Dead Space was an amazing addition to the horror genre and this is a knockout post. It could be considered the epitome of Resident Evil in space. Sadly, it didn’t receive much attention to the mainstream and quickly became a cult classic. Dead Space looks to draw in more gamers, with a more talkative main character and the addition of multiplayer combat. Will this be the horror game of 2011, or will it just contain lukewarm shock value?
• Dead Space 2 is one of the best looking games on the market to date. Body deformation and facial animation take center stage. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the scene at the start of the game is both beautiful and disgusting all at once. Its leaps and bounds over what we experienced in the original game. The Sci-Fi atmosphere quickly envelops you into the world, while the lighting and aptly timed cinematics keep your adrenaline rushing.
The creepiness scales much higher with the sounds of people locked in rooms screaming, or the skittering of some beasty in the darkness. You never truly get to hear silence in Dead Space 2, there is always a sound or a voice to remind you that you’re surrounded by monsters. The sound cues are usually spot on, and the screeching of monsters will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The addition of voice work to Issac also sells the game, as you gain a better connection between him and the rest of the cast. Now he will let you know how it feels to be surrounded by a bunch of flesh ripping Necromorphs.
• Controlling Isaac is so much easier in Dead Space 2. That’s not saying that the original had bad controls, but there were particular areas where things could have improved. Luckily in Dead Space 2 the animations have been fine tuned, Isaac seems to have become a more agile fighter. He is much more fluid when he turns and aims his weapon, and his animations for melee and stomping have been sped up. In the previous game it took entirely too long to melee or turn around before getting attacked. This is certainly not the case in Dead Space 2.
In addition the whole game seems to have been switched into overdrive. I haven’t been surprised by many games since I played the very first Resident Evil. In general, Dead Space isn’t going to try to hold your hand through the game. It doesn’t care if you live or die at all, and it is apparent from the first time you put your hands on the controller. You will die a lot from things you probably didn’t expect to happen, and in the back of your mind you’ll just say “Wow”.
• The second story is much better than the first. Dead Space 1 focused on Isaac needing to fix a Space ship to survive. The second one follows this formula, but it sells the story in a much better way. Isaac spends his time plagued by nightmares of someone who was very important to him. He tries to cope with this illness while trying to survive another necromorph outbreak, in which his escape is the only possibility of survival. It’s fueled with many twists and turns, which keeps things interesting until the end.
• Multiplayer is a cool addition… but it doesn’t seem necessary. This isn’t a claim to say that the addition of MP is a bad thing to the game. It just doesn’t seem like it was fleshed out well, and the 5 stages start to get boring in about an hour. It just comes off as something to do for a few minutes after you beat the game. So if you’re looking for this to be the next Call of Duty or Left 4 Dead… you probably should keep looking elsewhere.