on August 8, 2011
Believe the hype! Dead Space 2 is everything you could want and expect from a sequel. And then there's more! To date, this is the single scariest/goriest game I have ever played on a console. (Silent Hill, you used to be the victor but come on, it's 2011 and sometimes, you just gotta move on.) (I still say the original Dead Space is the scariest game I have ever played though, but since this is part of the same universe, it still counts!) What makes it scary though?
How about: the music, the creepy atmosphere, the darkness, the fact that you have to rely on the light from your flashlight throughout the entire game (forget Doom 3's flashlight, this is the real deal,) the screaming (from Isaac and others,) the hallucinations, the death animations, the monster sounds, the babies crying, Isaac's (now) warped/skewed perspective of reality, the gore, the blood, the setting and the story. In the same vein, as films like "Even Horizon" and "Sunshine," there is a good dose of story-telling and character setup though none of it is too ground-breaking. What I am trying to say is that while the voice-acting is above-average, it isn't spectacular. Isaac's character is believable this time around, which is a huge improvement and a definite plus from the first game since Isaac was pretty much mute (sorta like a certain physicist from a certain game about killing crabs that like to jump on heads...) Also, part of the whole Dead Space charm lies in the different weapons you use. Though you are ultimately using "mining" tools, the developers have gone the extra mile to show us that just about anything can really be made into a weapon. From the Plasma Cutter and Seeker Rifle to the Contact Beam and Javelin Gun (a personal favorite,) don't these all sound just oh-so-wonderful? And remember, this is a survival-horror/action/adventure-type game so, oh my! Bonus tip: hold down RT + B and Isaac immediately force-levitates any object in the game. This means that you can use jagged pieces of glass, sharpened sticks, surgery utensils, backpacks, anything you want to dispense sweet justice on the abominable Necromorphs that plague the Sprawl!
If there is anything to not like about the game, it is the Collector's Edition. Stay far away from it! The regular game is just fine, if not better (as far as the $/fun ratio is concerned!) Also, if you buy the game used, EA goes the let's-treat-this-console-game-like-a-PC-game by forcing you to purchase an online code just so you can play online with our friends! What is this all about? bad job EA! That is so 90s EA and not cool! Also, the game is very "very" punishing so if you are new to the whole survival-horror genre or just about any type of video game-style playing, then I would recommend the Casual mode. It's awesome because Dead Space 2 allows you to replay the game with all your previous boosts, perks, stats and weapons so replay-value is totally boosted to the x10 level. Go ahead and play on easy the first time around just to get the story. I know I did! Also, beating the two hardest difficulty modes also garners unique achievements and I know I love getting those rare achievements so this is a total bonus!
But uh, for those of you who like/need a number-based rating: 4.5/5.