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Dead Space 2 Review

This is a discussion on Dead Space 2 Review within the Game Reviews forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Dead Space 2 Official Review By Ninja_Vampire Basic Information: Developer: Visceral Games Publisher: Electronic Arts North American Release Date: 25th ...

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    Dead Space 2 Review

    Dead Space 2 Official Review
    By Ninja_Vampire

    Basic Information:
    Developer: Visceral Games
    Publisher: Electronic Arts
    North American Release Date: 25th of January, 2011.
    European Release Date: 28th of January, 2011.
    Trophies: 51

    *This review may contain mild spoilers, you have been warned!*

    Overview -

    Dead Space 2 is the sequel to the infamously scary and awesome third person shooter/ survival horror game, Dead Space. Dead Space 2 continues the story of Issac Clarke, a CEC engineer, three years after the events of Dead Space, when he awakens in a hospital on one of Saturn's moons, Titan. Packed full of action, explosions, scary creatures and of course, lots of gore, Dead Space 2 sounds like it couldn't be anything from amazing. Keep reading to find out what we think.

    Gameplay -

    As a third person shooter, Dead Space 2 plays as you would imagine it to. You control Issac with a close, over the shoulder camera angle that works perfectly throughout the game, as generally, you will be in close quarters. Like Dead Space, the game does not focus on large scale battles or huge areas, and concentrates on tight, narrow walkways and corridors, to leave you with no where to run when you are viciously attacked. Issac's movements are also not suited to running away, as you don't move very fast, and turning tight corners is definitely not one of his strong points. In Dead Space 2, they have made it hard for you to avoid enemies, so you must do your best at becoming efficient at killing whatever stands in your way.

    Thankfully however, the game gives you plenty of weapons that can save your skin in almost any situation. With a huge arsenal to defend yourself with, from old classics like the Line Gun or Force Gun, to new weapons like the Seeker Rifle and the Javelin Gun, you will have great fun trying each of the weapons out, using both their primary and secondary functions, and then upgrading them to become even more fierce. Of course the Stasis and Kinesis modules return, allowing more skilled players to kill the Necromorph without even firing their weapons. New enemies come in all shapes and sizes such as the childlike enemies, the Pack, or larger, scarier, Tripods. Dead Space 2 loves to surprise us with its selection of enemies, so you never truly know what lies around the next corner.

    The Pack come in large numbers, thankfully though, they have a weakness to blunt force trauma.

    Dead Space 2 does a great job of utilizing the weapons in the game, as there seems to be an enemy to counteract every weapon and vice versa. This will nearly force you to experiment with your equipment, as to see what is the most effective against who. Personally, I think Visceral Games have nailed the combat element of Dead Space 2, allowing players to have their own personal style when fighting off hoards of Necromorph.

    Some new gameplay elements added in Dead Space 2 are the free-fall sequences, airlock windows and the improved zero gravity areas.
    -When Issac needs to get somewhere in a hurry, the free-fall sequences start and hurls Issac through space, dodging debris and even buildings in the process. These parts are nice, but solely for the cinematics and not the gameplay, as I found it ridiculously easy, almost impossible to die.
    -One easy way to die however is by breaking one of the airlock windows. When these are broken, everything gets sucked into space, and Issac must shoot a panel above the window, otherwise he will become space debris. These windows are quite interesting as they can be used tactically to kill large groups of Necromorps, but in turn, placing yourself in danger.
    -The zero gravity areas in Dead Space 2 have completely changed since the first game, giving you full control of Issac in zero gravity, aided by thrusters on his suit. These areas are great fun and the controls are very easy to use. One problem I had with the zero gravity is that there wasn't enough it, only maybe 4 or 5 times.

    While the game is advertised as a survival horror, the fundamental gameplay elements of Dead Space 2 point much more towards that of a third person shooter/ action game, it's just that Dead Space 2 includes scary enemies and events that intentionally make you jump. This is definitely not a bad thing though, because Dead Space 2 is a fantastic third person shooter, and it will scare you, I just think that there is a little too much action in the game to consider it a survival horror.

