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Dead Space 2

February 2nd, 2011 by Robbie

Categories: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

EA’s sequel to a rather successful new IP delivers well.  As I am writing this, I have completed 1.75 playthroughs of Dead Space 2.  At least 2 more are on the way.

A brief explanation for anyone not familiar with the Dead Space series: Over-the-shoulder action survival horror shooter.  Think Resident Evil but with more gore, fewer insta-death moments, and strafing (<3 strafing).  Not to mention award-winning audio.  Possibly what sets it apart most is combat.  In all other games, you aim for the head.  In Dead Space 1/2, you aim for the limbs: legs, arms, phalluses.  Taking off the head actually introduces a fun reaction where the decapitated body berzerks on you.

The most satisfying part of Dead Space 1/2 is the gore.  It’s gratuitous.  The type of gore that makes you to cringe, and yet you can’t look away.  Penny Arcade made fun of it in Dead Space 2, but this behavior is literally encouraged (it pops up as a tutorial).  And nothing beats the different ways you can die.

Dead Space 2 feels a more solid experience than the first.  It extends play-style customization elements just a little bit, to the point where it feels like it makes a difference but isn’t over-bearing.  It adds new weapons, new armor, and new enemies in very strategic ways such that newcomers aren’t overwhelmed, returners aren’t bored, and the overall scope of combat offers more flexibility.  Controls are simplified to allow for a more visceral playthrough (you don’t have to interrupt your action to open your inventory every 30 seconds just to get something done).  It also gives small nods to its predecessor, offering up a guilty bit of sweet nostalgia to loyal fans.  And one of the nicest improvements over the first game was that there was the removal/truncation of particularly tedious activities.  Fabulous.

I still have fond memories of the original Dead Space.  There’s nothing quite like ones first time.  But that phenomenon where after you’ve broken up with your girlfriend/boyfriend from your first serious relationship, you then find someone new who is very similar but different in all the right places?  That’s Dead Space 2.

One Response to “Dead Space 2”

  • Cat says:

    Note to self: don’t aim for the head D=

    haha, I like the way you ended your entry. Very nice. Hopefully, we’ll get to the first Dead Space this month.