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Sounding Off: Dead Space 2

Posted March 4th, 2013 at 03:26 PM by Dakota

As many of you might know, Viseral Games released their latest installment of their hit Dead Space series earlier this month. Dead Space 3 received incredible praise for the most part, as many critics considered it the best in the series. I hope to be able to cover the game sometime in the future, but presently am unable to due to the lack of cash. So, I decided to cover Dead Space 3's predecessor, Dead Space 2 instead! Granted, I did want to watch Identity Thief and review that, but I wasn't able to watch the movie yet. I might see it next week, but for now, lets reminisce about the misadventure of Isaac Clark.

The Plot:
Dead Space 2 takes place on a space station called Sprawl on Titan, one of Saturn's moons. Many may or may not recall the ending of Dead Space 1, the majority of which took place on a ship (a "planet cracker" was it's official name), called the Ishimura. Not going to spoil that story, just play that if you haven't.

The game starts with Isaac Clark, an engineer who has been through a lot, and I mean a lot of ****, waking up in the asylum section of the Sprawl. He wakes up to the sight of a man who desperately tries to get a bleary Isaac to focus, saying it's not safe to stay around. As soon as he says that, the man is killed by a necromorph. Necromorphs are the dehumanized animation of human corpses postmortem, and are Dead Space's main enemy with many variants. As soon as Isaac is left alone, he's left to escape the monsters and find his way to safety.

There are two main goals for Isaac in this game. The most important one is for Isaac to destroy the Marker that has been recovered in the Sprawl. The Marker is an ancient artifact or mystery that has been related to the Necromorph outbreak. Isaac's secondary goal is to escape the Sprawl itself. Unfortunately for poor Isaac, multiple people get in his way (including hallucinations of his dead girlfriend Nicole), and Isaac finds himself near Death's hand multiple times.

The plot is simply fantastic. The writing team at Viseral games did an amazing job of making the gamer connect with Isaac, so that we can sympathize with him and give us an incentive to see the space engineer succeed. The story flows seamlessly with Isaac being introduced to new people and then realizing their true intentions. The battles between nercomorphs and Unitologists (play the game for a more indepth understanding; Unitologists are human) are choreographed to perfection. Simply put, Dead Space 2 does a magnificent job of keeping the gamer in hooked from the beginning to the end. I have no problem giving the story an A+

The Gameplay:
The game play revolves around one word: dismemberment. The weapons that Isaac manages to get his hands on allows you to chop off Necromorph appendages, the only way the hideous beasts can be killed. The plethora of weapons that you can get your hands on allows you to customize your weapon load to your preference. Personally, I found myself using the Line Gun and Ripper most often, while I kept the Plasma Cutter as a last resort weapon.

Of course, guns would only get you so far in a plague. Lucky for us, Isaac comes suited up with two fancy abilities: Stasis and Telekinesis. Whoever receives the stasis shot, be it necromorph or machinery, will temporarily go in slow motion. This is a necessary tool for when Isaac is completely surrounded by enemies such as The Pack. The game also becomes innovative by requiring you to use Stasis for in game puzzles. Telekinesis is also a crucial ability Isaac manages to get his hands on. Telekinesis allows Isaac to take control of something so that the object is floating in front of him. From there, Isaac can walk with it, move it around, or even shoot it at enemies. Both Stasis and Telekinesis are simple to understand, but so crucial. The addition of both gives the game more flavor and gives the gamer more options during a shoot out.

The controls themselves are simple, which is a good thing. There's the aim button, and from there, you can either shoot your gun, a Stasis shot, or a Telekenisis shot. The camera in the game is at the perfect distance behind Issac's shoulder. The most innovative part, however, is how the HUD is presented in this game. Carried over from Dead Space 1, everything you'd need to know about Isaac such as his health or his amount of bullets left is shown on his suit. A small feature, but one you'll find yourself admiring, as it allows the game to show off the environment without annoying health bars in the way.

That being said, there were a few times where I found the gameplay to get a tad bit annoying/difficult. I'm not sure if it's because I'm a terrible gamer, of it was legitimately the game's fault, but certain parts of the game had enemies swarm you to the point where it'd overwhelm you. A lack of cover feature or even a dodge feature is definitely noticeable as it doesn't exist at all (something that's rectified in Dead Space 3). Still it's a small criticism in a sea of compliments, enough to for a well deserved A

The Graphics/Sounds:
Visceral Games really pulled out all the stops in this category, as the graphics in this game were simply beautiful. And that's not easy to say about a Necromorph filled pit. The Necromorphs look hideous, but in a way that you can appreciate. Issac's features are sharp and crisp and don't even get my started in the death scenes. Those are a thing of bloody beauty.

The audio in the game is on a league of it's own. The moans, the screams, the pleas. They all strike you in the nerves, and they are a big factor into your heart beating for Isaac's safety. And that's exactly what a survival horror game like Dead Space 2 should deliver. Combined, a score of A+ seems perfectly

Final Review: Dead Space 2 was and still is a spectacular game that would take you on an adventure filled with betrayal and horror. But you'll be glad you went on this adventure, as the game truly is a spectacle. Is it perfect? No. But it's pretty damn close, if I do say so myself. And given that it only costs $20 to buy today, I'd totally recommend it. You simply can't miss this gem.

Final Rating: A
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  1. Old Comment
    Fairy's Avatar
    Posted March 4th, 2013 at 10:51 PM by Fairy Fairy is offline
  2. Old Comment
    I have yet to play 3. :c I'm cheap.
    Posted March 5th, 2013 at 03:31 PM by Dakota Dakota is online now

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