    Singleplayer -

    Like I previously mentioned, Dead Space 2 continues the story of Dead Space, just three years have passed. Issac Clarke wakes in a hospital on Titan Station, on the moon Titan orbiting Saturn. Much to no one's surprise, when Issac is woken up, a necromorph stabs it's blade-like arm through the man that releases Issac, which sends Issac running like hell through the hospital in a straitjacket, barely dodging death. After obtaining his iconic suit and plasma cutter, Issac sets off through the Sprawl (The station) to find out why he was in the hospital, and why there is another Necromorph outbreak. Haunted by visions of his dead girlfriend, Nicole, Dead Space 2 makes us question what is real and what is just an illusion to Issac, which gives great depth to his character and makes the story all that more interesting. Issac meets quite a few people along his way, but it isn't always clear to us and Issac, who can he trust.

    Issac's girlfriend was a bit better looking when she was alive...

    The level designs in Dead Space 2 are quite different than that of Dead Space, in the sense that they have added a lot more variety into the areas of the Sprawl. In the original Dead Space, you were almost solely running around the Ishimura, which at times, made it quite hard to distinguish new areas from the old. In Dead Space 2 however, there are plenty of areas completely different than the next, getting Issac to travel through areas like apartment blocks, shopping districts and even nursery schools. The addition of more varied levels is a welcome change, which is a lot easier on the eyes and lets us play the game for even longer without getting bored.

    The entire campaign is the standard length, about 7-9 hours and it's very enjoyable the entire way through. The game offers 4 difficulty levels at the start, from Casual, Normal, Survivalist, Zealot and then Hardcore mode when you complete the game once. Zealot is the hardest difficulty which can pose a problem for a lot of players and then Hardcore is a setting on it's own. In Hardcore, you can only save the game 3 times and there are no checkpoints. Enemies take a moderate amount of damage and hit quite hard, in addition, ammo and health packs are relatively scarce. In my opinion, the addition of Hard Core mode was one of the best ideas they had when making Dead Space 2. During this mode, you will have to play the game completely different, as one wrong move can put you back hours. This adds a whole new experience to the game, and a very frightening one at that.

    I can definitely see that the singleplayer of Dead Space 2 has taken a lot of time and effort to create, and I think Visceral Games really hit the nail on the head with it.

    Multiplayer -

    The multiplayer of Dead Space 2 pits 8 players in two teams against each other every round. What is interesting about this multiplayer is that every game, there are 2 rounds, 1 round where you play as the Humans (all dressed similarly to Issac) and in the second round, you play as the Necromorphs (You can pick between 4 different ones). When you are the humans, you need to complete a certain objective, and when you are the Necromorphs, you need to stop the humans. There are 5 maps to play on and each map has a different objective game mode, but that's about as varied as it gets. You only level up as the human character, but you can unlock upgrades for the Necromorphs such as increased damage or extra health. New weapons and suits unlock for the humans as you increase your level.

    The multiplayer offers little more than the contents of this picture.

    In my opinion, the multiplayer of Dead Space 2 definitely comes up short. The only real entertaining bit about playing the multiplayer is getting to play as a Necromorph, but that gimmick quickly wears out. In my opinion, it is a nice addition to add to the game, but is really nothing special. I can imagine that a lot of fans will really enjoy the multiplayer, but to me, it is just another singleplayer game that was peer-pressured into having a multiplayer, as it seems to be the norm nowadays.

    Technical -

    Graphically, Dead Space 2 looks great as you walk through the Sprawl. Graphics have definitely stepped up since the first game in every sense of the word, from Issac's death animations to the enemy models and especially the scenery. Now you can look outside one of the thousands of windows and see a vast city and an amazing view from space, which is always awesome. Lighting has also been improved, allowing for an even more eerie atmosphere, especially when you are forced to use your flashlight in the pitch dark (one element that wasn't included enough in the game).

    As you could imagine, the game highly relies on it's audio too, which is no less than amazing. The sounds of items falling on the ground, things scurrying through vents and terrifying screams are things you will hear frequently in the game, and certainly grow to hate, but only because you may soil your pants.

    As you can see, the visuals have been improved greatly since the first game.

    There are very few snags in the technical features of the game, and they aren't anything game breaking. You may notice the occassional Necromorph glitch into a wall, or dead body stand upright, but these things are easily forgotten and will not interfere with your gaming. I can't honestly say I once had issues with the framerates either, which is often a problem on high quality graphical games like this. The technical aspects of Dead Space 2 will have very few people complaining, as to me they are fantastic.

