EA and Visceral Games continues the plight of Issac Clarke with the recent release of Dead Space 2.
Dead Space 2 expands on the story of Issac Clarke, an engineer in the far future who must find his way through The Sprawl, a giant metropolis built on a shard of Saturn’s moon Titan. Hindering Clarke’s progress are hordes of Necromorphs, humans that have been mutated into bloodthirsty monsters. Clarke is also haunted by visions of his dead girlfriend Nicole who seems to be both helping and stopping him all at the same time. However, Clarke is not completely defenseless, as he has a variety of weapons and kinetic abilities at his disposal.
Gameplay is much like most third-person shooters, using one button to aim Clarke’s weapon and another to fire it at an enemy. One of the more interesting aspects to the game is how the player must defeat the Necromorphs. Unlike most games where an enemies head is the weak point, the best way to kill a Necromorph is to shoot off its various limbs. Clarke can also use his kinesis ability to pick up the limbs of fallen enemies and blast them at others. This comes in handy for those tight situations where ammo is scarce, which happens quite often in the game.
Another great addition to the game is the improved zero-G scenes. The previous game just allowed players to float from platform to platform in areas where the gravity had been turned off or malfunctioned. In this iteration of the series Clarke now has boosters on his boots, which allows for more control and interesting combat scenes, as the physics we are used to are completely thrown out the window. Some of the most thrilling parts of the game those where Clarke must go outside into deep space, where the only thing the player can hear are the sounds of Clarke’s suit and his heavy breathing. This allows enemies to sneak up on Clarke and give players the scares that the series is known for.
Visceral Games has also added a multiplayer mode to the game, a four versus four deathmatch where a team of humans must complete and objective and a team of Necromorphs must stop the humans from doing so. Each character has two weapons at their disposal, more of which can be upgraded and unlocked using a leveling up system. This mode is an interesting change from the single player storyline, however feels like it was just tacked on as an afterthought.
Overall, Dead Space 2 is an amazing horror third-person shooter. The atmosphere of The Sprawl is incredibly well done, and will have a few scares for even the most seasoned horror veteran. The game’s controls are tight and fast, while still allowing for the challenge of a survival horror game. While the multiplayer mode seems like it could do with a bit more polishing, this is a great game for anyone looking for a good scare.