Dead Space 2 – Just in case you missed it review
The Good:Scares galore and a New Game+
The Bad:May be a little more action orientated for purists of the original
STORY Dead Space 2 is set roughly 3 years after the tragic events of the USG Ishimura and Isaac Clarke is urgently awakened from a coma to find that the Necromorph’s are running loose in a space station known as The Sprawl, which is located on one of Saturn’s moons. Before Isaac has time to [...]
Dead Space 2 is set roughly 3 years after the tragic events of the USG Ishimura and Isaac Clarke is urgently awakened from a coma to find that the Necromorph’s are running loose in a space station known as The Sprawl, which is located on one of Saturn’s moons. Before Isaac has time to think, he is instantly under attack, unarmed and wearing a straight jacket. Isaac would be forgiven to think he is in hell, but unfortunately for him, this is real and he must run for his life, before he is torn to pieces, without a second to breath.
Isaac Clarke may as well of woke up in hell, because the horror that is taking place on the sprawl cannot be much different. It is not long till Isaac is contacted by a woman known as Daina and urges Isaac to make it to her location if he wants to survive and make it out alive. Like in the first instalment of Dead Space, Isaac is fighting his own personal demons, but these demons have escalated since the events that took place on the USG Ishimura and the guilt of his dead wife, that he carries everywhere he goes.
Now it is not only a question of whether Isaac Clarke will make it out of the Sprawl alive, but will he make it out with his mind intact or will it be shattered into pieces and forever be haunted in the hell that will not let him go.
One of the first factors of Dead Space 2 that will grip you is the level of detail and high quality graphics that contribute massively to the hell like atmosphere of the Dead Space franchise. The graphics of the first Dead Space game was massively impressive and still is, Dead Space 2 is no exception. When I first heard the news that Dead Space 2 was due to be released, I thought to myself, how can they top the graphics from the first game? And I’m glad to say that they have topped the visuals of the first Dead Space.
From the very start of the game, you are treated to very dark surroundings, flickering lights, glancing shadows and blood pasted all over the walls and it all has never looked so glorious. The level of detail that is everywhere in Dead Space 2 is immense, from the details of Isaac Clarke and his weaponry, the massive environments and not to mention the Necromorph’s of new and old. The visuals that were part of the original Dead Space, were some of the best visuals around on any console and Dead Space 2 has certainly surpassed its predecessor. The only problem that Visceral Games have now, is how can they top these graphics on a current gen console, should they release a DS2 sequel? Dead Space 2 is spread across two discs on the Xbox 360 and is clearly pushing the console to its limits. It will be interesting to see how they cope, will it appear on a current gen console or will it be a job for the next generation consoles? Either way, the thought certainly wets my appetite.
Like the previous Dead Space instalment, the sound and music adds a massive amount of atmosphere to the game. This time round Isaac Clarke has a much more empathised personality and has a fair amount to say and needless to say, he is voiced perfectly and his personality certainly shines though the events of Dead Space 2. Giving Isaac a voice and personality, adds a personal touch, which something that the original Dead Space lacked.
More welcoming news is that the creepy sound effects that were such a key factor of success in the original are all here in the sequel. There are plenty of creepy noise’s going on in the background that give you the feeling that you are not alone and add to the overwhelming sense of paranoia. And speaking of noise’s that give you that paranoid feeling, without giving to much away there is a new creature that thrives in giving you the feeling that you are being watched and perhaps even being stalked.
It is also worth giving the musical score a mention in Dead Space 2, the score brings all those noises and fears to life with perfection and is as much vital in creating the unnerving fear factor that any visual effects or storyline can bring to the plate, the musical score is the unsung story teller of Dead Space 2.
The gameplay of Dead Space 2 is both simplistic and strategic, the controls are easy to pick up, but bringing down enemies does need some careful thought. Simply gunning down certain enemies will not work, destroying them limb by limb is the core factor in brining a Necromorph down, but make sure you are using the correct weapon and make sure you do not waste any unnecessary ammo. And speaking of weaponry, in the original Dead Space you had 7 upgradable weapons at your disposal; in Dead Space 2 you have 3 extra new weapons to that of the original. All the old favourites from Dead Space 1 are here, such as the Plasma Cutter, Line Rifle, Pulse Rifle, Ripper, Contact Beam, Force Gun and Flamethrower. The 3 new additions to the Dead Space weapon family tree include the Javelin Gun (fires javelins to penetrate, pierce and impale enemies), Detonator Mines (sensor tripped mines that can be placed on any surface) and the Seeker Rifle (similar to the traditional long range sniper rifle).
Without giving anything away, we have a few new editions to the Necromorph family for Isaac to worry about, as well as the majority of your favourites from the Dead Space 1. You will also be pleased to know that the ability to fully upgradable your weapons and armour make a return via collecting power nodes, which are scattered throughout the game. All the changes that have been made for Dead Space 2 are very subtle, but very effective.
It’s very hard not to always compare this to the original Dead Space, but hey it’s a sequel, so it’s all natural. One of the many things that I loved about the original, was that all your armour and weapon upgrades carried over to you new playthrough. But this did come with a downside; you were restricted to the difficulty level in which the game was completed. So for example, if you finished the game on the medium setting, all your upgrades carried over, as long as you stuck to the same save file and difficulty setting. This basically meaning that you could not carry all your upgrades over to a harder difficulty setting. If you started up a new game, on a new difficulty setting, you will have to start all over again.
But this little problem has been corrected for Dead Space 2 with the New Game+, now it doesn’t matter what difficulty setting you finish your playthrough on, you can carry over all your upgrades to a higher or lower setting. Having the option to carry over all your upgrades will encourage most gamers to playthrough the game multiple times on various settings. It is impossible to upgrade every single piece of your equipment on a single playthrough, so if you want to get all your achievements and upgrades, Dead Space 2 will require many playthroughs and this is no ballache I can tell you. By the time you upgrade all your weapons and armour, you become one tough badass and it never bores kicking Necromorph butt.
Another new feature of Dead Space 2 is the online multiplayer, that gives players not only the chance to play as humans, but you can also play as the Necromorph’s. Don’t get me wrong, the multiplayer on Dead Space 2 isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. But it is something of a little extra, that wasn’t included in the original game, so it’s all a bonus in my eyes.
Even if you have never played the original Dead Space, I would encourage anyone who is legally old enough to play this game to play it. Don’t worry about not catching up with the previous storyline, you will soon catch up during the game, but for those of you who insist on knowing the back story of Dead Space 2, on the main menu on the game, there is the option to select ‘Previously on Dead Space’. But once you’ve played though this game multiple times, the chance is that you will want to the original Dead Space anyway. Don’t waste any unnecessary money in renting Dead Space to, just buy it!
Dead Space 2 – Just in case you missed it review,