If you think your life is bad or your S.A.D lamp has blown and you’re feeling down due to lack of exposure to the sun then you may like to take solace in the fact that there’s always someone who’s worse off than you, such as Dead Space 2’s Isaac Clarke, because Isaacs life is about to take a turn for the worse, and if he thought he had it bad in the original Dead Space then he’s just about to get a wakeup call..
Dead Space 2 has been with us for a week or so, and rather than rush out a review I thought it best to take some time to appreciate Viscerals finest.
We continue Isaac’s story three years after the original game, This time instead of being set on a spaceship DS2 is set in a huge space colony / city called Sprawl on one of Saturn’s moons, It’s here where we catch up with Isaac as he wakes from a daydream to find himself bound in a straitjacket and suffering from nightmarish hallucinations of his dead girlfriend.
The Original Dead Space wasn’t hyped as much as this sequel, and as a result it almost slipped under the radar for a lot of gamers, but for those of us who played the first game it became a game to remember for many reasons but mainly because it was full of edge of the seat action and suspense that would scare the pants of you, even when you had that knowing feeling that something was going to happen you’d still jump when it did, and the impressive highly detailed Zero-G sections that were unlike anything scene before and the unforgiving enemies, Dead Space 2 has all of this and more by the bucket load, with more zero g sections, a bigger necromorph invasion force, this time with added necromorph types that include hideous featureless childlike creatures with pointed limbs who attack you in packs, crawling baby like necromorphs who explode when they are near you, then there’s the Puker’s, who are similar to Left 4 Dead’s Boomers (albeit a lot trimmer), but instead of spewing bile at you the Puker’s spew acid from a distance accompanied with a blood-curdling scream. Isaac does have a bit more help this time round though in the form of new weapons which include a detonator gun that fires a tri-beamed laser which explodes when touched, and a Javelin Gun, a high-powered spear-gun like weapon that lets you fire bolts at enemies and impale them onto nearby crates or walls, and of course there’s the old favorites from the original game such as the line-cutter, the ripper and the flamethrower, all of which can be upgraded along with your rig and stasis modules at workbenches throughout the game by using power nodes collected on your travels.
There’s no HUD as such in Dead Space 2, the screen is left quite clear while in combat, this is partly to allow you to have a clear view of your surroundings and partly so that anything remotely scary still has the full impact of scaring the crap out of you, add to this one of the best in-game atmospheres there is with its outstanding graphics that this time round see more of those superbly crafted zero-gravity sections where Isaac is free to float around with the aid of little rockets and the almost perfect sound effects that have you wondering if that was a bit of trash moving behind you or a necromorph creeping up on you, this all makes for a truly immersive experience and that keeps you on your toes at all times, so much so that you’ll be grateful of those save points after a while so that you can take a breather (and turn the lights on if it’s getting dark outside)
Dead Space made great use of the Kinesis ability in Isaac’s suit which allowed him to pick up objects and either move them out of the way or fire them at enemies and objects, this system has now been greatly improved and made more responsive, so much so that it will now become part of your combat technique, and as with the original game ammo is in short supply so you may find yourself having to use Kinesis to pick up a severed limb and fire it at an approaching enemy, you’ll also use Kinesis and Stasis to manipulate objects to solve puzzles in order to progress through the game.
Unlike it’s predecessor Dead Space 2 has an eight player multiplayer mode in which 2 teams of four try to complete their objective, namely four human engineers try to achieve their goal while four necromorphs try to stop them (think of L4D but in space and you’ve got the idea), As with most online games if you’re in a party or lobby with a good bunch of players then the multiplayer can be a lot of fun.
In Summary Dead Space 2 has been vastly improved over the original game, with everything from the environments and sounds being tweaked so that the game pulls you in and completely immerses you, almost every aspect of game play has improved, and when you combine that with an engrossing storyline then you’re in for a good time, Well, unless you suffer from a nervous disposition, in which case I’d recommend you don’t play through while on your own.
Dead Space 2. Xbox 360, PS3, PC