I Expect You To Die 3 Review: How Virtual Reality Works

By | August 19, 2023

The spy adventure I Expect You To Die 3 sends you on a secret VR mission for the third time. How does the VR game fare in our Meta Quest 2 review?

I’ve been poisoned, thrown out of a moving car, accidentally hit in the head with a pipe wrench, and blown up with explosive vodka. The VR game “I Expect You To Die 3: A Cog in the Machine” lives up to its name and lets me jump off virtual cliffs as Agent Phoenix over and over again. Read my review to find out if the creativity of the latest installment in the VR puzzle series extends beyond the on-screen deaths.

I Expect You To Die 3 review in a nutshell

I Expect You To Die 3 is a VR game as it should be. Interactive, creative and accessible. The intuitive controls and high comfort levels make it a great experience even for VR newbies. The spy story is full of funny clichés and made me smile again and again. Add to that challenging puzzles and creative level design. This is VR at its best – more of that, please!

Available for: Meta Quest 2, Quest 3, Quest Pro, SteamVR

Primarily tested on: Meta Quest 2

You should play I Expect You To Die 3 if…

  • you liked the first two parts
  • you love crunchy VR puzzles
  • agent parodies like Austin Powers are right up your alley

I Expect You To Die 3 is less suitable for you if…

  • you have enough of the agent setting after two parts
  • you don’t like puzzles in general
  • you don’t like playing VR games sitting down

Grandly staged escape room for secret agents

I Expect You To Die 3 starts with a short tutorial before sending you into one of the best intro scenes since VR gaming. Inspired by the classic James Bond films, you’ll slide through seamless scenes accompanied by the shadow of the antagonist and a great song that could easily be from the next Bond film.

The third part of the Secret Agent saga is, like its predecessors, a virtual escape room at its core. Each mission throws me into a new scenario and I have to figure out what to do. Only by inspecting my surroundings can I make progress.

There is a lot of attention to detail in the level design and countless agent clichés that always make me smile. Particularly commendable is the consistently high quality of all the voice actors, who accompany my sometimes absurd actions with amusing comments.

Clear puzzles and lots of interactivity

In drawers, cupboards, notes or audio logs, I find clues that lead me closer to my goal. Sometimes I have to find a hidden computer, sometimes I have to outsmart a robot or outsmart a fingerprint scanner.

I can try everything the environment has to offer and create a lot of nonsense that will lead me to screen death again and again. VR agents need to use a lot of brain power to get through the campaign. The puzzles are sometimes quite difficult, but always fair.

A touch of Rogue-like

The deaths described at the beginning are programmatic. If you press the wrong button or accidentally mix two incompatible liquids, the mission ends prematurely and you have to start over. There are no checkpoints within a mission, which can be frustrating at times.

The returning “Robutler” provides some laughs in I Expect You To Die 3. | Image: Schell Games

Especially when you fail the same puzzle multiple times and have to repeat all the previous ones before you are allowed to try again. In most cases, however, I said goodbye with a laugh and was motivated to do better next time.

Still, a discreet hint function would have been nice. In an instant, you can skip the current mission in the accessibility settings and tackle the next task. Of course, you’ll miss out on all the side quests, quests, and story interludes. Your companion will at least give you a brief summary of what happened.

Smart telekinesis function and seated action

I Expect You To Die 3 is played in a seated position, but that doesn’t mean there’s no action in the game. There are car chases, gunfights and other confrontations that never fail to surprise.

Fortunately, Agent Phoenix has a telekinetic chip implanted in his brain to reach all objects in the room during the puzzle stages. Using the joystick and a trigger button held down, I can move objects through the air or flip remote control switches and levers.

The puzzles in I Expect You To Die 3 are always challenging, but never unfair. | Image: Schell Games

As a lot of things gather around me during a mission, it can quickly become confusing. Here I Expect You To Die 3 tries to keep order with a freeze function. If I move an object using telekinesis, I can “anchor” it in the air by pressing a button, do something else, and come back to it later.

That way I don’t have to keep searching for new places to store things. The operation is easy to use and very intuitive. Only in time-critical puzzles, where I have to quickly move several objects around, can the operation become a bit cumbersome.

Summary: I Expect You To Die 3 – Spy fun with head-scratching puzzles

Developer Schell Games manages to capture the charm of the old spy movie classics and wrap it in a challenging, entertaining and technically flawless VR game. Garnished with a pinch of humor that is never overbearing, great voice acting, a good story and a lot of attention to detail, the third installment in the series is also consistently fun.

The puzzles are always challenging, increasing in difficulty over the course of the missions, and always remain fair. Just a little hint function for the really hard heads wouldn’t have gone amiss. Since there are no checkpoints within the missions, it can quickly lead to moments of frustration where the knot just won’t work out.

You can buy I Expect You To Die 3 here

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