Dead Space 2 Reviews

AuthorReview
Slackerchan
228,747 (143,680)
Slackerchan
TA Score for this game: 1,817
Posted on 28 January 11 at 16:49, Edited on 28 January 11 at 22:41
This review has 66 positive votes and 11 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Visceral Games, an EA studio that’s been around for a little over a decade, didn’t have a very humble beginning. For the first five years of its life it focused itself on creating new titles under the James Bond license that ended up being footnotes rather than becoming as famous as the quintessential Bond game Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64. In the last year of the previous console generation though a group of designers got together and created a prototype for a survival horror game. However, seeing as it was still just a proof of concept and the console transition was about to take place they decided to flesh out their prototype on the next generation of systems. In 2008 Visceral unleashed their first new IP in the form of Dead Space, a title that went on to rave reviews as a title that breathed a little more life into the dying survival horror genre.

Both EA and Visceral saw the true potential of Dead Space as a franchise and so while EA has been working hard to create more back story and expand the universe through books, movies, and even a comic book Visceral has been hard at work on a full-fledged sequel. But can an American developer strike gold twice in a row in a genre dominated by Japanese giants like Resident Evil and Fatal Frame?

A Divine Relic, Made by Man
Dead Space 2 takes place three years after the Aegis VII incident. Isaac Clark, one of the few survivors of the Necromorph infestation caused by the Red Marker, awakens in the psych ward of a hospital on The Sprawl, a large space station built on top of the remains of the Saturn moon Titan. As Clark comes to a man is trying to rescue him from something but before he can say what it is a Necromorph blade pierces the man’s chest and infects him on the spot, transforming him into one of them. Isaac runs and just barely escapes the facility, learning through a woman named Diana that another Marker has been constructed on The Sprawl and was activated. Hunted by both the Necromorphs and humans and haunted by the visions of his dead lover Nicole, Isaac sets out to escape the station before it is too late.

Isaac’s story in the first Dead Space was a slowly paced tale that was only revealed through logs and messages left behind by the dead. Dead Space 2 on the other hand is far more fast-paced given that, instead of arriving on the scene long after the infection has devastated the area, it is occurring all around him as he progresses. This change of pace greatly compliments an already good survival horror story and its told-on-the-fly manner makes it feel more like an adventure than a haunted house experience.

While the story does contain the usual assortment of friendships, betrayals, lessons learned and loves lost what I found to be one of the more interesting elements is the fleshing out of Isaac Clark’s character. As is so often the case with main characters in games these days Clark was a silent protagonist throughout almost all of the original Dead Space. In this game however Clark is fully realized with a voice of his own as well as his own motivations and desires. Clark’s dementia also has him suffering through painful visions that warp the surrounding environment and have him constantly questioning his sanity. Clark’s anger, frustration, and exacerbating mental condition will have you rooting him on as he makes his way through the infested station.

The story of a game for me is probably the most important aspect of a game and I can’t help but say that Dead Space 2’s narrative is excellent. Clark’s adventure through the dying Sprawl space station adds greatly to the already interesting Dead Space universe and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the majority of the experience. The ending is especially enticing and gives cause for speculation regarding an inevitable third title and the eventual singleplayer downloadable content Visceral has coming down the pipe.

Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die
Dead Space 2’s gameplay is not so much an overhaul of the first game’s successful formula as it slight refinement with a few tweaks here and there that add to an already great gameplay experience. After all, why mess with a good thing, right? Many of the primary issues we had in 2008 have been addressed in Dead Space 2 if not cut entirely from the game.

One of the main issues that were universally cited was the enemy variety present throughout the original game. In Dead Space there were only a handful of different varieties of Necromorphs that you’d encounter throughout the game. Even in large encounters you would only fight one or two varieties of Necromorphs at a time. Visceral has thankfully addressed this issue with several new species of Necromorph, all of which feel unique and not a rehash of previous ones. The Puker, probably the most human-resembling enemy of the game, is encountered early on and, living up to its namesake, fires an acidic projectile vomit which also slows down Clark’s movement. The Pack, a Necromorph infection of a child, attacks the player in groups and, though easily taken down, is fast and agile. The Spitter, similar in appearance to the common Slasher throughout the franchise, also has a projectile attack though not as powerful as the Puker. The Stalker though is probably both the most interesting and terrifying of the commonly-found Necromorphs as they work together in packs, hide behind cover, and charge the player intent on smashing into you with their thick skulls. The variety presented is excellently done and makes the cast of enemies feel more rounded out and challenging than they were in the first game.

To counter these new enemies though Visceral has given us some new weapons that have quite the bite attached to their bark. One of the more dominant new additions to the arsenal is the Javelin Gun, a weapon that pneumatically fires spears and can stick an enemy to a wall in addition to alternate fire mode which sends out a bolt of electricity, potentially frying nearby Necromorphs. Players can also obtain mines that can stick to any surface allowing you ample opportunity to protect your flank. The Seeker Rifle, the game’s equivalent of a sniper rifle, is particularly effective when used on long-range targets. Other weapons have seen some much needed refinements such as the Pulse Gun which now has an alternate fire grenade launcher and the Contact Beam has become less unwieldy than it was in the previous game.

One of the big problems in Dead Space however was how much of a crutch the Plasma Cutter, the first weapon found in the game, could be. Many players, including myself, found the Plasma Cutter to be the most effective weapon in the game and relied on it throughout the course of it. Visceral, whether you like it or not, has addressed this as you will often find plenty of ammo for other weapons rather than then one you are currently wielding. This thereby forces you to utilize multiple weapons and change your strategy making for some intense moments.

Of course a horror game like Dead Space wouldn’t be, well, scary without horror elements in it and Visceral has retained their previous level of scariness this time around. The usual assortment of monster closets are as frequent if not more so than they were in Dead Space but what separates Dead Space 2 is the inclusion of what I like to call “Nicole Moments.” In Dead Space you were occasionally guided on the right path by Isaac’s girlfriend Nicole and, though she was actually already dead, the manifestation that Isaac was seeing was actually a projection of the Red Marker’s consciousness attempting to get it returned to Aegis VII. Though I do not wish to spoil this game’s (you’ve had over two years to play Dead Space so you have no excuse) Nicole she is far more frequent this time around is very aggressive toward Isaac. The result is similar to the Alma sequences in the FEAR franchise in which she would appear to scare the pants off of you before you get back into combat. Nicole will often appear to ridicule him and his relationship with her, often blaming him for her death since he actually helped get her onboard the Ishimura. These moments will left me thoroughly crept out though not enough such that I had to stop playing the game.

We’re All Going to Burn
Despite odd looks all the way around Visceral somehow found a way to translate the Dead Space 2 singleplayer experience into a competitive multiplayer one. Taking place alongside Isaac Clark’s journey, players either take on the role of a Necromorph, be it a Pack, Lurker, Puker, or Spitter, or a human soldier under orders to help contain the Necromorph outbreak. An eight player team-based experience, the four human players are assigned to complete certain objective in order to complete an overall mission while the Necromorph team does what a Necromorph does best: kill in the most gruesome manner possible.

Dead Space 2’s multiplayer is certainly an oddball if there ever was one but it definitely draws some similarities to games like Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow. This isn’t a bad thing but the problem that arises when you have an experience such as this one is that balance can be a very strong issue to address. Unfortunately, in this reviewer’s experience at least, this is the case as it seems that the Necromorph team has an almost unfair advantage over the human team thanks to fast respawns and the ability to choose where you want to actually spawn. As this is an objective only affair (sorry, no team deathmatch variant to be found) and the objectives have to be done in a certain order it turns out that one of the biggest biases is the amount of time to complete objectives is far too short given the length of human respawns and the set respawn points.

