Part 2 of the video game series Dead Space. Mr. Towelhead reviews Dead Space 2. All images are copyright of EA Games and Visceral, used to foster video game education :S

Mr. Towelhead reviews:

dead space 2_cover

DEAD SPACE 2

Dead Space was released in 2011, published by EA Games, and developed by Visceral Games. The game’s producer was Steve Papoutsis and the writer Jeremy Bernstein. Once again we are dealing with a survival horror, third person shooter, science fiction game. Only this time around you can write 3rd PERSON SHOOTER in caps. It has some horror (a lot of blood and gore), tons of jump scares and while the atmosphere, sound, music and monster designs are decent and what not the game is more combat oriented than before.

CONCEPT

While the basic ideas are still there, for no butt f* reason our protagonist has become a starship trooper with impressive weapon and combat skills and jet boots flying abilities. Fair enough, most of us players and Dead Space 1 fans wanted the hero to be less clumsy, but after years of sedated state crazed interrogations I just don’t get when did he train to become a badass. Story-wise that aspect is badly handled.

Brace yourself, Isaac is coming. 

dead space 2_combat

In the world of Dead Space sleeping in a coma with occasional phases of crazy psychological interrogations is all you need to become a BADASS SPACE MARINE

Basically Dead Space 2 is a graphic update of Dead Space 1 with very similar ambiences and situations [lame].

STORY

Dead Space 1 was original and what not, but still had  certain clichés. Dead Space 2 is a cliché riddled ride through similar stages and only a few new things. Like going through a church instead of a fuel depot and what not.

The story is more of the same, it mimics the Aliens franchise in very familiar y cliché ways. A filthy rich organization is wanting to harness the power of the baddies for its own good [YAWN!] and you have to stop them because that’s the right thing to do.

There is nothing new to mix, and since you know the deal from last time, there are no story related surprises here. Not significantly any way.

GAMEPLAY

Gameplay is the same. Although you’ll be able to “fly” during zero gravity sequences instead of using zero-g jumps. That was actually, REALLY COOL. Also the (scripted if you will) sections of the game where you fly around with your jet boots avoiding debris are AWESOME!

Now you can use an upgrade military equipment, which is a bit weird considering the feeling of the previous game. Yet, despite all, the protagonist is somehow, still incapable of a fist fight. I mean the dude can severe limbs with a stomp, maneuver himself through crumbling buildings and yet even armed with a tethered chainsaw, he simply can’t harm enemies with a punch. SERIOUSLY!

GAME PROGRESSION

The game is linear as hell. Just like the previous one, so no surprise there. However you do get to see sections of the ship you passed by before, from other angles and under different circumstances, that was neat. Never the less, the game continues to be a glorified surviving shopping list. But at least the hero can talk this time, and we get to see his face. FACE TIME!

Some people hated that. While you were unable to see the protagonist’s face nor hear his voice, the first game scored a few points with immersiveness. I personally didn’t mind Dead Space 2’s approach. We are talking about the second game now, we all know what the protagonist looks like.

What I found the worst of the game was a game progression quest near the end. Dead Space 1 had a unique type of invincible enemy that would hunt you through several different levels and you could only stop it momentarily while you desperately searched for a way out; and finally for a way to put said threat out for good. There was an entire story-wise plot-explanation to that. In Dead Space 2, for no reason what-so-ever, out of the blue a very similar monster appears to mimic that part of the game [Originality = 0]. Even the monster’s gameplay animations are exactly the same as the monster of Dead Space 1 [shortcuts to hard work done right are LAME].

The Ubermorph in its horribly designed “glory”

dead space 2_ubermorph

GAME MECHANICS

Copy paste from Dead Space 1. Add jet packs instead of zero-g jumps = Dead Space 2.

Accuracy is key to survival. Yet Dead Space 2 will not provide a sense of survival horror like the first, because you have combat suits and even sniper riffles. All sense of mortal peril is gone as you SPACE MARINE your way atop a giant mining plow machine into the side of a the baddies headquarter.

A pack of monsters surrounds you. Nothing our SPACE MARINE hero can’t handle! :D

dead space 2_qte

And quick time events, I HATE THEM, but at least in the Dead Space series they have the minimal human decent courtesy to provide really cool sequences if you succeed, and really gory deaths if you fail. Its a win-win for a game mechanic that is actually hateful. So props to that.

Failure to put an enemy down may result in a nasty quick-time-event close-quarter-combat

dead space 2_qte2

If you succeed you’ll teach the monster a lesson. Otherwise you’ll get a HORRIBLE death scene :D

DESIGN

Monster design is out of this world, as expected, you’ll have new enemies and returning zombie variants. You’ll have upgraded versions of several enemies and some amazing boss battles/quick time events against fairly well designed bosses (no more giant vaginas… erhm….).

Except for the female tripod, that shi* is horrible design!

dead space 2_tripod

“asdfpioausnpoiurt” excuse me, what did you say?

VERDICT

Dead Space 2 is more combat oriented but still it’s AWESOME. If you liked the first be prepared for a less intense, less story driven ride and a more jump scare, bloodier, cliché riddled ride. If you are o.k. with that you will enjoy it. And you may calm down, in all of its deficiencies Dead Space 2 is very well done cliché´´ride and remains tense [provided for other reasons, but its still tense].

I liked it very much, but not enough to be subjective

8 / 10

If you a horror fan, it’ll be a 10 / 10

dead space 2_mom

If you a cliché “u mom hates dead space”, it’ll be a 1 / 10

If you like horror games and third person shooters you will love it. If you are a casual gamer with a sensitive heart you will not enjoy it. If you are into Call of Duty, Gears of War (you know, truly mindless violence) you will enjoy it as well. If you like a good story behind your game you’ll be slightly disappointed.

P.D. In my opinion the ubermorph was not only a bad copy of the hunter, it has a horrible design. While maintaining the idea of a driving force you can only stop, the game designers could have gone SO MANY different places, instead of just copy paste a redesigned hunter. Think of the Shadow in Amnesia the Dark Descent, or the Otherworld Transition of the Silent Hill series. There is no conclusion to the ubermorph, it just is and suddenly its not. JUST THINK ABOUT IT! A Nicole shadow surrounded by an necromorph armor that slowly pursued you while devastating everything around it, crushing the game’s level forcing you to progress quickly. Not only would it be cool as hell it would have tied in with the Final Boss! Meow!

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