Let me set up a scenario for you. Five guys sitting around a TV playing Dead Space 2 and we have already had plenty to drink. Chaos is going on everywhere in the game and then it gets quiet as Isaac Clarke searches around for some ammo. All of a sudden “BOOM”, a fire extinguisher goes off and as embarrassing as it is to say, all five of us scream like 12 year old girls. This was truly one of the greatest overall gaming experiences I have ever sunk my life into.
Quick Story (*Spoilers but no end-game spoilers*)
In Dead Space 2 you are Isaac Clarke, an engineer, and you have been locked up for 3 years in stasis while a shit load of drama happens around you. You are awoken by a random guy on a ship that is already filled with necromorphs and you need to find a way to get the hell out of there and find out what has happened. You discover a couple of characters along the way and learn early in the story that you are the one that had created one of the “markers”, mysterious devices that act as divine relics but are man-made. It is your job to make it to the main “marker” and do anything possible to destroy it.
The story is amazing and it is the type of plot that will keep you engulfed until you finish the game. Isaac Clarke once again comes across as a bad-ass hero who we all wish we could be in real life (who else would use a piece of medical equipment as a gun? Hells Yeah!). The mix of humour and a huge story make this a game where reading/listening to everything is definitely worth it.
When you want to talk about a game that is this good you kind of lose track of where to start and where to finish. From start to finish this game was a rollercoaster ride that never should have stopped and when it did, you were actually quite happy with the way things ended.
You begin with no equipment at all, running around a ship with your arms wrapped in a straight-jacket while necromorphs come at you from every direction. You eventually get a flashlight and some health but this only does so much. The real fun begins when you get your stasis powers back and the plasma cutter. If you have played the first game then you will have no problems at all picking up from where you left off. All of the controls are the same (slick as usual) and each gun works just like they did in the previous game. Unfortunately, I played both Dead Space and Dead Space 2 only using the plasma cutter all the way through but I have seen how devastating the other weapons can be and I will be playing the game over again to try them out.
Dead Space 2 definitely has more scary moments in the game but the overall atmosphere, especially after playing the original, has become less of a scare factor due to getting use to the original’s ambience. Don’t get me wrong, this game is still scary as hell when it comes down to it but there is only so much you can do in ships that are made all the same. The developers especially did some good work on random body parts falling on Isaac as he opened the doors and wrestled with them (or were they part of his imagination? Hmmmmm).
The enemies work the same as well. Shoot off their limbs piece by piece and you have yourself a dead necromorph (at least you think you do until it comes barrelling down on you 30 seconds later while it played dead). There are some difficult enemies in this game especially the spitters that slow you down and there are enemy sequences (the subway and the large circle elevator) that are very well done. One hint to anyone that does play this game: remember the raptors in the film Jurassic Park? Be careful.
I do have a gripe about the end-game though but I won’t go much into it. Let’s just say it seems to me that they pulled a piece out of F.E.A.R. 2 and I’ll be honest: I HATED that game. The game is worth the ending though because you are Isaac Clarke and you are a piece of awesomeness all packed into one. Just look at his suits, man that guy knows how to dress as an engineer.
I haven’t played a ton of multiplayer but I did get enough of an experience to admit that this was much like what Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood tried to do. The multiplayer was not needed and seemed to be thrown in because online content is on the rise.
There are a couple modes, the main one being Engineers V Necromorphs in which you can player as either side and fight each other. The engineers are trying to accomplish an objective while the necromorphs are trying to stop the engineers from accomplishing those goals. While it rips a page right out of Left 4 Dead’s book with their Scavenge mode or even their Versus mode, it is still a neat idea and fun to play around with. The only big problem with multiplayer in this type of game is that it is too linear of a game with too many tight hallways for it to be any fun. I will say the necromorphs do have a pretty big advantage against the engineers every time. I hope that they build on this a bit more for the next one or just scrap it all together (but we all know they won’t do that).
The End Result
All in all, Dead Space 2 is worth every penny. Isaac Clarke is the man and if anyone knows how to be an engineer and kick ass it is him. The puzzles are basic but fun, the enemies are scary and fast, the weapons are deadly and the story is one that needs to be played through by everyone. Finishing Dead Space 2 only makes me want Dead Space 3 even more. Imagine Dead Space 3 on the Microsoft Kinect? Please don’t. It would suck.