For those in for the long haul though (or those who don’t have access to other multiplayer experiences) Dead Space 2 offers an apparently robust selection leveling system. As you complete objectives, get kills, and fulfill other requirements you earn upgrades and new weapons. These upgrades apply to both sides so you earn new abilities as a Necromorph as well. Most of these upgrades are par for the course and will keep a dedicated fan playing long after their initial purchase but for players who haven’t experienced or are already caught up in games with more interesting multiplayer titles like Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood you might find it hard to stick around for another round.

Altman Be Praised
Dead Space was a very different visual affair from what we usually associate with the survival horror genre. While the environments in many ways had been done before the enemy and character design were top notch in my book. Until I played Dead Space 2 I still consider Dead Space to be one of the most violent, gore-oriented games I’ve ever played; that title has now been passed to its successor. Visceral’s “Strategic Dismemberment” gameplay design is still in full effect in the sequel but the amount of gore present seems to have been increased possibly thanks to the new amount of creatures that stand in your way. It still amazes me sometimes to see a body explodes after being hit with a round from the Contact Beam, watching the body parts fly off in all directions. Clearly this isn’t a game for the squeamish.

One of the wonderful things about Dead Space for me was the HUD. As the industry goes away from a crowded on-screen display with games like Red Dead Redemption Visceral actually put it to use on the character itself, making the spine represent the character’s health and the inventory pops out on a holographic display. Thankfully Visercal has retain this feature and has even tweaked the quality of the video displays as this time they actually look like they are rendered in real time rather than the pre-rendered sequences that looked a bit blurry in the original game. The tracker which drew you a line on the ground to your next objective has returned improved as well as it can also point out stores, upgrade benches, and save points, perfect if you find yourself in a pinch with low ammo or a full inventory.

The design of the environments is probably one of the biggest improvements over the original game. Though I enjoyed the layout and design of the USG Ishimura in Dead Space I couldn’t help but find myself tiring of the same corridor-crawling over and over again with little variation other than the main bridge of the ship itself. Dead Space 2, set on the Sprawl, is a far more open and varied than the Ishimura ever was and, this time, actually feels far more like a lived-in environment than that of a deep space mining ship. The Sprawl, home to a million inhabitants, feels as such and includes a deluge of places to explore such as a shopping mall, a large church of Unitology (the main religion in the Dead Space universe and also a main source of conflict), residences, apartments, schools, and hospitals all of which are completely believable. Fortunately many of these are large and open and don’t necessarily give the indication of a boss fight so you can feel free to explore (mostly) without the cost of a good scare.

The best game design feature of Dead Space in my opinion, and something that just isn’t getting the fair amount of treatment it deserves these days, is the sound design. Dead Space 2 continues this trend and ups the ante with even better design. The background sound effects are still wonderfully done and the cries of enemies are fantastically creepy if not terrifying. The Stalker alone has one of the most terror-inducing screams I’ve ever heard in a video game; I don’t know what they killed to get it but I certainly don’t want to meet it. The sound design even adds to the dementia Clark is experiencing as you’ll sometimes hear his name said in the background of a sound such as a beep or even in the tail end of a Necromorph’s dying scream. If you ever needed a reason to buy a surround sound system this is the reason to do so.

Make Us Whole
Dead Space 2 had quite a bit to live up to and it certainly meets if not exceeded those demands. The story is great and well told, the combat is just as interesting as it was in 2008, and it contains an interesting if flawed multiplayer mode that still adds a strong amount of replay value to the game. Visceral’s latest installment in their survival horror franchise and an excellent addition to the franchise as well as the survival horror genre as a whole so whether this is you are a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the franchise you’ll find a lot of value in Dead Space 2. It may only be January but we may already have a contender for the title of Game of the Year.

You can read more of my reviews at HookedGamers.com, my personal blog Slackerwerks.com, or just keep checking back for more posted right here. Thanks for reading!
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TheRickMoranis
94,758 (61,856)
TheRickMoranis
TA Score for this game: 1,390
Posted on 29 January 11 at 21:09, Edited on 20 April 11 at 20:18
This review has 37 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
This is a review of the single-player campaign only. I have not played multiplayer and by now I probably won't.

Immediately after finishing Dead Space 2, I wanted to start over from the very beginning and battle a space station full of Necromorphs again. In fact, I did; I started a new game only minutes after the credits ended. Dead Space 2 is that good.

The original Dead Space surprised me and the rest of the video game world when it was released. It wasn't just a third-person, Resident Evil-wannabe-shooter in space with cheap scares and flickering lights. Instead, what we got was a mature look at fear, expectations and terror set inside a haunted house in orbit. And it was scary. Dead Space also brought to the table a new gameplay mechanic appropriate for a horror title: strategic dismemberment. The staple “headshot” was jettisoned out the airlock in favor of careful placement of shots around the enemies' bodies, namely the arms and legs. It wasn't a torture device like something out of Saw, but an accepted fact in the Dead Space canon: to kill the Necromorphs, you have to “cut off their limbs.” The skillful combination of precise dismemberment and an environment as terrifying and claustrophobic as Event Horizon's creepy spacecraft created one of the most memorable new games in recent memory, and arguably one of the scariest games of all time.

But the sequel isn't just a rehash of killing twisted, reanimated baddies and being afraid again of every vent you come across. No.

This time, it's personal.

Of all the things Dead Space introduced, the most important now is its once-silent protagonist, Isaac Clarke. He is the reason you want to play Dead Space 2. In the original, he didn't speak, and, as that game's main drawback, was basically relegated to being an errand boy, being told exactly what to do and where to go. As a player, you still went along with it, but 10+ hours of fetch quest after switch flip after fetch quest can feel just a tad repetitive. Dead Space 2 doesn't change that too much, but this time around Isaac has a voice and oftentimes becomes the strong decision maker. Isaac is now a much more dynamic character instead of the static tool of three years ago. Like I said, his story is the reason you want to play Dead Space 2.

STORY
Without giving away any spoilers, here's a quick recap of the first game (though I highly recommend playing it instead to have the fullest appreciation of the sequel): A mining ship, the USG Ishimura, uncovers an alien lifeform on a far away planet that kills living things and then reanimates them into horrible monstrosities called Necromorphs. An infestation breaks out and the vast majority of the crew are dead and have become shambling creatures. Engineer Isaac Clarke, tasked with investigating the ship initially (without knowledge of the Necromorphs), travels there to find his girlfriend, Nicole. Soon after landing, he discovers what became of the crew, uses mining tools to fend for his life, tries to get the ship back in working order, and learns the secrets of what is really going on. After encountering a giant sculpture called the Marker, the fanatical religion of Unitology, and scattered video messages from Nicole, Isaac Clarke eventually saves the day.

And then there was the ending that left more questions … and anticipation for the next chapter.

I like to think of Dead Space 2 as the Aliens in the franchise. Like Ellen Ripley before him, Isaac Clarke has experienced and battled things that belong in nightmares. And because of what he faced, he has been affected, metaphorically and literally, which is both troublesome and an advantage. Isaac has been woken up somehow and it is three years after the events of the first game. He finds himself on a space station called the Sprawl on one of Saturn's moons. He may have woken up, but the nightmare is still going. Within the first minutes of awareness, Isaac discovers all too intimately that he's in the midst of another Necromorph infestation. One can only imagine how pretty pissed off he probably is.

But this time Isaac is better prepared to face the odds. With first hand knowledge of how these creatures behave and their weaknesses, Isaac speaks his mind about how willing he is to stop history from repeating itself. Only, his history can't leave him alone. It haunts him. It teases him. It literally speaks to him, touches him, and hurts him.

Isaac Clarke is a very special person now. The Marker, the sculpture from the first game, infects peoples' minds with … we'll just say various things. It has powers. And because Isaac was in very close contact with it, his mind hallucinates, imagines, tricks him. It won't let him forget the events of three years ago no matter how hard he tries to save the day again.

