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Apr 23, 2011

Dead Space 2 Review

Lights Off
4 Awesome
Retails for: $59.99
We Recommend: $59.99
  • Developer: Visceral Games
  • Publisher: EA
  • Genre: Action, Horror
  • Released: Jan 25, 2011
  • Platform: Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
  • Reviewed: Xbox 360

Visceral Games and Electronic Arts have teamed up once again to bring you the sequel to one of the best horror survival Third Person Shooters I’ve ever played. You re-assume the role of Issac Clarke, the engineer who survived the encounter with the Necromorphs.

I would like to make a comment first. I would recommend that if you have not played the first Dead Space game, watch the movie available in the single player menu and then the “Dead Space: Aftermath” movie. If you have played and finished the first Dead Space, I recommend the Aftermath movie minimum. The movie ties the two games together while injecting a new key storyline which is continued through the entire Dead Space game. Watching the movie may help you follow the development of the story the game a little easier.

Starting out, you will find that the controls are quite simple to pick up, for the 360, they are the same as they were for the original Dead Space, making the transition easy from the first to second game, your inventory is still mapped to the back button and your aim and shoot are mapped to the left and right triggers as before.

At the beginning of the game you’re in a hospital and stuck in a straight jacket.  You’re completely defenseless and you must follow this man who keeps rushing ahead while telling you to hurry up and follow him.  Just keep running to survive.

Right from the start (once your arms are finally free) you will have the use of your kinetic ability. I found that I used it more in Dead Space 2 (referred to as DS2 from here on out), than in the original game.  You can pick up virtually anything and use it as a weapon.  Being that Kinetic doesn’t have any limitations on time or usage, it is a recommended alternative weapon.  Of course, your primary weapon once again is the plasma cutter. I believe through the entire game, I had only purchased another gun for emergency usage such as when I was out of ammo. Your choices of weapons once again vary, but they are all the same weapons carried over from Dead Space 1.

The use of Jetpacks will be minimal throughout the game, but you will need to use them while in Zero Gravity.  It will help to make your progression through those sections of the map much quicker.

The multiplayer is fun, I had the opportunity to play the Beta on the PS3 before, and helped to properly balance the overall Human Vs Necromorph strengths and weaknesses. At first the Necromorphs were too strong, then too weak, it was about 3-6 weeks and we had finally managed to get a decent level playing field.  Once the game shipped, it seems that the beta data transferred well.  4 on 4 is a great level playing field, but wouldn’t you just love to have a 32 player battle royal of Humans fighting off the Necromorphs?

Personally I was really disappointed about the zero gravity and jet pack usage.  The first game was great with the vertigo and complete disorientation you had while trying to maneuver through sections. You had no idea where the Necromorphs were coming from, nor which way was up, as what happens in space.

DS2 has once again hit the nail on the head. The details on every part of the ship, the intricate features on every wall, floor, ceiling, even the glass make the ship seem so lifelike for a video game.  The lighting and shadows are the perfect mixture to create the atmosphere desired for a science fiction horror survival game.

I would recommend this game to anyone who has played the first Dead Space, who love over the shoulder 3rd person shooters, and who like horror survival games where you’re almost always at a disadvantage with ammo (higher difficulty). The game has a great story to follow as well as just the overall feeling of being immersed into a science fiction movie.