By: Lee Howley
Like its predecessor Dead Space 2 does an amazing job in immersing the player into a very creepy world. There is no shortage of heart pounding moments or long drawn out silences to build up tension. Visceral Games has turned creating mind bending thrillers into a science, which they are without out a doubt among the few to perfect.
This is where a lot of the magic happens. Right from the start you know you are in for personal cinematic experience when you’re greeted with a screen devoid of HUDs or any other type of clutter. Every pixel on the screen is devoted to rendering the environment and whatever it might throw at you. Health bars and ammo counters are located on your suit and guns respectively.
Similar to the original, dismembering fast moving opponents is an integral part of the game. More often than not the only way to get the one up on them is to relieve them of a leg and finish them off at your convince. While this may sound easy to some, dealing with more than one enemy at a time with limited ammo can be difficult to say the least. Thankfully the creators have provided some additional mechanics to facilitate victory and the squashing of bugs.
The first of these is kinesis. Much like the name implies, its grants the player the ability to pick objects and hurl them in any given direction. Aside from picking up hard to reach items, it is also great at pinning aliens to the wall with any number of sharp objects in the game. The other and equally useful ability is stasis which when applied to any moving thing will cause it stand almost perfectly still for a short time. This allows spare time for a more precise shot or relief from on onslaught one enemies. Both are used throughout the game in varying puzzle scenarios.
A game with mutant creatures always needs guns, and if you thought the first round of Dead Space had an ample armory its sequel surly one-ups it. There are several new weapons with varying abilities. Many would agree that the flame thrower is a welcome addition, but other weapons offer long distance precision and power. The majority of weapons are designed around being able to quickly sever limbs or deal large direct amounts of damage.
To wrap up this whole package, the game is filled with mini QuickTime events that usually require mashing E to overpower an enemy. These can and will catch you off guard frequently resulting in your death, dismemberment or both at the same time.
Like so many other games that revolve around its campaign Dead Space 2 has a fantastically strong narrative that will keep you guessing until the end. Moreover, for those who played the original, there are no shortage of homage’s and tie-ins. Players once again follow Engineer Isaac Clark as he struggles against unimaginable odds to save himself and humanity. Much like the first game players are thrown right into the midst of the enemy and with no explanation of the three years of missing memory since escaping from the Ishmura there are plenty of un-answered questions.
Graphics and Sound
Dead Space developers should be applauded for their brilliant use of ambient sound and lighting, both of which set the mood throughout the entirety of the game. There are no shortages of unique environments which push the godfather engine to its maximum. Every aspect of the players sense are coerced through suggestive shadows, whispers, all of which lead up moments sure to raise the hair on even the most veteran of gamers.
This is without a doubt one of the best thrillers released to date. The game does not try to add any to elements that it cannot support, but rather embraces simplicity and immerses the player in a world where they will cling to their triggers anxiously awaiting the next thing to appear from the shadows. Online play will prove to be an entertaining addition for those that want to get eve more value out the game, but it is clear that it was never meant to the selling point of this truly cinematic and artistic game.
- Engaging and Familiar Story
- Beautiful Environment and Supporting Elements
- Fluid Game Play
- Larger Arsenal
- New Unique Enemies and Puzzles
- Online Play
- Occasional Glitch that Prevents Saving (PC)
- Can Drag Its Feet at Times