Dead Space 2 Review (PS3, XBOX 360, PC)

Dead Space 2
By Janus_32

Introduction
It’s back! The hit of 2008 has come back with a sequel. With an all new look and an all new feel. The original Dead Space was a game that re-ignited the fire of the survival horror genre to the public. With its design of a ship that was infested and killed off by strange monsters after finding an ancient relic called “The Marker”.

Isaac Clarke is back. And with a whole arsenal of weapons, memories and the will to kill with vengeance with all that has been done to him.

Dead Space has come back ladies and gentleman.

The question is, are you ready for it?

Story
It has been 3 years since the horrors of the USG Ishimura, the USG Valor and the USG Kellion were all involved in the Aegis VII Incident. All crew being wiped out, and practically no survivors…except Engineer Isaac Clarke.

Shortly after Isaac had finally destroyed the Marker on Aegis VII and escaped the planet, he was eventually rescued. But to his dismay, he was considered psychotic (and he still was seeing hallucinations) and was sentenced to an mental institute on a planet called “The Sprawl”. The Sprawl was filled with life. A colony that lived on the sunnier side of the planet Titan.

Isaac is still plagued by the horrors back when he was on the Ishimura. He is also still affected by the effects of the Marker and what it had done to his mind.

Until finally, Isaac wakes up to the likes of a man that he has never seen before trying to free him from an upright table in which he is strapped into. Wrapped up in a straight jacket, it soon dawns on Isaac that something is wrong.

Until his rescuer is stabbed in the back by something…

What…the…fuck…?

Gameplay
How does a publisher like EA Games manage to top what was a gamble on their part to branch out into the survivor horror genre with the title of Dead Space? Well the answer is simple, to create another game that expands the universe and the story of our fable hero Isaac Clarke.

Coming back with an all new arsenal, all new world, all new story and all new horrors that the game franchise has to offer. Dead Space had a controversial notion of defeating your enemies, to dismember them aka Decapitation. And ironically, the same method is used for Dead Space 2, but to only some of the enemies that you will encounter. Interestingly, players will notice that some enemies will be shooting projectiles from far distances, encouraging players to fight more aggressively with aiming. And if you thought enemies were tough in the first game, watch out for the new lurkers and newer and faster enemies. Wont be giving too much away but you will have to be on your guard to catch where your enemies will be attacking.

Dead Space 2 retains the no HUD from its predecessor. Letting you see everything…including those coming straight for you

From the past game, the’ Store’ and the ‘Bench’ makes its way back as to upgrade your weapons and to buy items. But a new feature in regards to the bench is to retract power nodes from a powered up weapon and transfer the nodes to another. Though this feature comes at a cost, about $5000 credits to do the transfer. It is an interesting way to recover your nodes if you wanted to upgrade a weapon before another.

Another gameplay feature that has come back is Kinesis and Stasis. Though you will be needing these two vital tools more than ever compared to the first game to survive this new nightmare. Kinesis of course can be used in several different ways, but another feature that you will be able to control, is to use objects against necromorphs. Sharp objects, brooms, spears, all these different objects can be used to impale your enemies to the wall. As for stasis, same as the last game only that (a small hint) you will be faced with a few more enemies that you may be able to handle. Think of it this way, Stasis is your friend!

A new aspect of this installment of Dead Space 2, is that there is a multiplayer component. That’s right, Multiplayer. How does it go? Simple. A team of human players that will look like Isaac and be equipped with the same weapons (from the get go) must get to their objective within a certain time limit. Though all maps for the human players have multiple objectives, the humans finish objective by objective and will extend their time until they reach the finish. The opposing team, are Necromorphs whose job is to stop the humans at any cost. Players will have 5 classes to choose from. Ranging from the newly introduced enemies that you would’ve faced in the campaign, to the familiar faces of the past game.

As you progress, you will build up experience points that will in turn level you up in ranking as well as unlock more perks to both races. For humans you will be able to unlock more suits as well as more weapons. For Necromorphs, you will unlock new abilities and stronger moves to use against the humans.

An artists impression of Isaac in one of the many suits that he will be able to wear within game. What…a badass

Presentation
With the time that has elapsed from the previous game to Dead Space 2, Visceral Games as well as EA have put in a lot of effort into making this new installment unique but at the same time, retaining the same look and feel of Dead Space. It’s interesting to compare that the colors have been changed as well. The tones and the colour schemes of Daed Space with the brown, the blandness, the blood of the victims that were aboard the USG Ishimura. In Dead Space 2, there is a nice shading and soft tones of blue and navy blue of the city of The Sprawl.

The element of the darkness is still a major factor, but a new element that I have recognized is the similarities of a group of devout people dubbed as “Unitologists”. They are a group of people that believe that the humans were created by higher beings, believing that they were created essentially by aliens. Sound familiar?

“RAAAAAAGH!” “Oh hell no, I’ll give you something to kiss” *balls right hand into a fist*

Once again, the biggest contributing factor to Dead Space is the sound quality. Players will definitely notice that the quality of sound as well as sound cues have been put to the next level. Sounds are more clearer and listening for your enemies is even more spookier.  I know I am not sounding as clear or as specific as I should be, but you, will just have to experience it. Pro tip: play the game in the dark and play with the sound up. Only then will you be able to fully experience the glory that this installment has to offer.

Closing Comments
Honestly speaking, Dead Space 2 is a game that has passed if not surpassed its predecessor. It is a game that has successfully captured the spirit of the survival horror genre and cemented itself as a franchise and game to be remembered in the future years. With the spectrum of the game being shone into the spotlight, EA (Electronic Arts) and Visceral Games have shown tremendous effort into putting the game into motion.

Here’s to hoping for better and new projects by these two companies in the near future!

“What are you staring at? You want a fresh one?”

Rating Score

Story:                   9.0
Gamplay:          
8.9
Presentation:   9.0
Overall:              9.0      

The worded verdict…

Rent it?
Buy it?
F’ it?

Buy it. Enough said.

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