I Expect You To Die is a fun and humorous spy experience from start to finish.
The phrase “No Mr Bond, I expect you to die” is a classic line from 1964 Bond film Goldfinger. This film and its entire franchise have heavily influenced this game. From the opening credits through to its spy-themed challenges, I Expect You To Die oozes James Bond influences that you can taste the Martini cocktails. If you ever find yourself shouting at the screen when agent 007 is struggling to get out of a compromising situation, then I Expect You To Die is right up your street.
After a visually stylish Bond intro credit sequence the game has you soon interacting with objects and learning the controls from the game’s main menu, or more specifically, your spy headquarters. By simply dropping in a mission tape reel into the projector on the desk in front of you, you’re soon given your first mission briefing.
The game features the four original missions and an additional two DLC missions, one that was released last year on other platforms and one new mission that was only just released this month. The first mission has you sitting in a car, whilst inside a flying cargo aeroplane. Your mission and the others that follow it is to escape from this very compromising situation. You can’t simply leave the car, you must exit in a more dramatic fashion – blow out the tail of the plane and drive your way out of the back of the flying plane.
The game is best played stationary whilst seated on the Oculus Quest, this is ideal if you are restricted for space around you or you prefer a less ‘active’ VR game. In each mission, you are usually sitting within the world around you, be it in a car, perched on a suspended window washing cradle, locked inside a submerged escape pod or behind a desk in a cosy log cabin. Using both of your Touch controllers to interact with objects in front of you. You can lean out to reach for switches and buttons, to turning dials, pulling levers, answering telephones and munch on doughnuts.
If interactable items are out of your reach you can highlight them and pull them towards you like some kind of Luke Skywalker force-pull move. This isn’t very James Bond-like, but to save reaching out in real-life, this is a good way for the game to create a deeper interactable environment. From your seated position you can access distant cupboards or pick up particular objects that are placed out of reach, doing so is mostly required to complete each mission.
Each mission has you escaping from your archnemesis, Zor, finding further intel of his cunning plans or simply stopping a global catastrophe that he has put in place. Along the way, you’ll have to use your brainpower and combine various objects around you to be able to open things up or get yourself out of a sticky situation. For example, find a knife inside a car’s glove box to cut the wires of ticking explosive bomb, pick up a window cleaner and brush to look less inconspicuous to security personal, to solving puzzles and burning paper documents with a lighter to reveal helpful hidden messages. Sometimes you can find things you think you may not think you need to use in order to complete each mission.
There are only five levels in this game, with another sixth new mission ‘Seat of power’ that was made available this month, at this time of reviewing. Overall, with each mission lasting around 7-10mins if you know what you’re doing, you can get over an hour of gameplay if you’re very smart, or a lot more if you have to retry many times. For your $24.99 on the Oculus Store, this might seem a little steep, but unless you’re getting help online, your time in the game will likely last a lot longer than you think.
For completionists, there is some additional replayability value out of each level by trying to beat your completion time or by finding all the souvenirs that are hidden in each mission. For me, I didn’t feel a desire to do any better or collect all the souvenirs. An online leaderboard could have added extra competition between your friends’ times, and I would have loved to see co-op based levels where you and a partner have to get yourself out of a situation, like in the castle scene in Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade.
I Expect You To Die is a fun and humorous spy experience from start to finish. Most players will likely not return to each mission once they have been completed, however, the game holds a great experience that’s narrated very comically, which as a whole, it makes the game great fun to playthrough. Knowing its developers are enhancing the game further by dropping in new free missions into the game, it is great to come back to now and then to see what sticky situation your agent finds themselves in next time.