Isaac Clarke is back and he’s in double the trouble as he faces an even more deadly onslaught from a new Necromorph outbreak.
For a sequel, Dead Space 2 hits the ball out of the park, in terms of continuing the story as well as the scares from the original. When i beat the game for the first time, my mind was racing as I began to dissect everything that I had just experienced and I couldn’t be more enthralled.
Dead Space 2 takes place three years after the events of the first game, yet Isaac can’t seem to catch even the tiniest break. In the beginning, he wakes up aboard the Sprawl, a space station that has been built on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. The Sprawl itself is in the middle of it’s own Necromorph outbreak. From the very first moments, Isaac is already back to fighting for his own survival.
Playing as Isaac once more, the players will pick up the trusty plasma cutter, don an engineering suit, and attempt to locate and destroy the religious artifact known as the Marker which just like in the first Dead Space, has brought about the Necromorph scourge once more. Unlike Kratos from the God of War franchise who can mow down enemies without breaking a sweat, Isaac is far to damage due in part from not only his experience on the Ishimura but by also the guilt he feels at being partly responsible for his girlfriend Nicole Brennan’s death aboard the Ishimura.
Isaac’s guilt is tearing apart his very sanity and driving him mad. Which in turn makes for a very intriguing story. Isaac is keen on not letting any survivors that he comes in contact with that he’s becoming unhinged, So while playing it, I got to see who he really is and what he’s like. Because in Dead Space 2, unlike in the first game, Isaac actually speaks which is a very welcoming change as Isaac’s internal conversations and hallucinations were some of my favorite parts of the game.
However I have many favorite parts of Dead Space 2. Behind Isaac’s struggle sits the amazing combat, as it’s satisfying now more then ever. Isaac is faster and lighter on his feet then before. You can stomp on crates faster to gather more ammo or health items. Isaac’s melee attacks are also faster and stronger as well. Using Kinesis and Stasis is ten times more fun and effective as it was in the first game. It gets so gratifying while also extremely fun when you slow down an attacking Necromorph, and then proceed to remove one of it’s claws, only to shoot it back, pinning it to a wall is not only cool but also satisfying.
Thankfully, Visceral cut out all stuff that made the first game chug along, (the backtracking, getting disoriented, etc.) What you end up with is a game that is not only fast-paced, but also scary and suspenseful all at the same time. You’re rushed down these corridors, needing to get from point A to point B and a Necromorph will pop out for you to kill. I know a lot of people, don’t necessarily like it when a game is linear, but in Dead Space 2 it works well.
I’ve played the game several times over, and each time, i find myself never growing bored. Dead Space 2 brings back the classic weapons such as the saw-spitting Ripper, and even introduces new ones, like the javelin gun which fires projectiles which not only pin enemies to surfaces, but along with delivering an electric shock thanks to its alternate fire mode. Just like in the first game, these weapons, along with your suit, and kinesis/stasis modules can be upgraded for max damage and resistance. Your progress can also be saved and carried over to a new play-through which in itself is a great thing, because its these that were keeping me coming back to play it again. Plus there are new suits and other bonuses that can be unlocked as well.
When it was announced that Dead Space 2 would have more action then in the first game, some die-hard fans threw big time hissy fits, yet the action and horror are blended perfectly that I couldn’t complain. Isaac feels like a complete bad-ass here, as he should. He’s not only fought these monsters before, as well as use these weapons before, but he’s LIVED through this nightmare and survived. The first game, showed him as an engineer tossed into a nightmare. This time around, he’s the guy who has lost everything he ever held dear to these monsters, so he has nothing more to loose as he does his best to bring them down, Isaac is stronger here which in turn made me feel stronger as I played.
If you’re as big as a fan as I am, there’s even a “Hardcore” mode which will make you suffer and chuck your controllers at the wall in anger and disgust that you even attempted to even try this difficulty. On “Hardcore” the enemies are at their toughest, supplies are scarce and there are no checkpoints. If you die, you restart at your last save, oh and by the way you only get three of them. This makes it extremely difficult, but those who like a challenge are more then welcome to give it a shot.
The over arching story of Isaac combating his demons is a great on. And while some might find the whole quest to find and destroy the marker a little bland, they are both sides of the same coin. Dead Space 2 is also the first game in the series to have a multiplayer component, however I can’t say much about it because I have yet to touch that portion. Basically the multiplayer consists of two teams; the humans and the necromorphs. The human team has an objective while all the necromorph team has to do is stop the human team. Pretty basic but playing as a necromorph sounds like a lot of fun.
Dead Space 2 is more then a survivor horror game interwoven with bits of action. It tells a personal story about a man who becomes horrendously scarred by the events around him. That synopsis alone should make a horror fan even remotely interested. Visceral is able to mend this story with rewarding combat, insanely horrifying enemies, and huge set pieces. While the multiplayer sounds the bare basic, and part of the story may seem a little meh, the shocking moments and gruesome deaths and just the sheer fun are the important things to take away.