Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Price Dropasaurus: Dead Space 2

Rock's been hanging on to Dead Space 2 for at least the last six months, just waiting to give it a go.  Thanks, Steam sales!  Well, he finally had the chance to run through one of the most highly acclaimed games of 2011.  Read on for his thoughts.

The original Dead Space was a good game. A great game, in fact. With the perfect blend of action, horror, and even some light puzzle solving, it set the standard for how you make an awesome survival horror game.  Sequels to such amazing games tend to have a pretty hard road ahead of them, then. How do you improve upon such a fantastic game?  How do you avoid ruining what you've created? It was with these questions in mind that I started playing Dead Space 2. I was not disappointed.

Just cleaning up the old neckbeard.

Dead Space 2 starts up with things not looking good for Issac Clarke. Three years after the events of the first game, Isaac finds himself in some sort of mental hospital on a space city called The Sprawl.  It takes all of about four minutes for the defecation to hit the oscillation, and the necromorphs are back, royally messing everyone's shit up. So now instead of showing up after everyone's been slaughtered, Isaac must now watch as everything breaks down and goes to hell.

Necromorphs- still creepy.

One of the first things I'm sure you'll notice is that Isaac now has a voice!  I must say that one of the only niggles I had with the first game was that Isaac never spoke, even when it would make a lot of sense for him to.  It made such moments feel a bit lacking. Now that Isaac speaks, he can actually interact with other characters, helping the story immensely. Additionally, it's clear that Isaac is still dealing with the psychological torment he underwent on the Ishimura.  The moments where Isaac starts cracking up are expertly done and really help to add further depth to the character. The acting in general is pretty damn good all around, too.

The exterior segments provide a nice break from the cramped indoor sections.

Many of the necromorphs you'll encounter are the same varieties originally encountered on the Ishimura.  Know what? They're still pretty damn creepy. The necromorph designs are easily among the most affecting enemy designs I've ever seen in a game.  All at once, they're disgusting, disturbing, and even a little bit frightening.  Even better are some of the new necromorph designs the team at Visceral came up with.  What's scarier than an enemy that charges you? How about when that enemy and about fifteen of his buddies swarm you, all of them screaming, leaping nightmares that clearly used to be children.  These are called the Pack, and oh yeah, they also look a lot like the the Grey aliens so popular in pop culture, so that's pretty unnerving as well.  These along with a few other new designs show that Visceral haven't lost their touch in the intervening years.

Why can't we be friends?
Overall, Dead Space 2 is a huge improvement over what was already such an excellent game.  The action is more explosive, the scares are...ah... scarier, and Isaac's new found personality is just perfect.  Highly recommended for anyone looking for just the right mix of action and horror. Catch up with the series now, before Dead Space 3 is released early next year.

The action sequences really break the game up well, and provide unique challenges.

 Rock is glad his pants escaped this game un-pooed...

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1 comment:

  1. The demo of this caused horror-poop. I'm too much of a baby to try this series.