When we first reviewed Schell Games’ I Expect You To Die all the way back in 2016, we said this:
“Between the motion controls and the immersive view of virtual reality, I Expect You To Die does a good job of putting you there in complex and sometimes dangerous situations […] And like the name of this game implies, you will die, but you will learn from that death and maybe use an object in the correct way the next go around. VR continues to reinvigorate the puzzle genre and IEYTD is no exception — even if its a bit shorter than we’d have liked.”
Nearly three years on, the VR puzzler makes its way onto Oculus Quest. Whereas some games have had to make a few sacrifices to fit on the Oculus standalone, I Expect You To Die is every bit as compelling as it was the first time around. In fact, thanks to Quest’s tether-free design and the addition of a new level, it’s even better than it was back in 2016.
If the game’s title didn’t make it obvious enough then the brilliantly-written opening song will; I Expect You To Die is a James Bond spoof. Espionage, puzzle-solving and close shave escapes await you in this charming adventure. Each of the game’s five levels is essentially a VR escape room challenge; you solve puzzles logically and occasionally avoid certain peril. They’re thrilling trial and error hurdles that get your brain ticking. Even if there are occasional road bumps, the eventual solutions never feel unfair or too obscure.
But it’s surprising just how fresh the game feels in 2019. I Expect You To Die is still one of the precious few VR games to really consider the player’s physical presence in the world, often forcing them to move and think fast. In one level I have to make a last-second dodge to avoid a laser beam ripping through my skull. In another I imitate being a window cleaner to avoid suspicion. There’s a real desire to make the most out of the platform here, making great use of Quest’s tracking.
Even with the new level, though I Expect You To Die is a bit on the short side. More content is coming and you can replay levels with speedruns and optional objectives in mind, but the package is still slim. Designing puzzles this intricate isn’t easy, especially if you want to avoid repeating yourself, so I understand the game’s brevity though it doesn’t stop me wanting more of it.
For a lot of games, the trade-off between power and portability from PC VR to standalone will be a matter of personal preference. In the case of I Expect You To Die, this is unquestionably the best way to play one of VR’s best puzzle games. Schell Games hasn’t sacrificed a slither of the original game’s charm in order to fit it onto the hardware. Zany puzzles and laughs await you in I Expect You To Die, making this one of Quest’s must-see launch titles.
I Expect You To Die will be available at the launch of Oculus Quest for May 21. Check out these official review guidelines to find out more about our process.