Dead Space 2 has basically two coinciding storylines. The first is to find out how to rid the Sprawl space station of Necromorphs, and the second is Isaac's inner turmoil and grasping at reality. Along the way, you'll be hacking and firing away at Pukers, Spitters, Stalkers, etc. and then be shaken in between by a vivid hallucination that questions your very sanity. The pacing of the two elements provides for a near-perfect dramatic experience as truths start slowly dawning on Isaac. While the intensity of trying to survive against the Necromorphs keeps you pinned to your seat, it's Isaac's struggles with his own mind and whatever has infected it that intrigues you to continue.

Visceral Games and EA have crafted a well-polished story complete with very good voice acting (though I strongly encourage turning the subtitles on because some lines are either lower volume or not completely understandable), pacing, and purpose to Isaac's actions. By the end, if you don't want to scrounge for money to preorder Dead Space 3 already, you might want to question your own sanity.

GAMEPLAY
I haven't had this much fun firing weaponry and killing enemies since BioShock 2. What makes it even more fantastic is that your weapons are realistically based in their science (within the Dead Space universe) and not infused with some alien technology. It's high tech, for sure, but believable. And effective.

The Dead Space mantra is “cut off their limbs.” You'll be doing that aplenty as daunting numbers of various Necromorphs will hunt you down. Weapons return from the original, as well as a few new entries, but all in the end serve the purpose of slicing off enemy legs and arms. Isaac's newest ability (and probably the life-saver at higher difficulties) is being able to sever a dead Necromorph's knife-like arm and impale another with it. When you're low on ammo, this neat trick comes in handy.

It wouldn't be as fun if the surrounding environment was a series of dull, gray corridors with holes and vents for scary things. While the Ishimura from the original became a dark and chilling character in itself, every hall and room was industrial. The first rooms you saw were pretty much like the last rooms you saw. The Sprawl is a much more varied world, namely because it's a small city. Necromorphs no longer like to lie in wait just in dank machinery; now they'll find you in a hospital, apartment complex, elementary school (complete with gym!) and even a Unitologist church inside a mini-mall. And somehow each section manages to provide those all important scares in their own ways.

As impressive as the different locales are, what adds the last layer of delicious, fearful icing is the sound. From the plasma rounds fired from your Cutter, to the roars of a giant Tormentor, to the tiny bursts of air from your suit as you control Isaac in zero gravity, the sound effects are top notch. Aside from the normal sounds that establish the environment, many sounds will be there to effectively startle you, but several also just serve to dread. For example, one of the most frightening areas is the apartment complex. You come from a place of relative silence into hallways filled with the screams of masses of people; you hear people crying for help behind their doors, monsters growling, and the terror envelopes you. They say it's what you don't see that is the scariest. You may see a couple residents attacked by Necromorphs, but the horrible tragedy of what could be happening behind that door with the screaming man is infinitely more terrifying.

Scares are everywhere, but prior to Dead Space 2's release, Visceral claimed that there would be more action this time. Many thought that the shift from atmosphere to action would spell doom for the series, now known for making players scared for insane lengths of time. While it's easy to think that (I sure did), the action is perfectly suited in Dead Space 2 and doesn't overshadow the story or atmosphere at all. Instead, it's extremely satisfying and intense. Furthermore, Visceral has incorporated some ingenious moments that aren't tied at all to killing Necromorphs but to interactively further the story; and trust me, you might give yourself some pause when you realize some of the things you're supposed to do.

IN CONCLUSION
Dead Space 2 accomplishes the difficult task of being a quality entry into a franchise that not merely furthers a story, but improves upon it. While many of the tasks Isaac Clarke must perform to get to the end are general video game fare, it's the little touches of polish and engaging story that grab your focus. The game flies by, not necessarily because of length, but because every minute something different is added, a new clue eggs you on, and fighting against the twisted Necromorphs is a tense treat that all make you want to keep playing. Dead Space 2 is a solid sophomore entry into the Dead Space realm, surpassing its predecessor, and has the potential to compete as best game of the year already.
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Vinchucca
174,010 (91,305)
Vinchucca
TA Score for this game: 1,390
Posted on 13 February 11 at 13:52, Edited on 13 February 11 at 13:54
This review has 19 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Ok, first things first: I'm going to assume most people reading this review are familiar with the 2008 survival horror-hit Dead Space. If not look up some gameplay footage on YouTube or whatever to bring yourself up to speed. Or better yet buy the game, play it, love it and then return to this page!

So, Dead Space 2...is it any good? The short answer: yes, yes it is! The long answer: continue reading.

DS2 picks up 3 years after the events of the first game. Isaac survived but finds himself locked up in some sort of mental institution not knowing what's going on. Things go South pretty quickly and barely five seconds after the 'press start' screen you'll find yourself running for your life as necromorphs tear the place up. This sets the pace for rest of the game. You'll be hunted, haunted, chased down and killed to death during the next 15-or-so hours of the campaign!

Still, you won't be helpless for too long. The trusty plasma cutter comes along pretty early on and soon you'll at least feel like you have a fighting chance against the necromorph onslaught. There's been some great new additions to your armoury. Familiar guns like the force gun, ripper, flamethrower and contact beam return but they are complemented by an awesome javelin gun, a detonator gun which can set traps and -my personal favorite- the seeker rifle (pretty much a sniperrifle). Gameplay still focusses on dismembering the enemies rather than shooting them in the head and most weapons cater wonderfully to this concept.

Visceral games went to the trouble of dreaming up some new enemies as well. A lack of variation in opponents was one of the major complaints against the first DS. Still, there's a problem here. The new enemies are great! They look good and are fun to fight. But DS2 throws them all at you within the first 5-or-so chapters. That's a real shame because by the time you reach the end (chapter 15) you'll still feel like you've been fighting the same enemies over and over again! They should've kept some of them for the later chapters...

From a technical perspective Dead Space 2 can rightfully call itself one of the best looking and best sounding games on the system. The sound is crisp and rich with a good soundtrack punctuated with some atmospheric silences. I really liked it! Graphically the game looks superb. Thankfully the Sprawl (the new location for the game – a city based on a moon of Saturnus) is a much more interesting location compared to the USG Ishimura too. You'll find your fair amount of dark corridors, but there are some nice scenic city views to behold here and there. There's some cool space sequences. There's a daycare, a church and a mall. And so on. I never felt bored fighting my way through this place.

The story of the campaign basically has two opponents. The first is Isaac trying to survive and stop the necro-infection in the Sprawl. Sadly though this is the weakest of the two components. It's too reminiscent of the first game. In short Ellie (a woman you meet early on whom becomes your ally) is always telling Isaac where to go and what to do. It feels like he's being bossed around. Rarely does Isaac take any meaningful decisions for himself. This contrasts with the combat sequences in which he clearly uses his experience from previous events and becomes a stonger and more powerful fighter that seems very capable of being his own man. On the other hand the second component is far more interesting and engaging and shows Isaac dealing with the loss of Nicole in the first game. He's struggling inside and his mind's falling apart. The game does a great job of converting this to the player. Both in the things Isaac says as in the dream sequences that show up here and there during gameplay. It's nice to see in the end both story arches come to a meaningful conclusion.

So, again, in short the campaign is definatly worth your while.

The same however cannot be said about the multiplayer. Not that it's bad. It just feels shoehorned in and this really is a game that doens't need a multiplayer in the first place. The human-versus-necromorph is fun for a little while but the action to often results in a big clusterf*ck to really capture your interest for long. It's nice to see Visceral tried what they could do with multiplayer, but I hope they either revamp it into something exciting or drop it altogether should a part 3 ever come to being.

Last but not least I should talk about achievements considering the site I'm doing this for.
The game has 50 achievements. Most of which can be obtained within one or two playthroughs. There's 2 that are based on difficulty, one requiring you to finish the game on hard-core mode which could get frustrating. Basically you'll have to play the game on the hardest possible difficulty and you're only granted 3 saves! So not for the faint-hearted. Other than that none of the achievements should give you to much pain. Also, there are no multiplayer achievements, which is always a good thing in my opinion.

