Enter the hazard-ridden world of espionage as a super secret agent attempting to thwart the evil schemes of the nefarious Zoraxis organisation as you try to dodge all manner of death traps in bond-style satire I Expect You to Die 2.
You’ve seen it on the screen a million times, either played out in film or the classic adventure games of olde where one wrong move could be the last of the intrepid hero. I Expect you to Die 2 is a follow up to Schell Games’ original outing of the same name where the power of Virtual Reality places you in the middle of a plethora of deadly situations with the aim of surviving and saving the world.
Riffing off of one of the most famous retorts in film history, much of the premise of I Expect you to Die 2 will be familiar to anyone who has watched any number of spy-driven espionage thrillers. Booby traps, deadly contraptions and killer agents are thrown at you, where every choice can lead to progress or instant death. Rather than the standalone scenarios delivered by the first game, I Expect you to Die 2 delivers a joined up narrative following an actor — Jon Juniper — who is voiced by Wil Wheaton in a cat and mouse style thriller across a number of chapters.
Whilst an initial look may have you thinking I Expect you to Die is a full locomotive experience, you might be surprised to know it’s built for seated play. You will absolutely need some room to reach and stretch, but for anything out of reach I Expect you to Die 2 employs a simple plot device. All agents are chosen due to their telekinetic abilities, so accessing buttons, switches, levers or any manner of objects is as simple as pointing and clicking; which the tutorial does a great job of emphasising as your default tool rather than physically reaching.
Missions are all started in situ, meaning you are already at the location you need to be and have access to everything you need to succeed whether you know it or not. As each chapter unfolds, certain objectives are delivered with a number of time sensitive sections to be completed to successfully save the world. The source material inspires the gameplay so you can expect lasers, gas, saws, bombs and bullets aplenty.
Bad decisions are not always the end however and it’s possible to dodge and reset rather than suffer instant death. Death can be pretty quick though and will have you jumping when the end is coming toward your eyeballs at speed. There’s also a multitude of options and dialogue depending on how you approach the circumstances; as a poison dart flies toward you, do you use the appropriately placed shield or just the wooden clipboard to stop it mid-flight? Do I shoot the agent with the gun or throw that dart back at him? Lots of options and each is one effective in its own way making the gameplay hilarious at times.
Although learning the safe path through each scenario can take some time, the fun isn’t over even if you have it down to a tee. Speedrunning levels in I Expect You to Die 2 rewards players with a full set of spy inspired watches for beating specific times in each level in addition to a number of collectable items to hunt for in your playthrough.
Action can be fairly fast moving but the implementation is solid in both handling and from a virtual perspective, there’s so much interaction on offer than both hand controls and telekinesis need to be rock solid to keep from ruining the immersion and the seated gameplay avoids and bouts of VR sickness from creeping in.
The answers are not always obvious and sometimes they’re hidden smartly in plain sight. Players shouldn’t expect to waltz through with some sharp wit. It’s hard, it’s meant to be, so enjoy the experience and experiment since the levels are a great sandbox of interactivity to have fun in.
From the moment it opens and you leave the Bond-Style cinematic introduction; through to the anxiety-inducing deathtraps of the final level; I Expect You to Die 2 improves on every aspect of the original and places the sequel as the standout release in escape room puzzle games.