Saw Hands On

The serial killer Jigsaw is back for more blood in this digital installment in the universe.

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Konami has a certain pedigree when it comes to mature, dark content, including Silent Hill, Castlevania, and, soon, Lords of Shadow. It has another title in the works to add to the collection: Saw, the game based on the horror film franchise of the same name. Like the movies, the game will pit characters against Jigsaw with a range of life-or-death puzzles to solve if they hope to survive.

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The game is set between the events in Saw and Saw 2, and in the films' style, it throws a lot of puzzles at you from the outset. The level we played starts off with you strapped to a chair and a cutscene featuring Jigsaw spewing his unreasonable demands at you via a TV set. A mask capable of decapitating is attached to your face, and you have a short period of time to remove it via a series of quick-time events that include spinning the analog sticks and mashing buttons. After you remove the mask, you have to work out how to exit the padlocked room you're in.

There are plenty of puzzles to keep you working hard for your freedom. The padlock code is sprayed (in reverse) across the bathroom stalls, and by closing the doors and looking in a mirror you can get the three-digit code. The next room requires some teamwork with a fellow inmate in the adjacent room. Blocks of dynamite hanging from the ceiling are timed to explode unless you can find a fuse to insert into a fusebox , thereby unlocking the door. The fuse, however, is at the bottom of a gritty toilet filled with used syringes. You need to pull out a syringe, via a quick-time event, before you pass out from the pain. After jiggling around for a while we managed to fish it out and save ourself, and our partner, from a grizzly death.

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Saw certainly looks like an interesting approach to the survival horror genre, combining traditional action adventure gameplay with puzzle solving and quick-time elements. The game is headed to the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC this year.

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