The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners remains one of the most interesting VR experiences out there right now. Launched in 2020 by Skydance Interactive, this took the popular Walking Dead universe to a tense situation in a drowned out New Orleans where players had to not only survive the undead, but also two factions fighting it out over the scraps of the once great city. Flash forward a few years later, Skydance is preparing the next big thing in The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners with Chapter 2: Retribution, and we were fortunate enough to be given an in-depth peek at what’s coming when we return to post-apocalyptic NOLA.
The Tower stands tall
If you’ve played any amount of The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners then you probably know about the Tower, one of the two major factions at odds in the core game. The Tower survives in Chapter 2 and is more aggressive than ever. Now, in addition to guarding their facilities, they have armed patrols walking the streets, picking off Walkers and any survivors that would dare challenge their authority. You can either navigate stealthily around them or challenge them head-on. There might even be loot worth taking if you can bring them down. Either way, they’ll be a constant challenge in the new campaign as you work to navigate the continued tensions of New Orleans.
New to Chapter 2 is Night Mode. Now, instead of retreating back to your camp when it hits dark, you can stay out. However, this a dangerous endeavor. More Walkers are present at night, and they’re highly attracted to light sources such as your flashlight. That said, if you brave the dangers, you can find backpacks full of resources and other rewards awaiting you in the dark alleys of the city. You can also utilize unique resources to distract the Walkers at night such as flares. By cracking and throwing a flare, you can make a temporary light source and attract Walkers to a location out of your way (very handy when you need to get the goods and jet on out of there).
Also new to your journeys in Saints & Sinners - Chapter 2 is the addition of the French Quarter. Previously unreachable, this new area contained the party life of the city. It’s a bit more dead these days (pun definitely intended), but there’s plenty of action to be had for those who stay awhile and scope it out. During our session, we got to see a quest in which a priest has us break into a secret speakeasy bar in the French Quarter to find a precious item for him. Once again, players will find there are multiple ways to go about any objective, as there are bolted doors, electrical systems, and more to discover and interact with in the course of the mission.
Watch your head, because there are also falling Walkers in Chapter 2 that can drop from ceiling areas and balconies to ambush you. This is especially prevalent inside multi-tiered buildings with open second floors. In the speakeasy, when an electrical system set off music, it created enough noise to stir a collection of Walkers who stumbled in from the ground floor and also tumbled off of ledges to get the literal drop on us.
If only they were the worst of our worries. There’s also a big new brute wandering around New Orleans in Chapter 2: Retribution. Called the Axeman, he won’t make with the pleasantries if you run into him. Mostly, this hulking figure will try to bury his hefty fire axe in your noggin. We only got to see a little bit of the brute during the preview, but it seems as though he’ll be a persistent and deadly threat throughout the new content.
The Walking Dead gets groovy
It’s true that nothing comes easy in this version of the Big Easy, but we won’t be without new implements to deal with the escalating threats. Skydance Interactive has brought quite a few new toys for survivalists to get familiar with. Chief among them is a chainsaw. You’ll want to be on the lookout for this bulky implement as it serves as one of the most prominent new melee options in Saints & Sinners - Chapter 2.
Skydance was really proud of its chainsaw. It must be activated with the pull cord and handled with both hands. It also features haptic mechanics where the blade can get stuck inside enemies and you actually have to force it through. The weapon is extremely visceral and could become an instant favorite for those checking out the new content as you rend the flesh of encroaching hordes with it.
For those who like to fight from a distance, there are plenty of other useful implements as well. Why not pair your chainsaw with a new crafted sawed-off shotgun? This handheld sawed-off features no stock and two barrels. It can be handled with one hand and packs a punch when you let the buckshot rip into enemies at close range. You might also want to use it with the new crafted submachine gun. This makeshift machine pistol offers light firepower, but at rapid fire. You can spray and pray or grab it with both hands to focus your shots on where they need to go. You can also double wield the sawed-off and SMG to become a veritable tornado of close and mid-range gunfire.
Also new is the laser sight attachment. This little gadget can be attached to nearly any firearm weapon, including the bow and arrows. With it, you can get a better sighting on your enemies and targets, placing more frequent headshots. It looks like a versatile tool that any shooting enthusiast should always be on the lookout for. Finally, Skydance teased that there will be more crafted gear on the way in Retribution as well. We can reportedly look forward to new materials, recipes, and even new crafting tables to further specialize our gear. More on this will be revealed later.
Not the French Quarter you saw in the postcard
All in all, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners - Chapter 2: Retribution is shaping up to be a lot more of a good thing. Just in this preview, we got to see new weapons, craftable gear, locations like the French Quarter, narrative with The Tower and other survivors, and deadly new threats like the Axeman. The new content looks like it will provide a ton of new and immersive zombie-slaying, survival action. We only had a taste here, but if what we saw was any indication, Skydance's VR update to the Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners will be a gift that keeps on giving.
These impressions are based on a hands-off preview demonstrated by the publisher. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners - Chapter 2: Retribution is set to arrive sometime in late 2022, on most VR platforms including SteamVR and Meta Quest 2.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, TWD: Saints & Sinners - Chapter 2: Retribution goes big in the French Quarter
Hell yes. I really need to finish the first.