Dead Space 2 has finally arrived. The first entry caused plenty of scares and tension. Taking influence from things like Alien, Event Horizon, and so on, Dead Space tackled the Sci-Fi Horror genre and came out with a intriguing universe of it’s own. Does Dead Space 2 manage to keep the thrills? Did it lose it’s horror appeal and follow in the footsteps of the Resident Evil series? Read on to find out!
In Dead Space 2 you step back into the shoes of Isaac Clarke who’s been MIA for a few years. After being awaken from a coma-like state, Isaac (you) is thrown right into the fire. The Sprawl which is a city/space station above Saturn, has been hit by the Necromorph outbreak. It’s up to you to found out what’s happening and to make it out alive. But true to form in Dead Space 2, not everything is what it seems.
Isaac is back and is more capable. There’s a bigger arsenal of weapons this time around, but how you use them and upgrade them is what’s going to matter. The game brings back the power node upgrade system, which allows you to up the damage, reload, and ammo capacity on your favorite weapons. The rigs can also be upgraded allowing you to take more damage and dish it back. The power nodes can also be used to open up certain locked doors which contain goodies like ammo and med packs that you may need if you’re in a tight situation. The nodes can be purchased at stores and can be found throughout the game.
The Necromorphs have new tricks up their sleeves also. The new children Necromorphs (The Pack) rely on numbers and try to overwhelm you, others stay at a distance where they can use vomit to slow you down or hit you with projectiles, where others ACTUALLY try to stay out of sight and wait to attack you when you’re not suspecting it. Death sequences are as gruesome as ever and are enjoyable to watch. The Necromorphs are menacing and have been taken to the next level. It’s cool to have an enemy in a game where they really feel like a threat and will literally rip you to shreds!
The game does have some puzzles here and there, but they’re not heavily thrown in. Most require you to hack terminals where all you do is rotate the left stick around to get the terminal to light up blue, hit the action button to get it to “click”, you then repeat that two more times. Others require you to move and replace objects using telekinesis, some even require you to use stasis that way you can get by doors and so on. You’ll encounter a good bit of the puzzles in the retooled zero gravity mode where you can now move freely unlike the first game.
Little quick time events are still around where you may have to repeatedly tap the action button, but this is one game where the speed that you tap the button at DOES matter. The game has added little sequences where Isaac is experiencing dementia making for a few shockers here and there.
Dead Space 2 has now added multiplayer, but how does it hold up? Think Left 4 Dead only without the horde. It’s four versus four, Necromorph players against Human players. There’s four Necromorph classes, each with their own traits. The Pack, the child Necromorph moves fast and is good for causing distractions, The Lurker can climb walls and get to good vantage points where it can shoot projectiles at enemies, The Puker can beat on enemies and use vomit to slow them down, and finally The Spitter can shoot powerful projectiles, he just can’t climb walls. The Human players can choose their suits and load outs before the game and go in with what they have. The Human players must travel throughout each map completing objectives which all consist of carrying an object from point A to B or holding a spot down as a player hacks a terminal by holding in the action button.
Unfortunately the multiplayer feels weak. Everyone spawns too fast, which means sometimes it’s hard for the human players to get out of their own spawn, this issue doesn’t happen with Necromorphs seeing as how they can choose what vents to spawn from. It feels like more of a team deathmatch instead of a “co-op” experience. Objectives that require you to carry things as a Human player are a pain as you’re slowed down greatly, and when you’re fighting enemies that take eight seconds to respawn tops, to complete an objective in a four minute time span, you have something that’s NOT fun! Then when you’re fighting the Humans as Necromorphs, the guys who just role with the pulse rifle’s grenade ability and stasis are going to ruin what little fun you’re having fast. Overall it feels unbalanced, VERY one sided at times, and leaves you wishing that the devs just would have done more with it.
The atmosphere is where Dead Space 2 really shines, it’s story, characters, and environment are all top notch. It all creates a sense of being alone and vulnerable, which is exactly what you want in a game like this. It retained it’s horror element and did not play into the action side much. It looks and plays great, and has a unique artistic direction. Dead Space 2 is definitely a breed of it’s own and is a rewarding experience.
Long story short I loved Dead Space 2. It’s campaign rocks and has a few treats for people who played the first one. I highly recommend the game, but unfortunately I also recommend that you overlook the online and just break into the single player. I like to judge my games as full packages so what I would have given five stars is now four. Don’t let my criticism of the online hold you back from playing this game though, hey you might like it, but definitely play Dead Space 2’s campaign. Be sure not to miss out!
[starreview tpl=46 size=’30’]