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I Expect You to Die Review: Burn After Playing

Four missions are all that stand between you and success. I Expect You to Die places you in the shoes of a spy as you undergo a series of puzzling scenarios, each with their own ways to succumb to the sweet cold of death. With a keen eye and a sharp mind, you may just live through it all. In fact, you certainly will succeed with enough stubborn perseverance, but not before you die…a lot.

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Spy Tip #1) Leave no book un-thrown.

After spending some (read: a considerable amount of) time throwing books around your office and pouring all your liquor on the table while smoking a stogie, you’ll eventually wander over to the “Start” button next to the projector. With the proper reel loaded, this will transport you to the preselected scenario. While there are only four of them, they are each unique in their precarious nature and will require a cautious series of actions to escape. You’ll find yourself rooted in the driver’s seat of a car on a plane, pretending to be a window washer, stuck in a submerged submarine, and lounging in a warm cabin room. That last one sounds cozy until the standing bear born of taxidermy starts shooting its crossbow at you.

Spy Tip #2) Putting a hat on the bear’s head does not calm the furry archer.

You’ll befriend death quickly–don’t feel bad, it happens to the best of spies. But thanks to the technological magic of virtual reality, you have more than one chance to get out alive. If you’re mindful of your surroundings, every death serves as a lesson to help you progress further in the next life. Armed with the knowledge of countless deaths before you, you can accomplish anything!

Some situations will leave you completely stumped as to what to do. Other solutions will come to you far more easily, but how to go about accomplishing them can be just as perplexing. Act too fast and you may find yourself running out of oxygen with a live grenade in your hand. Spy life.

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I Expect You to Die excels in providing you with a slew of problems that need to be solved. Figuring out the proper methodology on your own feels incredibly rewarding once that “Eureka!” moment happens, and the intensity of this fulfillment maintains a memorable impact throughout the game’s entirety.

Spy Tip #3) Dismantling a bomb? Chug a bottle of champagne beforehand to rid yourself of the nerves.

After the puzzle is pieced together, however, the gravity of discovery is considerably weakened. It’s a shame, really. There’s a wealth of fun to be had with I Expect You to Die, but the source of its satisfactory gameplay whittles down to completing seemingly trivial challenges after you beat the game.

Once you figure it out, you’re free to return to your office for the next briefing and a nice pat on the back. Accolades will be given to you upon meeting specific conditions like escaping in a certain amount of time and setting particular things on fire. Despite the game’s efforts to draw you back to previous scenarios, there’s just not much of an inherent motive to revisit any of them.

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Autonomous discovery and the corresponding gratification that comes with it makes I Expect You to Die a testament to how effective VR can be in terms of involvement. The game doesn’t hold your hand through any of its tasks–it leaves you alone as you rely on your own brain to overcome each and every obstacle. Because of this, I Expect You to Die granted me an undeniable sense of accomplishment from a simple series of epiphanies.

I Expect You to Die burns blindingly bright, but its marvel dissipates just a little too soon.

 

Review Statement: The author of this review received a PSVR code from the publisher for the purposes of this review.

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Zachery Bennett

The author Zachery Bennett

Zach’s eternal preoccupation with video games became cemented at an early age. His first memorable journey away from reality began with a text-based Football game on a dirty Apple II; he’s chased fantasy ever since. Having took English classes as electives in college, Zach decided to pull the trigger on a merger between the two obsessions.