Dead Space 2 proves that sequels can actually show up their previous entries in every way. I never played through much of the first Dead Space, although I watched someone play through most of it at a party I had. From what I did play of it I didn’t get sucked in to the story or gameplay. Although Dead Space 2 offers the same gameplay, with a few altered controls, I was, for some reason, gripped by this amazing game unlike the first. There is a video available to watch at the main menu if you missed the first game and you don’t need to have played it to enjoy this one, although in my opinion players who beat the first title will get more out of Dead Space 2.
Dead Space 2 throws you into the story of the main character, Isaac, who is going insane and having all kinds of hallucinations because of the terror he experienced in the first game. You start off in the psych ward of Titan Station with a strait jacket and no ability to attack or defend yourself in any way. This ups the tension of the player when the space station is overcome with necromorphs, which are the enemy creatures you fight against in the series. Luckily you can still run and (only because this is a video game) make it out of the hospital alive. You retrieve a plasma cutter, and if you even have a single game save from the first game (you don’t have to have beaten it) you get another free refurbished plasma cutter in the in-game store, and you retrieve you’re suit. Throughout the game you can buy new weapons and suits that upgrade your armor, health, and increase the amount of inventory slots that you can use.
Exploration, in my opinion, is a very vital strategy in the Dead Space series. If you click in the right stick a blue, laser-like waypoint appears showing the path you are supposed to take to your next objective. The way I played through the game (and what I’ve played of the first Dead Space) was look at where I’m supposed to be going and then go the other way to look for hidden items and ammo, both of which are vital, especially in the harder difficulties where enemies rarely drop ammo, health, and credits. If you look in places other than your objective you might also find power nodes which you need to upgrade your weapons, rig, and stasis. These upgrades are built upon a tree or bracket system so not every time you use a power node to fill a space will you get an upgrade. As far as suits go you can get a few your first play through and a couple more unlock once you’ve beaten the story at least once.
The gameplay, even though it doesn’t really vary, never got stale for me. There were a few nice breaks where you were in anti-gravity chambers and could fly around and even parts in space outside of the space station, and a few sequences where you were shot into space like a cannon and had to avoid debris. These parts are usually more of a trial and error sort of thing as you figure out where each piece of debris is going to be coming at you from. The boss battles are fairly easy to figure out as the enemies’ weaknesses are highlighted by gold on wherever it is that you’re supposed to shoot. This game, unlike so many others, focuses not on getting headshots or spraying bullets into enemies to take them down, but on shooting off limbs (unless you’re using the few guns that don’t use guns).
The achievements in this game are fairly easy and there are about a dozen or so that really make you think of new ways to kill enemies and try out different weapons. You should get about 500 gamerscore or so just for playing through the game once and if you try all of the weapon achievements (which I haven’t done yet) you should get about a hundred or so more.
The multiplayer is new to Dead Space 2 and pits humans against necromorphs in an objective type game where the necromorph players try to stop the human players’ leader from reaching their objective. Teamwork is very important for the humans but not as much for the necromorphs, although if necromorphs want to take down enemies faster, teaming up on them would be helpful.
Overall this game was one of the best I have played in a long time both story-wise and just in terms of captivating me and keeping my attention focused on a single game and its story (which hasn’t happened for months).
[amazon_carousel widget_type=”SearchAndAdd” width=”400″ height=”150″ title=”Support Gamer Nights” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”False” show_border=”False” keywords=”Dead Space 2″ browse_node=”” search_index=”VideoGames” /]