Review by DuskSoul

"A Psychological Adventure"

***DISCLAIMER: This is a single player only review. I chose to do this kind of review because the multiplayer to me seems like bonus content, something tacked on that wasn't really needed. The single player in itself was what really made this game the masterpiece that it was. Any Dead Space fan would whole-heartedly agree with that statement.***

Man, what a ride that was. The original Dead Space was a great scare, but this game was packed with so much more. Bigger scares, bigger fights, better guns, and an overall greater experience. An ideal sequel, this is Dead Space 2.

The game starts off with action immediately; unfortunately, all you can do is run. The tone of the game is set right away as The Sprawl, the large space station-city you're awoken inside of, in being overrun by the Necromorph infection. As the story goes on and you come across all of your weapons again, it really starts to feel like an adventure. This time, the Necromorphs aren't Isaac's only problem; his other and probably even greater issue, is his own mind.

Isaac's mind has been morphed by The Marker. Visions of his dead girlfriend, Nicole, are constantly haunting him throughout the entire game. I won't spoil anything, but it gets to the point where Nicole is practically Isaac's greatest enemy. It also leads to greater scares, as we've all gotten use to Necromorphs bursting out of vents. Now we have to deal with illusions created by Isaac's mind; think of the things you saw in the F.E.A.R. games. Yeah, it gets that scary.

The action in this game is superb. There are huge fight sequences that feel so fluid and movie-like, yet you have a lot of control over what's going on. The boss battles are insane and make you have to think quick on your feet. As the game goes on, obviously your enemies get tougher and tougher. On top of that, brand new enemies are introduced to you; even from the very beginning of the game! And what better way to kill all of them than dismembering them. Which brings us to a really great mechanic added into this game I'm sure you've all heard about....

Turning enemy onto enemy. No, not confusing an enemy into being your ally. I mean shooting off a Slasher's arm, grabbing it with Kinesis, and shooting it right back at the enemy to pin it to a wall. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Very fun indeed. There's also a new enemy called a Crawler, which are infected infants that crawl around (hurrdurr) and explode when they get too close to you. If you manage to shoot them in just right though, they'll die without exploding (do this 30 times and you get yourself an achievement!). You can then turn enemy on enemy again, and shoot the exploding sacks on their backs back at other enemies!

The first game had very good controls, but this time around they seemed to make it even easier to fluently use different weapons and powers to overcome your enemies. They've even given us access to random spears and rods along the ground to use to shoot at enemies; usually, the tips of these objects are lit up to let you know "hey, shoot this at something." The ways to kill enemies in this game are endless.

Zero-G movement has also been given a grand upgrade. You can now move around in space using your zero-g boots and mini rockets on the back of your RIG in full 360 degree movement. Now, instead of having to bounce wall-to-wall, you can simply fly around in space! This allowed Visceral to give us even more fun and unique levels to play around in. Once again, they've outdone themselves with Dead Space 2.

As it was in the first game, Dead Space 2 is loud. Lots of screaming and roaring, lots of bloody and grotesque sounds, and very creepy music. The audio is amazing. All of the guns sound unique to their use, and this time around we can actually hear Isaac's voice. He also doesn't pull cheesy one-liners either. No, he sounds like a real person that now you can actually relate and connect to a lot more than in the first game. Sometimes, what he says may even give you hints on how to complete a certain task during the game.

Dead Space 2 was all-in-all a masterpiece of a video game. The story was absolutely engaging, combat was flawless and fluid, and the scares are absolutely terrifying. Everything you loved in Dead Space was brought back together tenfold, and then much more added onto it. It's so early in the year, yet I can definitely see this being one of the greatest game of the year. After seeing the end, I can definitely suspect a third installment to this series, and I cannot wait to see what Visceral has in store for us!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/28/11

Game Release: Dead Space 2 (US, 01/25/11)

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