Review by Bkstunt_31
Renegade Kids are getting better...
The first Dementium game came out late in 2007 and boasted that it was a mix of Silent Hill and Doom, and with that single boast captured my attention. It was an OK game but left much to be desired. The story wasn't very engaging (or told very well), the save system was atrocious, and they just loved to recycle graphics. Well, Renegade Kids got around to making Dementium 2 and released it in 2010, so I just got around to playing through it to see if they got any better. Here's my thoughts on how they did and what you can expect out of this game.
The story once again features the protagonist from the first game, William Redmoor, as he struggles to overcome the darkness in his head. You start the game in Bright Dawn Treatment Center (which used to be a prison, go figure) where you will start having nightmares again. The mysterious doctor from the first game once again returns to be your antagonist, taunting you every step of the way. Once again you must figure out what is going on.
Now, the first game definitely fell flat on its face in the storytelling department. The story didn't have hardly any meat on it at all and came in small snippets. The good news is that the story in Dementium 2 IS better. There is more snippets of story spread throughout the game and more of an idea of what's going on. The bad news is that the story isn't THAT MUCH better. William himself is very much a mystery and even after beating the game you will STILL have no idea what's going on.
Go ahead, think of some good horror games. Perhaps Silent Hill 2? Eternal Darkness? A good horror game can leave you in the dark for a good chunk of the game, and heck maybe even throw in a "are you really safe?" moment at the end (Dead Space anyone?) but just DOESN'T leave you in the dark throughout TWO games. This is the story-related frustration you will get from the Dementium series...
Game Play: 8/10
The game play is Dementium 2's biggest improvement. Gone is the horrible save system. The game is now generous by giving you mirrors to save in which are scattered (perfectly) throughout the game world. The developers must have really taken the back-lash about the first game's horrible save system to heart! The game's control's are still tight as well and moving around while shooting in a first-person view is handled fantastically. They also improved the weapon-selection system by putting a box at the bottom of the touch screen and letting you hit it, which pauses the game and lets you look through your inventory AND weapons in one easy transition. Looking around is best done with a stylus of course, and the shoulder buttons (L and R) will handle firing and reloading respectively while the directional buttons handle movement. You can even dash by double-tapping the directional buttons and jump by double-tapping the game screen.
The game itself will present you with a nice variety of enemies as you play, each of which is best handled with certain weapons but (with one exception) can be handled with any weapon you wish if you wanted. The weapons are spread out nicely as well. However, the game still, in retrospect, is filled with fetch-quests. You know, in order to advance you have to go grab an item to unlock the way forward. There are a smattering of puzzles to solve as you play the game which help break up the monotony (not very many clever ones) but things can get repetitive nonetheless.
The graphics are pretty similar to the first game, in the sense that the game has 3D enemies and is presented as a first-person shooter. The game looks pretty good (around PlayStation quality) and the enemies are well-designed. Granted, they are a bit block-y, but for the hardware the game is on it looks good. One real problem I had with the first Dementium was how utterly repetitive the environments were. Plus, they actually REUSED bosses in the first game. Dementium II has much more variety in its environments and no repetitive bosses, so it took a step in the right direction. There's still SOME repetitive areas, but it is much more tolerable now.
The soundtrack in the game is a mixed bag. The main theme is easily the best piece of music in the game and like the first title is memorable and catchy. After that you have either battle music or atmosphere/exploration music. The exploration music is pretty calming, actually, comprised of a lot of mild melodies that unfortunately just aren't very catchy. The battle music does its job and unnerves you whenever an enemy is near (and in fact the music will outright help you know when an enemy is near). Probably the biggest problem with the music is that a lot of it is short and repetitive. Heck, even new tracks are all kind-of vaguely similar to each other.
The sound effects of the monsters are done well. One monster in particular seems to LAUGH when you hurt it while another screams everywhere it goes. I remember the enemies in the first game sounding weird (one sounded like a box of kittens) and overall they haven' t changed much, but they did get better and I was no longer outright annoyed. The doctor, who talks to you quite a bit through the course of the game, can be hard to understand at times, so be sure to listen carefully.
The biggest downfall of Dementium II has to be how utterly short it is. You're looking at about 4-5 hours of playing before you beat the game. MAYBE 6. The game itself is much more enjoyable to play compared to Dementium, but is just SO short. You have three difficulties to choose from and five chapters to play through. You'll also unlock a survival mode each time you beat a chapter, but there just is SO little to this game that its hard to ignore.
Renegade Kids is getting better... this game is much better than the original Dementium but suffers from poor writing (and lack of any sort of engaging story) and how utterly short it is. The game is worth playing if you liked the first one (of course) but I would be careful about how much money you pop down for it, given how short the game is. Have fun and keep playing.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Dementium II (US, 05/04/10)
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