I like video games. My life pretty much revolves around video games, but the one thing I try to keep out of my life the most is horror. Scary, disgusting, painful horror such as movies like SAW is what I despise; I don’t see any point in watching them. Originally, when I saw Dead Space 2 and heard about it I thought “Another game I’m going nowhere near!” but at some point I thought “You know what I’m going to play it, it looks great.” And I was not disappointed, mostly.
Now, if you haven’t played Dead Space, Dead Space 2 may leave some of you confused with the story. You are introduced to the main character, Isaac Clarke, having a conversation with his girlfriend Nicole Brennan. But it seems that was just a memory, and he was actually being interrogated in an asylum about what he has seen. Isaac begins to recall something, a Marker, but is then confronted by a deadly vision of his dead girlfriend. You are then thrown straight into the action, in quite a disgusting manner at that. A man, Franco, attempts to rescue Isaac as he awakens, but as he is freed from imprisonment, a fleshy creature appears and turns Franco into a gory creature before your very eyes.
What a pretty sight to wake up to!
Franco Transformation, Intro Sequence
In a desperate struggle you have to escape the asylum as it dies around you, and try and figure out what the hell is going on. From then on you are contacted by different people via your Resource Integration Gear (RIG) who give you directions to help you escape. Along the way you must fight off hordes of mutants, solve some unique puzzles, and jump out of your seat.
At first you have to run, but after a quick time event with a suicidal maniac, you find your first gun the Plasma Cutter. The Plasma Cutter fires plasma shots in either a vertical or horizontal orientation, depending on which fire mode you have set the gun to. Each weapon has an alternate fire mode which pretty much doubles your firepower and weapon variation as some weapons, such as the Pulse Rifle, has an alternate grenade launcher to its regular 3 bullet burst. Isaac can hold up to 4 weapons at once, but don’t let this fool you. Unless you purchase ammo, or fire very precisely, ammo is something you run out of constantly. If you like opening fire upon your enemies, be prepared to get in some sticky situations. You also find Power Nodes lying around which can be used to either open doors for hidden items or upgrade your weapons or suit on a unique upgrade tree, with attributes such as damage, capacity and HP, at a ‘Bench’ facility placed around the station.
Loads of upgrades per gun!
Upgrading The Pulse Rifle
Along with your weapons, the RIG has some features which you unlock as you progress, the main one being the kinesis module. It’s one of the best features in the game in my opinion, allowing you to use your surroundings, or even body parts from fallen foes, as weapons, by flinging them at enemies. You also gain the ability to slow down time on certain objects using the stasis module, not only helping you kill enemies faster but also to solve puzzles. The RIG also has a GPS system locating the nearby Save, Bench, and Store points. If you have to quit the game in a hurry, you best be near a save point, otherwise it’s like the old retro games we had to switch off and lose our progress all over again.
Using Stasis to slow down time.
Now, overall I liked Dead Space 2, it was an enjoyable game. It had some very cool cut scenes and areas, but I ran into many situations where I died over, and over, and over again! Compared to other games, the difficulty is a lot harder, but if you are experienced in the Resident Evil franchise, the gameplay is very similar, so you might not find it as difficult as I did. Also Dead Space is known for being a ‘scary’ game, but I didn’t find it scary. It’s creepy, with some jump-scares thrown in. These were usually in certain areas, made to simply freak you out, but this did also happen in normal areas so be prepared to jump and react at all times. In most cases they are very well timed and unexpected to give the game that certain edge, and I liked that. Naturally, a scare would be timed with a very loud sound, which linked in very nicely with the music to keep it flowing. The game features a pretty awesome soundtrack with great sound effects and the perfect amount of monster groaning and flesh exploding to keep your blood pumping.
Finally, I think Dead Space 2 is visually quite stunning. Lighting is used very effectively keeping dark areas creepy and giving glare to light sources for a lovely effect. Shadows lurk around every corner which adds to the atmosphere, even if there is nothing there. Each model is beautifully detailed and throughout the game you will hardly notice any bad looking textures or objects. Characters talking could be slightly improved, but I find it hard to judge after playing L.A. Noire. Overall, Dead Space 2 has all the qualities of a great game, exciting and very challenging gameplay, a gripping and unexpected story, visually stunning and a variety of weapons to choose from, Dead Space 2 is one of the greats. Who else is looking forward to Dead Space 3?