    Trophies -

    The trophies of Dead Space 2 are well planned out. Not only do the trophies make you use all the weapons in the game, they also include using the secondary fires of a lot of the weapons, which with me personally, helped me figure out which guns I liked the most and which ones I found to be useless. Many trophies of the game also focus on the main missions of the game and certain sections which can be missed, so it is advisable to save often in new slots. The difficulty based trophies are the main set back, but once you finish the game once, you will get a feel for it and the platinum will come in time. Thankfully, there are no trophies for the multiplayer mode, which is always good news for trophy hunters

    Closing Thoughts -

    Without a doubt, Dead Space 2 was my most anticipated game for the start of 2011, and I can easily say that I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. The story of Dead Space seemed a little unfinished, and I definitely think that this game filled in almost all the blanks for us and really continued on the story well. The gameplay is almost exactly the same as the first in the series, but I think they changed and added just enough in Dead Space 2 to keep us interested and to improve our experience, without altering the game too much.

    As for downfalls of the game, there is little I can say apart from the multiplayer which to me seems bland, but the fact that it doesn't intrude on the quality of the singleplayer, it isn't anything major. If you enjoy Dead Space, the sequel definitely does the series justice and you will have a bundle of fun playing it, but even if you are new to the series, you will be in for a treat.

    Scores: -

    Gameplay: 9/10
    Dead Space 2 brought us what we loved from Dead Space, and gave us that little bit more.

    Singleplayer: 9/10
    Continuing on the story perfectly, with an extremely enjoyable campaign that kept me on my toes the entire time.

    Multiplayer: 6/10
    Wasn't for me, but I won't deny that it could be great fun with the right people.

    Technical: 9/10
    Fantastic lighting, graphics and audio, all combined to create some freaky environments.

    Overall: 8/10.

    Dead Space 2 Second Opinions
    by JackAttack

    The best way I can describe Dead Space 2 to someone is, "A startling action game that will make you jump," which is a shame, really, because it could be so much more than that. I mean the combat, while very action heavy, is in no way broken of awful, and the setting exhales atmosphere more than I exhale sighs whilst playing this game.

    A stumbling block that Dead Space 2 runs into here is a lack of any decent type of narrative. While Isaac is finally given a face and voice, his character isn't fleshed out enough. We see his internal struggle for a few moments, but then they're pushed to the very depths of our mind as they're instead consumed by mindless gore and violence. Stir in the fact that the story feels largely filler - a large portion of the game adds absolutely nothing to the plot whatsoever - and you've got a very bland storyline.

    Yet that isn't even the biggest problem I have with Dead Space 2. It's an interesting and fun game, but it tries so desperately to make me shit my pants that for the very same reason it fails in doing so. Dead Space 2 is a fun action game, but it lacks thrills, chills, and desperation that usually exudes from games that fall under the survival horror genre, as this one claims to.

    SCORE: 7/10
    Last edited by Curse; 07-24-2012 at 09:10 AM.

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    Update: Jack has kindly wrote up a second opinion to this review, take a look! There's a contrast of opinion between his and Ninja's, what are your thoughts on this?

  3. #3
    Game on....
    Timeless-Enigma's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curse View Post
    Update: Jack has kindly wrote up a second opinion to this review, take a look! There's a contrast of opinion between his and Ninja's, what are your thoughts on this?
    I agree with the intial review and would add that my score would be 9/10.

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    In a multiverses of different bodies and souls

    Quote Originally Posted by Timeless-Enigma View Post
    I agree with the intial review and would add that my score would be 9/10.
    I'd say 9.5 myself. This is one of my all time favourites.

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    Puns always intended.
    Larrydavidsavatar's Avatar

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    Sep 2011
    One dimension short of being in a 3D game.

    9/10 for me, no game is scary or terrifying but this is a title that offers buckets of dread,gore and suspense, until the end parts in which Dead Space 2 become a panicky frustratingly annoying kitchen sink Aliens homage.

    The opening however, is a pitch perfect blast of the best parts of survival horror rolled up in a meaty blood soaked ball of gaming goodness.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2011

    fantastic game. multiplayer was ok. big change in difficulty towards the end

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