Review by BGuerrie
"Your mom may hate it, but everyone else will love."
When the first Dead Space arrived in 2008, it brought true fortune to gamers' wish lista horror game done right. After being disappointed with Silent Hill Homecoming (and Resident Evil 5), it seemed the survival-horror genre was slowly dying. That is, until now. The sequel has arrived, and this gamer here can proudly say that Dead Space 2 is ten-times better than the original.
Those who haven't played the original, think of it as Alien and Resident Evil 4 combined, but with a nifty-looking space suite and some really hideous looking monsters chasing you (and popping out at your dispense). There was a couple times where I literally jumped out of my seat when a creature decided to show up with no invitation. And if you think a day care center in space sounds lame, wait until you hear the sound effects that drift in the air. If you enjoyed Resident Evil 4, you will (assuredly) love this game,
Once again, you take the role of Isaac Clarke, who this time speaks; contradicting his mute trait from the first Dead Space. Awakening from a capsule with all of his memory lost, Isaac is navigated and contacted by a mysterious girl who is in the need for help. Flashbacks from the first game will haunt you through the entire experience, and you will also return to some familiar places that you visited before. Lab testing and the cruel alien life forms (known as Necromorphs) return to storm the ships as you make your way through the eerie, dark space in the universe.
It may be a little repetitive since most of the time you are faced with a lot of the same enemies and boring missions (turning switches off and on sadly return) but the zero gravity rooms are remarkable and much stellar with more free movement. You even get to float and fly into space a few times; and man, does it look good. The power nodes make also return, along with the store where you can up your ante. You can improve many of your arsenals; which includes your suite, max health, guns, defense, you name it. And for the sake of decapitating your enemies, it never gets oldespecially trying out new weapons.
Graphic hounds will adore EA's effort to make this game actually look frightening. Though Resident Evil 5 may look a tad better, it's still a marvelous looking game, and the monsters' faces are gruesome. Gamers will for sure react is such ways as: What in the heck is that? Acting is well performed as well; there are many gory cut scenes and characters that speak fluently.
Combat, though basic, is still spot-on fun. You can literally splatter-off your enemy's body parts, from their arms to their limbs. Much like Bioshock, you have your Kinesis power, which lets you manipulate and move objects and foes as if they were puppets. You also have the ability to freeze enemies and objects, which gives you the upper-hand in slowing time down and making a tough obstacle a piece of cake.
The difficulty also seems to be enhanced a tad bit. Players will need to visit the store much more often than usual (on normal). The fifteen chapters that grace the story mode may be finished within ten hours, but taking your time and finding everything will result in a less difficult and forgiving challenge for the last few chapters. And more so, you can replay the story mode with all of your previous upgrades intact. If you're looking to complete it on the hardest difficulty, use this to your advantage. Take note that the Severe downloadable content also gives buyers an additional two-chapter campaign.
New to the Dead Space realm is the Multiplayer. Up to eight players, you can compete with two teams; one with the humans and the other as the creatures. Unfortunately, the human kind has to run around the maps and complete the dull objectives (which you run into in the campaign), while also worrying about the other team feenin' for your flesh. Although fun to play as the Necromorphs, re-spawn times are quite instant and at a fast pacegiving an unbalanced predicament for both teams. The length of each game is over before you know it, with a two-round face off. More modes, such as Team Death match or survival (like Left 4 Dead) could have added more competition and suspense.
The current-gen consoles are lacking many top-notch horror games. This is one that is worth picking up. The online may lack variety, but the campaign is one helluva-ride.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/09/11, Updated 07/11/12
Game Release: Dead Space 2 (US, 01/25/11)
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