In 2008 gamers were introduced to a brand new survivor/horror game in Dead Space. It was unlike anything seen in a video game from the hideous monsters, to the creepy soundtrack and the unsettling environments. It set the bar for the survivor/horror genre. Despite a few setbacks it was still a great game. Three years later and we finally have the long-awaited sequel Dead Space 2. Is Issac Clarke’s second nightmare into space worth exploring? Read on to find out.
Dead Space 2 takes place on the Sprawl, a city built on a shard of Titan on one of Saturn’s moons. The game’s opening features Issac Clarke in the hospital with no memory of what has happened in the past three years. He is suffering from dementia and is haunted by the death of his girlfriend Nicole. Franco the protagonist from Dead Space Ignition gets killed as he is about to release Issac from the straitjacket. Afterwards, Issac gets contacted from a woman named Daina who guides him along the way. From that moment on Issac is on a desperate struggle to fight off the deadly Necromorphs. The game doesn’t waste a second in throwing enemies at you. It is always frantic and intense. Issac can hack devices which gives players some time to take a break from all the chaos.
Gameplay is still solid the second time around. It features a lack of HUD, such as the original. Moving around in Zero-G Gravity has been greatly improved. Issac can move in a full 360 degree angle, whereas in the original he had to point to a specific platform to leap to and was severely limited in movement. He can also hover around thanks to a jetpack. You can still upgrade weapons and armor via the shop. You still have the Plasma Cutter, Rivet Gun and Flamethrower. Though, my personal favorites are the Detonator and the Javelin Gun. The Javelin Gun does damage twice with one shot (first impales, and then shocks) giving the weapon more damage potential. With the shock-spears, you can also set up an ambush for enemies if you know where they appear. The Detonator is essentially a grenade launcher with the ability to fire sticky laser-mines. Issac Clarke can still stomp on enemies. He will be required to press the E button if an enemy grabs hold of him. Backtracking isn’t as common as in the original which is a great thing.
The graphics were great in the original game and look even better in Dead Space 2. Character models and the Necromorphs have more detail to them and move very realistically. The environments are very creepy and detailed. Blood is spilled by the gallons. Strategic dismemberment looks even more gruesome and is very satisfying. There is also a lot more variety in the environments that you explore when compared to the original. Zero-G Gravity looks very good as well. The PC version has additional graphical options that make the game look even better. The PC requirements are very similar to the original, but you are required to have a pretty decent machine in order to run the game.
The audio is really good. It features solid voice work from the characters. This time around Issac Clarke actually talks which is a good thing. The disturbing sounds that the Necromorphs make is eerie and adds to the already claustrophobic experience. The soundtrack is creepy as well. Weapons sounds are very realistic and pleasing to hear.
There are new Necromorphs in Dead Space 2 such as The Puker, The Nest, The Pack, The Crawler, The Stalker, and The Tripod. The game features returning Necromorps such as, The Divider, The Guardian, The Brute, The Infector, The Swarmer, Pregnant, The Leaper, The Exploder, The Lurker, and the Slasher. It’s nice to see some new Necromorph types mixed in with some new ones as well. The game will take 10-12 hours to beat on your first playthrough. You can also upgrade your suit, armor and weapons like you did in the original game. The game has a hardcore mode that can be unlocked after beating the game. You are only allowed to save your progress 3 times without any checkpoints.
There is multiplayer this time around. The mode pits two teams of four players against each other, one team consisting of humans trying to accomplish an objective, and the other consisting of Necromorphs, who are tasked with stopping the humans from accomplishing said objective. Each playable character has two weapons in their arsenal. New weapons and their secondary firing modes can be unlocked through level progression. Its pretty intense and hectic to say the least and rounds out an impressive package.
Dead Space 2 is an impressive looking game. The audio is creepy and haunting. The gameplay and dismemberment are very solid. It has a lengthy single player campaign. It features a fun multiplayer. Its great trying to find out what horror awaits you around the next corner. If you’re looking for a disturbing and blood curdling experience then you have come to the right place. Visceral Games has once again set the bar for the survivor/horror genre. Dead Space 2 is more terrifying and intense than the original. It may very well be the best survivor/horror game to date.