tale though, especially with the likes of Wil Wheaton voicing a character in the story and with the brilliant introduction that will make you feel like you’re a part of the latest James Bond movie.
Where I Expect You To Die 2 truly shines is with its gameplay, with the conundrums players face testing their observation, logic, and survival skills in a multitude of ways. It’s all about quick thinking and using the objects around you in creative ways, with almost everything having a purpose – that purpose might be to kill you, sure, but it means you’ve got to be zoned in on your surroundings.
“Where I Expect You To Die 2 truly shines is with its gameplay, with the conundrums players face testing their observation, logic, and survival skills in a multitude of ways.”
Each of the six levels keep the player sitting in one spot, so it’s certainly one of the more comfortable experiences available in virtual reality. You’ve got special telekinetic gloves on too, so anything in the environment can be pulled to you. Whilst this is commonplace on the platform, I always appreciate it when games give it a bit of context. Items that are dropped out of sight are given a blue silhouette too, so it’s always easy to know where they are and how to grab them again.
On the other hand, the puzzles are perplexing and will test players in a variety of ways. Players will have to look around their entire surroundings, all whilst opening drawers and cupboards and examining every object they find carefully. I Expect You To Die 2 doesn’t offer much in the way of clues to lead you on, with the player expected to unravel everything. When you do figure out a puzzle and see progress, you’ll access new items that’ll help push you forward that bit further. The best thing to compare it to is an escape room, where the pieces slowly start to fall in place and you begin to understand the bigger picture.
But be warned: some seemingly innocuous objects may actually cause your demise if you aren’t careful. I mean, who would have thought a bottle of wine could home some poisonous gas? Or that a laser would blast at you from nowhere? Or that an axe would fall from the ceiling? These are just a few examples of ways you can die too, with the game certainly getting VERY creative when it comes to your demise.
It’s almost like a rogue-like in design, with each death seeing players start over but now having that bit of extra experience to solve each puzzle a lot quicker or try a new idea the next time around.”
Foiling these attempts on your life is a real joy, with some particularly creative means required to stop them. My personal favourite was blocking a laser with a metal plate cover and using the deflected beam to my advantage, but there were plenty of creative solutions that made for some real ‘eureka!’ moments. It always brought a smile to my face when I was caught off-guard and killed, though that smile would get bigger when I figured out how to stop it.
It all comes together nicely to make for a genuinely enthralling experience, with the enigmas and trap design really testing players’ puzzle-solving mettle. It’s almost like a rogue-like in design too, with each death seeing players start over but now having that bit of extra experience to solve each puzzle a lot quicker or try a new idea the next time around. There’s a bit of trial-and-error involved, but it’s so clever in design that players should be able to figure things out through their own mistakes… mostly. Either way, it makes for a whole lot of fun.
The only real flaw is that it’s over so soon. It took me around two-hours to beat I Expect You To Die 2 which I managed in one sitting, whilst missions can easily be beaten in minutes the second time around once you know the solution. There are some collectibles to grab along the way, but it won’t prolong the experience by too much. Of course, this length will vary depending on how good players are at solving the game’s puzzles, but it will leave you wanting more – if only because you were having such a good time playing.
I Expect You To Die 2 Summary
I Expect You To Die 2 is a cleverly designed experience that combines some great puzzles with dastardly traps in an elaborately entertaining fashion. I had a whole lot of fun unravelling its many deadly conundrums, whilst even suffering the many, many deaths never grew tiresome – especially since it’s so satisfying when you finally figure out how to foil each attempt on your life.
Whether you’re a fan of the original looking for more spy capers or simply enjoy some gruelling puzzling, I Expect You To Die 2 is an easy title to recommend for virtual reality gamers.
Developer: Schell Games
Publisher: Schell Games
Platform(s): Oculus Quest 2 (Reviewed), Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Valve Index