Dead Space 2 is a sequel that comes three years after the original title's debut. Aimed at fans of action-packed shooters with a sci-fi twist, Dead Space 2 takes what was successful in its original release and adds a solid multiplayer element. While the game may seem a tad repetitive to some who played the game's first edition, it has just enough tweaks in terms of characters, environments, and weaponry to make it worthy of a purchase. Others curious about venturing into Dead Space 2's bloody waters should tread with caution, as it may be too much for some to handle in terms of gore and violence.
Before we get into the plot, gameplay, and other elements of the game, let's touch on its violence once again. This game is not for everyone. It's definitely not for kids, either. If sudden flashes, loud noises, images of blood and guts, puke, and excessive gore bother you, pick a different game.
If you did not play the original Dead Space and are not familiar with the game's overall intensity, you will probably be shocked pretty quickly when playing Dead Space 2. I'm not sure if there's ever been a game that could cause post traumatic stress disorder, but if it was possible, Dead Space 2 would be a solid candidate. The game is so intense and overbearing that you may find yourself shutting it off and wanting a refund. If such violence and intensity turns you on, however, Dead Space 2 will fulfill all of your bloody wishes.
For those unfamiliar with the whole background of the Dead Space series, it takes place in the future around the 26th century. All of Earth's resources have dwindled, causing humans to take to outer space to find other means of survival. As man plunders other worlds in outer space, resources keep dwindling. One of the so-called planet crackers, the USG Ishimura, came under attack. Isaac Clarke, an engineer, was forced to make his way through the besieged Ishimura. In the process, he lost his girlfriend, who perished on the vessel.
Dead Space 2 fictionally takes place three years later, and Clarke now finds himself in a hospital in the Sprawl, a futuristic city located on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Clarke is in a state of mental anguish, as he has trouble coming to grips with the death of his girlfriend. Although he's experiencing psychological turmoil, Clarke has no time for self pity, as revolting mutations called necromorphs are effectively destroying all humans that stand in their way.
While Isaac Clarke was more of an average Joe in the first Dead Space, he seems to have more of a mean streak this time around, and is ready to slay any and all necromorphs. He also speaks this time, unlike his muted behavior in the original. Clarke is somewhat of an interesting character, as the focus is not solely on his violent adventures. Sure, there is plenty of that, but you also get some glimpses into his personal emotions of pain and guilt. Such an addition to the story helps create a connection between you and the protagonist.
The majority of the gameplay in Dead Space 2 revolves around killing necromorphs. The game's developers at Visceral did a great job in this respect, as there are many creative ways to destroy necromorphs. This gives Dead Space 2 an extra interesting element to its gameplay over other third person shooters. Many necromorphs look like the result of a human mating with a spider, so shooting off their limbs is highly effective. Once you dismember them, you can use those limbs as deadly weapons to attack other necromorphs.
You have plenty of weapons at your disposal, and you will need them to survive what lies in your path. The weapons are an assortment of mining tools and guns, and many of them have already appeared in the original Dead Space. The line gun and plasma cutter are good for severing necromorph limbs. Perhaps the most grizzly weapon is the ripper, which is a disc that rips through necromorph bodies just like a blender would. You also get a javelin gun that will pin necromorphs to walls, plus a detonator for planting mines.
All of the weapons have their moments, and using them is quite fun. You get a real sense of power and kick from the weapons, and they come in handy during frenzied kills. Since ammo is relatively limited, your ability to use kinesis to collect limbs and other projectiles laying around is key. If you find yourself running low, grabbing a severed limb and flinging it at a necromorph is a usual last line of defense. One weaponry-related incentive is that as you progress, you can upgrade weapons to inflict extra damage.
Dead Space 2 features a mostly linear storyline. While you will have your hands full battling necromorphs, some side challenges will pop up to give you a bit of a break from time to time. Some of the tasks are a tad boring, but they do add a sense of realism, as you really are doing your best to survive. You may have to repair malfunctioning drills, fix elevators, hack computers, and more. Again, it's not the most exciting part of the game, but it does make you interact with your environment.
Speaking of environment, the look of Dead Space 2 is awesome. Not only are the landscapes attractive in their architecture, but you also get the real feeling of being in a post-apocalyptic setting. The darkness of the game adds a true element of fear, which gets your adrenaline pumping. The environments in Dead Space 2 are more spread out than in the original, and you will have to navigate through hospitals, housing areas, schools, shopping malls, and more. The sound of the game is even more terrifying than its appearance. Necromorphs are full of shrieks, screams, and other scary sounds, and you'll hear announcements over loud speakers that can give you goosebumps as well.
Multiplayer is a welcome addition to the Dead Space series. You can play as a human or necromorph in four-on-four battles. Human players must complete certain objectives, and the necromorphs must stop them. Multiplayer requires a lot of teamwork and coordination, especially when playing as humans. While humans are stronger, necromorphs do have the advantage of picking their spawn points. Action is fast-paced, and you get rewarded with better weaponry, power, and more.
If you can handle the guts and gore, Dead Space 2 is a superb game for any fan of third-person shooters. The environments, necromorphs, variety of weapons, and multiplayer mode all create an addicting, yet frightening experience. If you throw in the added Extraction pack that comes with the Limited Edition of the game, you get a ton of ghoulish value that can be enjoyed for a long time.
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