Finally Dead Space 2 is here and after going to countless preview events and chatting to the guys that made it I finally get to play it. Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint. Once again you step into the engineering suit of Isaac Clarke as you wake up in a straight jacket on a space station called The Sprawl above the moon of Titan. All hell’s breaking loose and of course there are plenty of Necromorphs to dismember along the way.
This time Isaac has a face and a voice which adds an extra layer of character and makes you care more about him. Conversely in the first game you actually felt as if it was you in the crap as you tried to stay alive. In fact, everything in the game is bigger and better this time around. The graphics are much shinier than the first game but that doesn’t mean it’s any less foreboding. This is one scary mutha of a game and perfectly balanced as it leads you on a linear path but slows down and speeds up in just the right places to keep you on your toes. Interactive cut-scenes also help to really heighten your sense of peril in places. Your dead girlfriend Nicole even makes a few appearances because Isaac’s also going a bit mental – well so would you after the events on the Ishimura the first time around.
Dead Space 2’s incredibly tough. Ammo and supplies are scarce even on the default difficulty so you end up stomping on everything you kill just to salvage everything you can. This can actually get a bit annoying. Not only must you stomp but also press A to pick things up – effectively two processes just to collect stuff. It’s ammo – of course you want to pick it up! There are also times when the game can get frustrating when you’re trapped in a room surrounded by monsters and it can take more than a few attempts to make it out alive.
Isaac’s more mobile too. General movement is less clunky although a quick-turn ability would have been nice when being attacked from all sides and instead of lilly-padding about in Zero G you can now move and thrust about all over the place. Stasis is back to slow down enemies running towards you and objects during puzzles and if you do happen to run out of ammo you can use kinesis to grab body parts and hit monsters over the head with…er…heads.
And when you’ve finished the game and powered up your weapons you can play it all over again with all the upgrades and suits you’ve already found and unlock even more stuff. It’s far more replayable this time around.
There is a multiplayer mode where humans take on Necromorphs in 4v4 missions but to be honest it’s not going to win any awards. It reminds me of Left for Dead only not as good and certainly isn’t the innovative hit that took me by surprise when I played Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.
Dead Space 2 ranks alongside the best of survival horror games and maybe even surpasses them so it gets a bone-crushing 9 out of 10.
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