To conclude: absolutely worth your money, time and energy as this is one of the finest action/horror/whateveryouwannacallit-games on any system. It really brings back memories of classics like Resident Evil 2 and the like. So definatly worth your money if you ask me! Now if you'd excuse me I've got some more dismembering to do!
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silver DewSky
165,460 (119,785)
silver DewSky
TA Score for this game: 2,009
Posted on 05 March 11 at 21:18
This review has 17 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Your mom hates it. You'll love it.


It’s hard to believe the original Dead Space came out in 2008. It feels like yesterday that we were introduced to Isaac Clarke and his mission to board the Ishiamura and find out what was going on there alongside a crew of others. Besides helping on the ship, Issac wanted to go for personal reasons since his love Nicole was on board before all hell broke loose. In his quest to find her, Issac discovered the Marker, a relic containing mysterious attributed and something draws the Necromorphs. Aboard we faced many dangerous creatures in the Necromorphs, an entity that changed humans into hideous and hostile enemies.

Now with Dead Space 2, Isaac Clarke knows how to take them down, but visions from the marker, his past with Nicole, and a three year coma leaves Isaac with a ton of questions that must be answered.

With Isaac Clarke and his problems getting more complex, a voice to go with this great character is pretty necessary. You’ll interact with just a few characters this time, but the dialogue is great and Gunner Wright, Isaac’s voice actor, does a great job of portraying a confused and upset Clarke through out the game.

The necromorphs can still be taken down by removing their limbs, but the way that you can has changed a bit. All of the original weapons are back in Dead Space 2, and are accompanied by some clever new ones. The plasma cutter was still my go-to weapon, but I had fun experimenting with the new ones as well like the Seeker Rifle, a powerful long-ranged Sniper Rifle that could dispatch foes from a safe distance.

What’s even cooler now is that you can use Kinesis to pick up limbs from dead Necromorphs and use them to impale the creatures. It’s a great to kill them beside helping you conserve some precious ammo.

Zero gravity areas and vacuum environments are back and are even better since now you can control Isaac directly in these sequences rather than jumping from place to place. With boosters on his suit, You can also speed through the sections a bit faster and there are moments in the game are truly epic thanks to this addition.

Taking cues from Left 4 Dead, Dead Space 2 features Humans vs. Necromorphs multiplayer that is pretty fun and a nice addition to the game. As the Humans, you and three others are given objectives on the five default maps to accomplish, while the infinitely respawning Necromorphs are there to stop you at all costs.

Most of Isaac’s aresnal can be unlocked for multiplayer overtime as you rank up and earn new abilities, and playing as Necromorphs can grant you stronger attacks as well.

It’s a nice addition, and hopefully dlc will be made since the five maps might get old pretty quick.

Overall, after you play a bit of campaign, you may be surprised that the multplayer is just as fun, so check it out!

This is pretty much the perfect sequel in my opinion; It retains all the elements that made the original great, while fixing the small problems that Dead Space had and comes packed with some replayablilty and now you can start over from any difficulty and keep your stuff from the previous play.

Dead Space 2 has already been announced to have DLC coming down the line, but if it didn’t It still has hours of great content available. With tighter controls, a bigger enviroment to explore, and a story that spans across other games in the Dead Space universe, Dead Space 2 is the start of the great games coming out way in 2011.

compute http://thebuttonpresser.blogspot.com/
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THMSTRCHF
201,618 (136,458)
THMSTRCHF
TA Score for this game: 2,009
Posted on 20 February 11 at 00:43, Edited on 03 March 11 at 20:42
This review has 14 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Edited to contain my multiplayer review:

If you read my recently posted review of Dead Space The First, you may have noticed that I wasn’t one of its most ardent supporters. Don’t misunderstand my 3 star rating as me hating the game, because I didn’t; I liked Dead Space (DS), but I didn’t love it. It had a lot of good ideas and fell short on following through with those ideas the majority of the time, but it was still a solid, enjoyable game—just, in my opinion, not as “great!” as everyone made it out to be. With Dead Space 2 (DS2), it seems as though the ambitions have been met with great follow through and it surpasses its predecessor in every way by delivering a genuinely intense experience filled with surprises (literally) at every turn.

DS2 starts off with a bang by introducing you to the no longer silent Isaac Clarke in a flashback video that segues into your introduction of the new and improved Nicole (if you played the first game, you know Nicole… and you may know what to expect… for those of you who haven’t, this is one of my favorite moments of the game and it gave me genuine chills). Story progression from this point until about five chapters in, however, is a little thin. It’s somewhat disappointing because you’re essentially running from waypoint to waypoint with no real plot other than “escape the baddies,” but, when the plot picks up, things get more interesting as the mysteries of what Isaac has been up to between the first and second game are slowly unraveled.

Isaac Clarke is definitely the star of this sequel and it’s hard to believe that you’re actually playing the same character you did in the first. Isaac in DS was more of a tour guide who aided you in your journey through the real star of the game, the USG Ishimura, as he silently made his way from objective to objective while encountering countless waves of deadly foes along his way. He was kinda just… there for the hell of it, I guess. They put a little effort in making Isaac an actual character in the first game by giving him a reason to be aboard the Ishimura but, beyond that, there wasn’t really anything to make you actually care about the guy. DS2 makes Isaac much more believable as a character… someone you can actually invest some emotion into. I wasn’t lying when I said it really feels like you’re playing a different character, though; there were so many moments in this game when I was playing and Isaac said something and I honestly thought it was a different character talking to him (I went into this right after playing the first game again, so forgive my absent mindedness at times, plz). Were it not for the plot’s heavy reliance on Isaac’s mental breakdown caused by the events of the first game, they could have just made a different character to be the protagonist of DS2 and nobody really would have cared (just as long as he gets to wear the iconic armour, really). It’s that breakdown, as well as his considerable experience with dispatching necromorphs from the first game, that keeps DS2’s story moving forward and it’s an interesting concept that I really wish they would have explored more.

Isaac Clarke’s grasp on reality is somewhat fragile after encountering The Marker and all the unimaginable horrors it produced during the first game, but it’s not that fragile. Despite the happenings between the two games, he seems to be adjusting to his insanity pretty well… easily able to determine what is real and what is not. It sometimes makes you (I did, anyway) feel cheated because they didn’t explore this further—just a few otherworldly bursts of insanity that are easily discernable from the “real” and move on. It’s not game breaking or a flaw in any way but, rather, a missed opportunity.

The gameplay of DS2 centers around the same core ideas of the original game’s: shoot to dismember! The franchise’s plasma cutter returns as your starting weapon and you’ll come across a similar arsenal provided in the first game with several new and deadly additions to increase your killing efficiency.

On top of the weapons, you are also reacquainted with stasis and kinesis; both of which serve the same functions as they did in the first game: stasis slows things down and is useful for solving some of the simple puzzles the game throws at you as well as keeping charging enemies at bay to give you enough time to better place your shots while avoiding a grisly demise, and kinesis is basically a remote grab feature (also useful for completing the game’s puzzles) which also allows you to launch whatever you grab and use it as a weapon (think the gravity gun in Half-Life 2). Stasis and kinesis have both had some tweaks since the first game: kinesis, by default, now has a longer range, objects get to you faster than they did in the first game, and I found myself using it more efficiently as a weapon than I did in the first game. Stasis starts off a lot weaker than it was in DS, but it now has the added benefit of a recharge over time—it’s slow at first, but you can upgrade it at benches to recharge faster as well as have a longer duration and more uses. Also (and I think this is my favorite gameplay improvement with the sequel) Visceral Games gave us a quick stasis reload! I complained in my review of the first game how it was lacking a panic button for stasis recharge but, Altman be praised, we got it in the sequel.

