The sit down spy is back.
I Expect You To Die 2 has my favourite opening to any video game ever. The opening sequence – a clear riff on the James Bond movies – had me wide-eyed and smiling, and that expression stayed on my face for most of the game’s running time.
Release Date: August 24th, 2021
Developer: Schell Games
Publisher: Schell Games
Availability: PSN (Digital)
I Expect You To Die 2 carries over from the first game with you taking on the role of Agent Phoenix working for the agency, which is just a disembodied voice over the radio, piping exposition and the occasional hint into your ear.
You don’t need to have played the first game to follow the story, but you’ll definitely be at an advantage with the game’s puzzles if you’re already familiar with how Schell Games’ builds its intricate contraptions.
Although you don’t actually see many people during the course of the game – in fact, I think you only really see one character – the game still manages to spin a comedic story with a small cast of fun characters, with Wil Wheaton’s John Juniper being a real highlight of the game.
The missions that tie the tale together are essentially escape room puzzles. You’ll be presented with an area or a room and you’ll need to figure out its tricks and traps to survive. The twist is that what may seem like the logical choice may be the curtain call on your spy career. At least until you reload into the level and try again. And again. And again. Kind of like Groundhog Day.
You can’t move around the levels – you’re the sit-down spy – but your hands have telekinetic implants that allow you to interact with objects out of your reach. Jedi spy powers, basically.
Exploring each area and interacting with everything is only half the job. Once you’ve figured out what you need to do, you’ll then have to figure out how to do it. Take your time and you’ll die. Do it the wrong way and you’ll die. Do it the other wrong way and you’ll die.
Each death is a lesson learned, and, a little like Groundhog Day, you’ll come back with a little bit more information that’ll help you get a little bit further into the puzzle. Until you die again, of course. Don’t worry, though – it’s expected that you will perish…
I’ve been poisoned, shot, suffocated, stabbed with a broken glass bottle and more. Though… the glass bottle was my own doing as I accidentally jabbed my spy in the jugular. But I was rarely frustrated by failure. It was, mostly, quite funny to flick a switch or pull open a drawer and see the world fade to red as my spy kicked the bucket once again.
I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and Liar gets everything mostly right. I can’t complain about the controls, which makes a change seeing as I crap on the PS Moves every chance I get. I can’t moan about the visuals either as I Expect You To Die 2 leans into its stylised design and works with it. The music is top-notch, the story is silly fun, and the voice acting is superb. So what’s wrong with it?
It’s too good for its own good. I had so much fun playing it that when the credits rolled, I wanted more. But this is a puzzle game, and what fun is a puzzle if you already know the solution? You can try to get the speedrun times or collect all of the hidden trophies, but that’s not enough for me. I want more challenging scenarios to test my wit… and my patience. I want more over-the-top 60s style super villains and spys, gadgets and gizmos. I want more than Schell Games has given.
But can I really complain? No, not really. I Expect You To Die 2 is great value and you’re getting a fair amount of game for your money. I just hope we don’t have to wait too long for some DLC, because this story isn’t over yet…
I Expect You To Die 2 PSVR Review
Overall - Fantastic - 8/10
I Expect You To Die 2 delivers on its promise of a captivating, funny, and witty escape room puzzler. It’s challenging enough without being frustrating and it rewards experimentation. The only downsides are that it’s over too soon and the replayability just isn’t there.
- Brilliantly clever puzzles that are tricky but very doable
- Controls work well – no frustrations here
- The story is really good and begs to be expanded upon
- The voice acting is superb and Wil Wheaton is a real highlight here
- Unless you’re going for the trophies or speedrun times, there’s little reason to play again
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PSVR on PS5.