The best way to describe this game, is combine Doom 3 dark atmosphere, then combine that with F.E.A.R.’s ability of scaring the living shit out of you. Dead Space 2 returns you to the role as Isaac Clark from Dead Space but this time around the plot is much more sinister.
This review is based on a PC version, so some of the commands will be very different from our console counter parts.
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Dead Space has changed the way we gamers interacted with our games. One of these ways was the use a bread crumbs (default was CTRL) in case we gotten a bit lost or confused on the direction we needed to proceed onwards, we can use the bread crumb feature to get us going in the right direction. This feature of this game became increasingly helpful when we were up side down in a zero gravity areas, or on them times when we had to back track in the same direction we came from. Dead Space 2 uses this same great feature, but Visceral Games went a bit farther with it. Instead of us just getting the proper direction we needed to go to for our objective (Dead Space 2 uses B), we can now locate Save points, work benches, also stores by pressing the B button and hold it down then use the arrow keys (up and down keys) to scroll through the options. This unique capability in Dead Space 2 turned out to rather helpful to myself when I had to upgrade my weapons/armor when I literally got my ass handed to me by the Alien human hybrids.
Dead Space 2 also had the combat area upgraded to a much more useful interaction versus the orginal Dead Space game. In Dead Space when we melee’d the aliens all it would do was knock them back a few paces and we as the player did no real damage to them (especially the larger aliens we were fighting). Now in Dead Space 2 we can now melee the alien and had the capability of doing some serious damage to them, it did not just knock them back a few paces. There were a few times when melee’n the aliens was the best course of action because the shear number of them, and it was faster then trying to shoot them down. Dead Space 2 incorporates the dark feeling that we all have experienced with Doom 3, just like in Doom 3 we are given a flash light to help us light the way. But this time around, our flashlights are all automatically incorporated in with our weapons, there are no special buttons to press, or any funky thing we had to do to light our way in the dark all we had to do was aim with our weapon. The weapons in Dead Space 2 were pretty much exactly the same as we had with Dead Space, the only difference is that we get a couple added new ones that we did not have in the first Dead Space game. The Force Gun, this is basically a shot gun, I did not find it that useful for me as I preferred the Line Gun and the Plasma Cutter. Another weapon that was useful but in rare occasions was the Detonator, this gave us the ability to place mines in specific spots to cover our backs, again I did not use this weapon very often as I kept running into my own mines that I had laid out for the bad guys (definitely not something you want to do). Just like the first Dead Space game we have the capabilities of Stasis, and Kinesis but in Dead Space 2 Visceral Games tweaked these a bit as well. When using Stasis (freezing time on a specific item) the object pretty much halts (there is some movement but very little, so make sure you time the use of this properly) the effects wear off fairly quickly so if you need to take out an Alien and need to use Stasis, react fast because it wont be long before that bad guy comes after you again. Kinesis has been a serious upgrade this time around, instead of being able to move objects around, we can use these objects to attack our enemies. With this new capability we can now use long spears, or tentacles from falling enemies, chairs, tables, dead bodies and either impale the aliens, or throw them back far enough for us to go to town on them. Unlike Dead Space in Dead Space 2 our Stasis power can be recharged on its own, keep in mind it does take time to fully recharge itself, also the use of Kinesis does not use any of the Stasis power (at least not during my time playing this great game)
Dead Space 2 also tweaked on how we get our loot or “drops”. Once we dropped an alien it no longer just drop items out before us, we now have to walk up and stomp it to get our items (default Space Bar). To gain our upgraded suits, we no longer can find these just floating around on the various levels. We have to access these by entering the power locked enabled rooms, we will get plenty of warnings for us to retain at least 1 power node to gain access to these rooms (I advise that if you play this game to keep one on hand at all times). Our weapons and ammo that we can purchase from the store still require us to get the schematics to these and again these schematics are only left in the power locked rooms. Ammo and medical items are not as easily found in Dead Space 2 like they were in Dead Space, so tread lightly when you enter an new area because it may be the last time you do. (I got myself in quite a few jams when all I had left was Kinesis, the will to live, and the capability of melee’n the crap out of the enemy, it still was not enough.)
Dead Space 2 includes the use of a few new types of creatures, I wont list their names or their capability (I would not want to spoil the fun). Dead Space 2 can and will out number you quick fast and in a hurry, so brush up on your combat skills because they will be pushed to their limits. Visceral Games also tweaked the way we did the Zero G portions of Dead Space 2, we no longer have to aim at a spot and them jump to that spot like we had to do in Dead Space. We now fly around on those Zero G levels, if you think getting disorientated on first Dead Space was bad wait until you try flying around in Zero G. If it was not for the Z button (so I can orientate myself to the ground) and the bread crumb capability of Dead Space 2 I been totally lost.
Graphically Dead Space 2 is absolutely gorgeous to look at. Visceral games did an outstanding job on the representation of the aliens, the people, and the weapons in Dead Space 2. During my play time I did not notice any real major graphical errors, there were a few times when a dead body get stuck in a wall and I hear the continuous flopping around of that dead body but it was not enough to discourage, or annoy me from playing this game. This game also fully supported my Multi-Monitor system AMD’s Eyefinity right out of the box, I did not need any special hacks or programs to get this game to span across my exceptionally large resolution of 5760×1080. The only other issue I had with Dead Space 2 when using the first main screen once spanned was enabled, it made my options somewhat dimmer then it did when I was in single monitor mode. This was more of an annoyance as I was still able to see the options so I can load a game, or go online to play this game while I played in Eyefinity mode. Even while using a extremely high resolution of 5760×1080, this game still was able to play fairly smooth and did not overly task my machine (my average frame rates were between the 45-90 range, verified with fraps). This may very from user to user because my machine is not exactly small. I played this game on 2 x 6970’s a Core i7 930 @ 4.1 GHz, six gigs of memory, on 4 320 gig Seagate Momentus HDD’s in RAID 0.
The only real gripe I have with Dead Space 2 was the mulitplayer options that Visceral Games gives us PC users (which was not that much of as options). Like our Console brethren we only had the option of “MatchMaking” and we could not pick and choose our servers we wanted to play on, nor could we dedicate a server, and we still do not have the capability of map making. This in itself is just wrong we are PC users not console users, and I absolutely apawl the thought of treating us PC gamers exactly the same way as our console brethren.
Now time for me to wrap things up with this review, I will take into consideration all of the stated points I made about this game and come up with a comparable scoring. I will also consider that their are others like myself who buy games not just for multiplayer capabilities of that game. Dead Space 2 was a prime example of purchasing a game just for its single player campaign only. So respectfully I give Dead Space 2 to a score of:
9 out of Ten and the
Gold Dragon Award