The game’s options also allow for a wider range of customization than the original’s by, thankfully, allowing you to adjust your sensitivity as well as reticle placement (you can change between “Classic,” which is how the original game’s aiming worked, and “Center,” which is how pretty much every TPS (third-person shooter) works). It’s nice to have those options because I like to be able to spin around quickly (which is why a quick turn button would be nice), so turning up the sensitivity is a plus. It’s also nice to have aiming set to center for the segments where you are grabbed by a boss or something and you have to shoot the weak spot to avoid dying—it’s much easier to aim with that setting than classic. I will say that I wish you could have it auto change to the center setting for those scenarios while allowing you to have it set to classic for standard combat; I actually prefer classic in those situations. That’s not something I’m going to dock points for, though, just something I think would be nice to have.

DS2 does a much better job implementing the horror elements than did the first game. DS2 has five difficulty levels (two of which are unlocked upon completing the game on any difficulty) and I started on the third, Survivalist, for my first playthrough, so it might be different since I started on what is essentially the “hard” difficulty, but ammo and credits seemed like they were in less supply in DS2 than they were in the original game (I also decided to have 3 weapons on me at all times, so I was selling less ammo than I did when I played through DS last—because I was going for the plasma cutter only achievement—so that might also have been a factor). With less ammo, and less money to buy ammo, you can’t just shoot anything and everything; you have to use your stasis to make sure you place your shots perfectly to conserve ammo and you have to use kinesis to throw objects at enemies to conserve ammo. It only adds to the tension that the enemy count hasn’t decreased with your ammo.

On top of the tension added with the lower ammo supply, DS2 likes to play with your head and your expectations—and it actually succeeds. Several moments throughout the game you will find yourself preparing for a jump scare or an onslaught of enemies… but nothing happens and, just when you think you’re safe, you let your guard down—this turns out to be a bad idea and, before too long, you find yourself overrun and fighting for your life. It’s a thrilling experience and delivers that rush of adrenaline fueled tension that I felt the first game was lacking.

Combat arenas (something prevalent in the first game) aren’t such a heavy presence in DS2, which is a welcome relief, but they’re not gone altogether. The arenas that are in the game are, however, better constructed than they were in the first game and less predictable because they don’t telegraph that a lockdown is coming—you just get bum rushed by a bunch of enemies and you are fighting for survival to get by them. So, it feels more like you’re trying to fight your way through or get around these armies of alien-mutated dead to move forward than burdened with the chore of killing them all before you can actually progress. DS2 also features a lot more actual forward progression than the previous installment—you’re not backtracking through the same 4 levels multiple times, but you are actually moving through new environments.

But, even with all the new environments and added tensions, DS2 is a thrill ride that is over all too soon with the campaign being easily finished in under 10 hours on the initial playthrough (even less time with a New Game+). It also astounds me that the XBOX 360 version of DS2 is split up between two discs—it’s a pretty game, yes, but it’s also short and there are no pre-rendered cutscenes. Multidisc games aren’t usually a problem for me, but that’s when I can spend 20+ hours on a single disc; with DS2 (a game that encourages multiple playthroughs), you will be switching discs back and forth every 3-5 hours and it’s a terrible inconvenience.

On the multiplayer front, things aren't so great. There doesn’t appear to be any real structure to the multiplayer of Dead Space 2 in that you are limited to only choosing a “Quick Match.” You can create a party to bring with you into your quick matches and you can choose what map you want the quick match to look for, but there are no matchmaking customization options beyond that. This isn’t a terrible thing since that suggests that the multiplayer might be there just for fun (similar to TRON: Evolution’s approach), but that leaves the problem of Dead Space 2’s multiplayer not being fun. It also becomes a problem because Dead Space 2’s multiplayer leveling creates such a terrible imbalance in the mode that not being able to refine the searches for players in your level group will often end with you at a great advantage or disadvantage as you are matched against players of either much higher or lower levels than yourself. They don’t do anything to offset the leveling system imbalances, either, by offering something like team bonuses—if you’re a higher level character, you get stuff that benefits you… if you’re a lower level character, you get raped.

There are five maps for the multiplayer mode and each map has its own “mode,” in a sense, by providing the human players with different objectives to complete, but they all play so similar to one another that the only thing that really changes is the environment you’re completing the objectives in. Objectives work like this: humans fight their way through player-controlled necromorphs to reach a waypoint so they can destroy, activate, or gather something so they can fight their way through player-controlled necromorphs to reach the next waypoint. I like objective-based multiplayer in games, but the lack of diversity in modes and only five maps makes what little is offered unbearably repetitious.

The human characters control about how you would expect if you’ve played through the single player campaign, but you are very limited in what weapons you can use, how much stasis you have, and how much damage your weapons do when you first start playing. It’s somewhat discouraging right off the bat as you unload on enemies who refuse to die. As discouraging as it can be, sometimes, human characters are much more playable than the necromorphs.

Being able to play as a necromorph is a neat idea that you think should be fun but, in reality, it’s an awkward experience plagued by wonky animations and attacks that have no real feel of effectiveness. Low-level necromorphs prove to be more useless than the humans and I found myself constantly frustrated by the feeling that my attacks were about as useful as throwing mashed potatoes at my armoured enemies. As I leveled up, my necromorph avatars became more useful, but they didn’t become any more playable as the ever-persistent awkwardness the experience of controlling the mutated dead provides constantly mars the multiplayer game.

I can’t say it’s the worst thing I’ve ever played, but it isn’t what I consider “fun.” Every match I played reinforced my opinions that the multiplayer feels rushed, unpolished, unfinished, and, ultimately, unnecessary. It has some neat ideas, and I’ll give it a point for that, but it lacks balance and diversity while managing to take creatures that were once intense and makes them silly with weak attacks and an indescribable awkwardness. I feel like Visceral should have focused on further bettering the single player experience (or even making a separate co-op campaign that would have inarguably been better than the vs. mode) than tacking on the disappointing multiplayer provided in Dead Space 2.

With all that said, Dead Space 2 is a vastly superior game than the original (even with the multiplayer... something you can (and should) completely ignore) and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing the direction Visceral and EA take the franchise beyond this. It is short (I completed my first playthrough on Survivalist in 9 hours and 45 minutes… and I wander around trying to collect everything I can when I play a game (it took me about 3 hours longer to beat the first Dead Space my first time through on Normal)), but it is undeniably thrilling with some genuine chills-inducing moments and well-constructed jump scares. I highly recommend giving Isaac’s second outing a try—but be willing to play through the story multiple times if you really want to get your money’s worth.
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Hurball
419,132 (191,695)
Hurball
TA Score for this game: 1,817
Posted on 04 July 11 at 22:53, Edited on 05 July 11 at 11:34
This review has 19 positive votes and 13 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Before I begin, please understand that I believe all reviews should be subjective in nature. To write a review whilst trying to think "what would other people think of this" is of no use to anyone whatsoever - and is my major concern with video game reviews at the present time. Please judge this review not on the score at the bottom, but on what I try to say about the game, and my thoughts about playing it. I don't expect you to agree with me - after all, if you enjoyed the game, then more power to you! Who cares what I (or anyone else) thought about it?

That lengthy preface out of the way...


Dead Space 2

I think it's fair to say that the original Dead Space was something of a triumph back in 2008. Arriving relatively unannounced, it was an unexpected gem, and one of the most cinematic experiences I've encountered in any game. It looked beatiful, and whilst it had it's issues, I enjoyed it from start to finish.

This being a video game, it had to have a sequel. And in due course, Dead Space 2 eventually arrived, to great fanfare, and trailers featuring music by the brilliant Mogwai of all bands... Yet again, it looked the part and sounded spot on, although ruined slightly by news of the inclusion of multiplayer, which (along with Assassin's Creed Brotherhood) put an untimely halt to the decline of pointless muliplayer in games that don't need it. Metro: Last Light is next up in that category. Urgh.


Setting

From the outset, Dead Space 2 is a difficult game to summise. The story centers around the Scientology-esque religion (Unitology) from the original game, though their aims seem vague instantly. Once again, they involve a relic known as the Marker, which is the cause of the Necromorph infestation, and it's never really explained why. The usual guff about heightened evolution is spouted, but it isn't backed up. They're bad, essentially. Like the Umbrella Corporation.

