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Dead Space 2 Review
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This week EA’s Visceral Games studio has released the long awaited sequel to the amazing 2008 release, Dead Space. The sequel already seems set to out sell the original which really isn’t that much of a surprise. The first game didn’t get much of a marketing campaign and not a lot was expected from it. But for the fortunate ones that did get to enjoy the original they were treated to one epic single player campaign that just begged you to replay it. Dead Space had almost what I would describe as a “cult” following, where the ones that played it loved it or hated it, but no matter what you had to tell a friend about it. Which in part was what made the original so great.

You return in Dead Space 2 as Isaac Clarke. The engineer we all grew so fond of in the original. This time around Visceral has decided to not only give Isaac a face, but he can actually talk and interact with the wide array of character that talk to him through his suit’s communication system. Another new edition to the game is the setting. The first game took place on the abandoned planet cracker known as the Ishimura. And with a new location comes a new way that the campaign plays out. On the Ishimura each chapter was treated as a different section of the ship as you worked your way from one end to the other. In Dead Space 2 however, you play on the Sprawl. This is an abandoned space station. The Sprawl is filled with all of the comforts of a modern major city. There is a school, church, shopping mall and everything else a person could need. All of these different settings play as a creepy background to what used to be a bustling hub of commerce for those that lived there.

You start out the game waking up on the Sprawl in its psychiatric hospital, without an explanation as to how Isaac arrived there. You awake in a straight jacket with a fellow inmate by your side and you two are attempting to get out of dodge. Shortly after you will work your way to a familiar store like in the first game, where you can get your engineering suit and your brand new plasma cutter.

The gameplay in Dead Space 2 feels just like home to fans of the original. The controls are the same, you have all the same abilities, and weapons all feel familiar. A few changes that can be noted are that they have made your kinesis a much more usable feature as a way of killing enemies. Everywhere you look you can find random steel rods that are begging to be picked up and hurled at enemies. You also feel a little faster moving in the game. In the original you almost felt like a “Big Daddy”, clunking around the Ishimura. But in the sequel Isaac seems to move gracefully, and his melee and stomping attacks work much more fluidly than the original game.

The first Dead Space had some amazing graphics, and this time around it’s no different. This game has some of the best lighting effects I’ve seen. And the use of light is used in such a way where the developer almost doesn’t want you to see certain things, so they can later scare the shit out of you when you approach these areas. Textures are all phenomenal just like the first game. And a slight tweak I noticed was to the beams that are emitted from your weapons. In the original it was a solid beam no matter where you went. But in the sequel light seems to cut through the beam, in a more realistic fashion and you can just see the point of contact in some areas.

The fantastic graphics are not the only feature making a comeback. The award winning sound is also back. Audio is a huge part of the Dead Space universe. Playing this game with the lights low and wearing a pair of top notch headphones is highly recommended, as it really helps you immerse yourself into Isaac’s shoes. Clanking metal and horrific screams in the distance fill the atmosphere and will constantly have you checking behind you to see what the fuck that noise was. In one of the most memorable parts of the game you work you way through what used to be nursery school, and you can hear children’s music playing, that just makes it feel absolutely creepy. Sometimes you will hear recorded announcements over the Sprawl’s PA system which reminds you that just a few short weeks ago people were actually living here.

Another new feature being added to this already great game is the multiplayer. When I first heard about the addition of multiplayer I had my doubts. I thought we were going to be getting another tacked on pile of shit that has been done countless times with other games. The “human vs. creature” model is nothing original and usually plays out as expected. But in Dead Space 2 I was blown away by how fun the mp can be. It is insanely addictive. With a leveling system, and unlockable weapons, suits, and abilities for the necromorphs that is on par with any other multiplayer giant on the market, you will find that the mp is not only good, but it is fucking fantastic. There are only 5 mp levels, which is my only gripe with the mode to be honest. Hopefully this can be addressed later through dlc.

In multiplayer you play as either the humans or necromorphs. The humans play just as you would in single player. You start with a pulse rifle and plasma cutter, which you can later upgrade and earn new weapons and suits through leveling. As the humans you are always trying to progress through areas with different types of objectives. These objectives range from destroying objects, retrieving data discs or parts of a machine, and delivering said objects, or sometimes just activating a terminal. As the creatures your sole purpose is to do anything you can to impede the said humans progress. When you spawn you get to choose which type of the four available creatures you would like to play as. Each necromorph has a different spawn time based on the strength of the creature. These range from the babies or “Pack” which can spawn in about two seconds and at the other end is the Spitter which takes about 8 seconds to spawn, but with you patience comes great reward as the Spitter is stronger and has long range capabilities as well as a ferocious melee attack.

Overall I would have to say they Dead Space 2 is an absolute must own. With a campaign that can last from 10-15 hours depending on difficulty, and the inclusion of an unforgettable multiplayer this is one not to be missed. I am about half way through the campaign on Zealot difficulty and have yet to find a single flaw in the games mechanics. Visceral have managed to take a great game and make it even better with the slightest of tweaks. This game should appeal very much to fans of the original as well as bring in some new ones. I would look in the near future to see sales of the original to increase after newbie’s to the franchise get a taste and can’t wait for more.

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Dead Space 2 Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
  • Babyface the 1

    nice review, but will wait until the deal of the week or something, EA you have outdone yourself again bringing out £10 (or around that) worth of DLC on day 1 release of game and single player DLC planned and already on the way….

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  • Jessicachokeontits

    This is the best review ever this guy needs to write for IGN.

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