Players reassume the role of engineer Isaac Clarke - in events three years after the original game. He's in an urban metropolis (the Sprawl) which has become infected, and needs to escape. Plus, he's being hunted down, and not just by the Necromorphs. It's pretty convoluted, and to be honest I was never entirely sure of where the game was going, or what Isaac's overall goal ever was.

And therein lies one of the major issues I had with the game. I never fully grasped just what the hell was happening. Right from the off, you're in a chase scene in a straightjacket, and from there you'll be meeting various characters, of varying degrees of trustworthiness. And then there are the hallucinations, and the constant ramblings of a delusional man who Isaac seems intent on protecting, for seemingly no reason whatsoever.

The game provides text and audio logs as pickups throughout the game. The text logs provide a half decent background to some situations, but with the majority of audio logs simply recordings of people screaming, they were annoying rather than insightful. Yes, the Necromorphs are evil, and they've killed some poor crew member. I know.

In Dead Space, Isaac was a voiceless protagonist, yet still managed to bring about the right style of emotion from the game. Players felt what he did, in effect. Nothing more. Here though, he has a voice. The reasons for this change are clear to see - it's easier to write a story if the main character actually speaks to those he meets. But with Isaac going so far as to remove his helmet every time he converses (even with people attacking him!), and making wise-cracks during some Necromorph onslaughts, it becomes harder to relate to him.

One of the issues present in Dead Space was it's constant desire for action, and whilst action is of course necessary, it isn't neccessary all the time. For me, the most memorable sequences in the first game took place right at the beginning approaching the Ishimura, and in the Solar Array room. Two sections of downtime, to sit back and absorb the environment - the atmosphere of the game. Dead Space 2 does away with these rare moments of peace, and opts for action sequence after action sequence. It gets tiresome. Even lift rides are peppered with enemies now.

In theory, this should heighten the tension. More enemies means more frightened players, yes? Actually, not really. As horror fans will know, one enemy can be as terrifying as one hundred, if used just right. Take a look at Resident Evil 4 - a great game to many, but a horror game it wasn't. The first two games in the Resident Evil series knew how to rack up the tension with sparse enemy locations, whilst still keeping players on edge. In Dead Space 2, every room is an action sequence, and you soon become immune to it's attempts at startling you. I found myself waiting patiently in the corner of any big room, before (sure enough) the game threw Necromorphs at me by the dozen.


Design

All those criticisms aside, there is a lot to like about Dead Space 2. Whilst it retains a chapter system, this no longer splits gameplay up into chunks as in the original, and helps the game flow. The puzzles too, are worthy of praise. Getting machinery working again, and the hacking sequences, never felt out of place, or crowbarred in, as some games' puzzles do (I'm looking at you, Tomb Raider Wii).

The zero-gravity sections make a return, but are almost unrecognisable - Isaac can float or boost anywhere now. It's a change that's entirely welcome, and a nice surprise - since the first game's method of simply jumping to ledges was perfectly suitable too.

Weapons wise, there's a lot more variety here than present in the first game, which is a great thing. The Javelin gun became a quick favourite, sending a huge bolt towards enemies before electricuting them. The trusty Plasma Cutter is still king, but there's enough extra to keep things interesting. And once again, the game looks stunning - up there with the best on the system. Sound wise, it's solid - with the annoying exception of the high pitched strings utilised for every "Necromorph Attack!" sequence.

Speaking of the Necromorphs, there are a number of new variants to dismember this time around. From the screaming children to the creepy exploding babies (suitably called Creepers), to the bigger and badder Tripods and Raptors. Once again, the game would benefit from holding back on enemy numbers at times, but the greater depth to the enemy arsenal makes for better gunplay for the most part.

In terms of control, and functionality, the game is near-perfect. The use of in-game holograms for menus is something more games should try, and these have all been cleaned up somewhat from the original - I found them much easier to use than previously. Isaac still handles like a truck at times, but the controls are pretty much spot on otherwise.


Multiplayer

I haven't played the multiplayer, and I don't plan on playing it either. There are games that suit multiplayer, and there are games that don't. Games like Dead Space, Metro 2033, and Assassin's Creed are built around locations and atmospheres - not around repetitive killing and levelling up. Leave the multiplayer to the Halo's and Call of Duty's of this world... Regardless, a massive thank you to the developers for deciding against online achievements is in order. May more companies follow suit...!


Overall

Dead Space 2 is an odd one. Whilst it's technically better than its predecessor in nearly every department, it seems to lack that game's soul. I hate to say it, but it seems to try far too hard - throwing wave after wave of enemies in action sequence after action sequence, set piece after set piece. It's a game that's perfectly competent at everything it tries, yet still feels lacking.

In a nutshell - Isaac having more to say this time around strangely made me emphasise with him less. And in the same way, Dead Space 2's vast box of tricks left me feeling strangely disconnected. I admire the scope and optimism for it all, but can't help feeling that a slightly stripped down version of this would've worked so much better. Fewer enemies, fewer bullets. Time to experience the storyline, rather than blast straight by it...
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Sonic Sleuth
267,437 (167,361)
Sonic Sleuth
TA Score for this game: 819
Posted on 18 April 11 at 05:10
This review has 8 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Hollywood has been trying to recapture Ridley Scott's classic sci-fi survival horror epic "Alien" for three decades, and the only director to come close was king of the epics James Cameron, whose sequel "Aliens" stands as the best "trapped on a space station" movie since the original film. Well, move over, Hollywood... Electronic Arts and Visceral Games have this covered. Dead Space and Dead Space 2 are this generation's Alien and Aliens, proving yet again that great storytelling and amazing cinematics are sometimes confined to the small screen.

Fans of Dead Space will jump right into this sequel without missing a beat - hero Isaac Clarke returns after a shocking twist at the end of the first game... and let's just say he's not all there. Those who didn't play the original will be treated with a terrific opening sequence that familiarizes them with the third-person control scheme and gives them a preview of what sort of horrors are to come. A behind-the-back third person title, Dead Space 2 feels more like a first-person shooter... Isaac never jumps over a ravine or creeps along a ledge, and the game's zero-G segments are distinct from the standard "walk and shoot" levels. For many gamers, this will be a blessing, since there are few moments of controller or camera frustration... but traditional third-person fans might crave a little more freedom to roam the expansive levels.

Speaking of which, there are fifteen levels in Dead Space 2, and the game clocks out at just a little longer than its predecessor at around 10-12 hours to completion. It's not too short for the money, as many Dead Space 2 fans will replay the game in "New Game +" mode, which retains some of the purchased power-ups from the initial finished game, and most gamers will try out the new multiplayer mode, which borrows conceptually from "Left 4 Dead". While limited to those who have an EA online pass, the multiplayer is a fun distraction with some interesting elements, but hardly worth plunking down $60 for. For those unfamiliar with the EA online pass, if you rent Dead Space 2 (or buy it used), you'll only have 48 hours of online gameplay until you have to spend $10 to unlock the mode permanently. Yes, it sucks. On the other hand, I predict most gamers will get their fill of the online mode within 48 hours... compared to the game itself, multiplayer feels a little uneventful, despite allowing gamers to unlock all the cool weapons from the single-player game.

There are a great many weapons in Dead Space 2, all of which can be upgraded by the use of Power Nodes sprinkled liberally throughout the levels. From overgrown nail guns to motion-detecting mines, there's a wide variety of killing implements available. I opted mostly for the Refurbished Plasma Cutter, an in-game perk received if you played the original game. Those interested in popping the Fully Loaded achievement/trophy (for completely upgrading four guns) should use as little ammo as possible throughout and not upgrade anything with a Power Node... by my count 87 Nodes are required to upgrade the four weapons with the shortest upgrade paths (Detonator, Force Gun, Plasma Cutter, and Pulse Rifle), and I barely scraped up enough cash to pop the achievement at the final workbench on Level 15, despite not upgrading my Rig or Stasis at all to that point. On the plus side, you can save before upgrading, then reload and use your Nodes to pop the Fully Outfitted achievement/trophy (maxing out your Rig and Stasis with 30 Nodes). There are a number of Rigs available as well - each offering bonuses the others don't have.

The gameplay is centered on shooting enemies, cutting off their limbs, and Isaac can use Stasis and Kinesis to assist him in the action... Stasis slows down an enemy, making them an easy target; Kinesis picks up an object and launches it forward, very helpful when you run low on ammo. Unfortunately, nearly the entire second act of Dead Space 2 becomes a series of corridors and shootouts, without the same creepy cinematic moments of the first act. Visceral introduces a few new Necromorphs (the hybrid alien zombies you're battling), and their presence alone provides most of the horror moments in the middle of the game. At this point, it felt more like Aliens than Alien... lots of action with few true scares, or Uncharted: Isaac's Revenge. The horror picks back up as the game closes out, but the experience was a little uneven after the amazing first act. On the plus side, those who despise boss creatures will be happy that the behemoths in Dead Space have been replaced for the most part by much more manageable battles in DS2... there aren't a lot of "great, it's a boss battle" moments, and those that pop up (unexpectedly) provide checkpoints so you don't throw your controller out the window. Also, the game's twenty save slots (per save device) give gamers a lot of freedom.

I can't say much about the graphics and sound of Dead Space 2, simply because they're both state-of-the-art amazing. Moody lighting and cinematic attack sequences lead to some amazing deaths by Isaac Clarke, and the expanse of space rarely looked or sounded this good. The attention to detail is amazing, from the in-game advertisements and items strewn about the living quarters you'll visit, to the perfectly toned creepy sounds when a Necromorph comes at you from behind. Every distinct sound and graphic is identifiable and original, a masterpiece of visual and sound design.

Those who pre-ordered Dead Space 2 will enjoy a few in-game perks, as well as the confounding hacking mini-games of Dead Space: Ignition (a bridge motion comic that ties the games together). While Ignition can be a fun distraction, it feels out of place in the DS universe, where hacking is barely an afterthought. Dead Space: Extraction, a Wii and Ps3 exclusive (sorry 360 fans) adds motion-control blasting to the Dead Space realm... losing the creepiness along the way. Dead Space 2 provides a few meta-games of its own, with Isaac's new jet pack and a few "falling through space" sequences and minimalist hacking, and the game's puzzles are relatively simple for any seasoned gamer. This is a shooter, folks, but a great one.

If you love Survival Horror, it's time to move on from Resident Evil and Silent Hill... the new king in town is Dead Space 2, with the best blend of creepy and cool yet. Playing DS2 will help you forget the hours you wasted watching Event Horizon, Pandorum, or the scads of other imperfect "lost in space" horror films... Isaac Clarke is the new Ripley, and the Necromorphs are today's Aliens.

Check out our other reviews at www.gamedebateclub.com!
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Silent Dirge
136,070 (84,312)
Silent Dirge
TA Score for this game: 2,009
Posted on 03 January 12 at 00:26, Edited on 03 January 12 at 00:27
This review has 6 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Though i haven't played this game recently i would like to take a little time out to appreciate and pay homage to what i believe to be one of the best games for the Xbox 360 so far.

It's always hard to better than the original whether it's a game, movie or anything. Bottom line: sequels are destined to be worse if not the same as the original, this is where Dead Space 2 comes in. After tremendous success from it's predecessor Dead Space 2 had a lot of hype to live up to and in every way it met if not exceeded those expectations.

From it's story and lore all the way down to things i usually pay little attention to like graphics Dead Space 2 was flawless. It tells the second chapter of Isaac Clarke's tragic story and does not disappoint. With Isaac slowly going insane he must yet again face all odds and repel the necromorph horde. I'll stop there so as not to inadvertently ruin the game for anyone who hasn't had the chance to play it. The provides what i think is one of the best atmospheres in a survival horror game and is on par with such popular series as Silent Hill and Resident Evil.

I myself love all things survival horror so I'm rarely phased by generic "jump out" scares but the Dead Space series does things a little differently. It puts you in dark environments where your vision is purposely impaired and along with a few "jump out" scares the people over at Visceral Games use sound as a way to frighten the player. I find it just as disturbing if not more when I hear someone or something but can't see it.

Overall Dead Space 2 and the franchise all together are fantastic I recommend them highly to anyone who is either a survival horror junkie like me or someone who is simply trying to break into the genre. I can't wait to see how Isaac's story continues. 5 out of 5.

TheDarkPresence
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This review has 3 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Note: I haven't played multiplayer yet, and I won't for quite sometime. I didn't review that for this reason.


Dead Space 2 is an amazing game. I'm going to write about its scary moments, cool kills, and how much I dig the main character's internal struggle, but Dead Space 2 is about more than this. When I beat it for the first time, I sat on the couch with my heart racing and dissected the journey I had just taken. Then, I started my second playthrough, and when that was done, I jumped into a new game for the third time. Dead Space 2 is just that good.

It's been three years since the events of the first game, but protagonist Isaac Clarke still can't catch a break. At the beginning of Dead Space 2, he wakes on a space station known as the Sprawl and finds the place is overwhelmed by an outbreak of reanimated corpses called Necromorphs. From the very first moment of the game, Isaac's fighting for his life.

This is where you come in. As Isaac, you'll pick up your plasma cutter, don an engineering suit and take the fight to the beasts out to kill you. The overarching goal is to find and destroy the religious idol (known as the Marker) causing all of this, but the story that makes Dead Space 2 great is the internal war Isaac's fighting. Unlike Uncharted's Nathan Drake who can kill a few hundred pirates and never seem worn down by it, Isaac is totally ruined by the events of the original Dead Space. He saw things no man should have to during his time on the spaceship USG Ishimura, but it's the fact that Isaac's girlfriend died on the vessel after he encouraged her to work there that really haunts him.


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Isaac's losing his mind in Dead Space 2. The guilt is tearing his very sanity apart. That's heavy stuff and it makes for a really engaging story. Isaac doesn't let anyone else in on the fact that he's coming unglued, so as a player I get to see who he really is and the facade he presents to the other characters. Isaac's internal conversations and hallucinations are among my favorite parts of this game.

But I have lots of favorite parts to Dead Space 2. Right behind Isaac's struggle on my list of cool stuff is the combat. It's more satisfying than it was in the original. Isaac's fast and light on his feet. You can stomp crates in a jiff and melee attack bodies for loot, grabbing things with your telekinesis is responsive, and mixing all of this together with the different weapons in the game is a blast. Slowing down a Necromorph, blowing off its arm, and using the severed limb to impale the foe on a wall is a thing of beauty that doesn't get old.

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Dead Space 2 is pretty much the best haunted house attraction ever. Visceral stripped out the stuff that slowed down the original game (backtracking, getting disoriented, etc.) and ended up with a fast-paced game that's suspenseful and scary at the same time. You're funneled down these halls and corridors on your way from Point A to Point B, and ghouls pop out for you to blast. I know that "linear" is a bad word in the video game industry, but the package is so well done here that I can't knock Dead Space 2 for taking me on a very specific ride that's marked by awesome moments, environments that range from a cheery schoolhouse to pitch black rooms, and sound that's so well done I'd find myself trying to figure out if it was a monster making its move or my dog rummaging in the living room. Toss in some new disturbing enemies and surprises I won't ruin for you and you have a game that can feel like "the same old thing" at times but becomes much more than that as a whole.

I've already said that I've played the game over and over, so it's important to point out that no ride needs to be the same. Dead Space packs returning weapons such as the saw blade-spitting Ripper as well as brand new items like the Detonator and its trip mines. Each of these weapons -- along with your suit, telekinesis and stasis module -- can be upgraded for maximum butt-kicking, and then the progress can be saved and carried over to your next playthrough. These options and rewards are what kept me wanting to come back. There are tons of new suits (with new bonuses) to unlock and I always wanted to see what my next pimped-out weapon could do.

As much fun as all that is, the "go here and do this" structure does hamper the overarching story. The part about Isaac wrestling his demons is awesome, but the narrative driving the search for the Marker is a bit flat in comparison. Different characters are just popping up to tell you to go there and do that. I wouldn't have a problem with this structure if it ended with Isaac learning something or maturing as a protagonist, but we never get that moment where he takes charge of his own fate. He's always being pushed somewhere by someone.


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Dead Space 2 is more than just an action game and it's more than a survival horror game -- it's a game that tells a really personal story about a guy who has been seriously scarred by the events around him. That premise alone makes it interesting, but Visceral Games melds it with rewarding combat, shocking enemies, and huge set pieces before tossing it into a world that's truly creepy and scary. I didn't find multiplayer that interesting and would've liked to have seen Isaac stop being an errand boy, but none of that spoils what you're getting here. The shocking moments, the gruesome deaths, and the fun of playing through this experience again and again are
what I took away from this one.

Dead Space 2 is an excellent game, and it's well worth your time and money.

One more thing. If you're truly devoted like myself, there's even a mode known as "Hardcore," and it's nothing less than sadistic. The enemies are brutal, the supplies are limited, there are no checkpoints, and if you die, you restart from your last save. Oh, and you can only save three times in the entire game. That's crazy talk, but damn, I did it.

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Hardest Achievement:
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Hard to the Core-50GS
Complete the game on Hard Core Setting
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ryanlegend95
178,152 (117,973)
ryanlegend95
TA Score for this game: 1,191
Posted on 22 July 12 at 22:38, Edited on 28 July 12 at 13:39
This review has 6 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
In space no one can hear you cream (might be a bit rude but let me know if you want it changed if your not happy with the word).

Dead space was called that for a reason. Mostly because everybody is dead and it's in space.

In this sequel you still play as Isaac Clarke but something has changed though. did he do something with his hair. No! it's his straight jacket. Yes that's right, he's in a straight jacket because the marines think that he has gone crazy after the incident in the previous game and they don't think that it really happened. Isaac is still his normal self but he is seeing hallucinations of his dead girlfriend and he is trying to sort out why these hallucinations are happening but it doesn't stop there. Oh no. In fact the Necromorphs are back and damn aren't they hungry.

Like the previous game you are not alone. there are still survivors trying to escape and they either play nice or not at all. While the survivors are scared to death, Isaac is now a Necromorph veteran. Well sort of. He still screams but he knows exactly how to kill them and he knows that one bullet to the head does jack. Instead dismembering the limbs does the trick.

Now here's a review worth screaming for (or creaming for depending on how you feel about the game and the review).

Graphics:

The graphics look similar to the previous game but there are some better textures and more detail to the character models e.g. scars and better looking hair. The frame rate is smooth. barely any glitches. Great animations and fantastic cinematics.
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I give the graphics score a 9/10

Sound:

The voice acting is possibly the best that I heard since Resident Evil 5. The sound effects are good and frightening but some of the guns don't have the oomph that they should deserve.

I give the sound score a 8.5/10

Gameplay:

The gameplay is pretty much the same as the first game but with improvements e.g. combat is less clunky, better inventory and now refillable stasis stations. The guns are a little more balanced than the previous game. The controls have better layout and they are more responsive. Melee still needs a little more work especially when it comes to small enemies.
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There is now a multiplayer mode which really gives you more replay value. It's a little bit like left 4 dead. There are two teams. The Marines and the Necromorphs. The Marines will have to complete objectives to exterminate the Necromorphs and the Necromorphs will have to try and stop the marines from completing their objectives. The multiplayer is fun and has great sense of competitiveness. It also includes a leveling up system with unlockables. It has a low amount of lag too.

Overall I think that the single player and multiplayer modes are great which is why I am giving this score a screaming 10/10

Storyline:

The storyline is outstanding. It starts well and ends with a boom. The story is very compelling with quite a lot of emotion but the story does have plot holes so it can be a little difficult to follow the story but it's still great.

I give the storyline score a 9/10 simply because it's awesome.

Overall I think the game is worth the heart attack that it gave me and it's definitely on my list of the top ten games that I've played.

I give this game a 10/10

Please feel free to look at my previous review cause who knows, I might of just sold a game to you
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Balsin Fase
158,583 (104,053)
Balsin Fase
TA Score for this game: 1,273
Posted on 01 August 11 at 21:04
This review has 2 positive votes and 6 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Dead Space 2 starts off with someone’s face pretty much exploding right in the middle of your screen, just in case you had the feeling this might be a subtle horror game. Sure, it uses atmosphere and solitude to get you feeling unsettled, but the constant screaming and rushing attacks of the monsters detracts from those things so hard it feels like just another dull shooter. One with weirdy monsters, but still dull.

Continuing the story of Isaac Clarke, Dead Space 2 immediately writes off the neat little horror movie ending it gave to the first game. Actually, this isn’t the first form of horror entertainment to write off the death of the main character at the end of the first part in order to make more money, so I’m not really surprised. If you were coming here for the story at all, you’ll be gravely disappointed anyway. Somehow, the mystical marker of the first game, the one that gives off the weird signal that makes human genetic material start acting like bloodthirsty chainsaws, has become something that people can manufacture. Only crazy people seem to know how, but apparently you can mass produce these things.

I don’t know about you, but I find things are much scarier when they are unknown and unexplained. Couldn’t they have just found another one on a different planet with a different character, or something? The fact that you can build these things on the same scale as a toaster made them seem a lot less horrifying and a lot more stupid. They also brought in that tired old trope of the government building them because the government is evil because they won’t fix that bump on your road and keep pumping chlorine gas into your workplace. Shadowy government/military dudes doing bad things has been really played out. Just let it be something else for a change.

Isaac wasn’t exactly compelling in the first game, either, so I have no clue as to why he’s back. He was just another go-here-do-this-so-you-can-do-that character, a suit of digital meat you wore around just so you could be controlling something while playing your vidyer gameses. Sure, he had something going on about finding his wife, but he was so wooden and boring and silent that I really didn’t care. I wouldn’t have missed him if he’d been dead. At least there would have been a chance for someone interesting in the new one. I can see why they brought him back, though. He fits right in with the other amazing characters. We have enigmatic woman who sells you out pretty much two hours in and serves no real purpose. We have tough woman, Ellie, who makes a smart move when she meets you and tells you to buzz off, but then takes on a crazy person just because you ask her about five minutes later. Then she goes out of her way to help you, and suddenly loses her strength when confronted by another character and gets badly injured. Other than that, there’s another loon on board, one who shouts semi-creepy nonsense the whole time and gets dispatched before doing anything useful, yet still manages to be annoying for almost the entire game.

When your story is as bad as this, hopefully you have decent monsters to shoot. Dead Space 2 does, but most of them are the same as the ones from the first game. It’s still awesome to have something dragging itself toward you on one arm, swinging that last limb at you while you desperately try to shoot it off, but it was done before. Other than a few oddity additions, like a lot of weird childlike creatures that die in one hit, there’s nothing new to fight. There’s even less new guns to shoot, with a few new weapons that plant mines or shoot spears. Compared to the first game’s weapons, the contact beam and the ripper, they’re worthless. You’ll find yourself falling back on old gear to get through, short of the shotgun-like force beam.

You’d think I didn’t have any fun playing it from what I’ve just told you, but truthfully, this game is still a blast to play. You see, at its core, there’s still a strong game, but it was a lot stronger during the first foray. The thing is, you can find that game out and about for around ten dollars, and you’ll be playing the infinitely superior version of the game. If this is going to be your first attempt with this series, stick with the first one, and if you just want more Dead Space, go replay the first one. Set it on a higher difficulty. Do it with just the plasma cutter. Or do both at once, like one crazy buddy of mine did. No matter what, you’re still playing the better game.
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