Dead Space 2: Completed


Dead Space 2

Image via Wikipedia

I completed Dead Space 2 the other day and completely enjoyed it. It surpasses the original in every way plus, there are plenty of nods to the original title; feels like a wink & a nod to the person playing it.

Apart from the really slick GUI/presentation and, some of the best audio design and implementation I’ve heard within ANY game, Dead Space stepped it up with their level design. The context of the tasks/missions was varied, paced well (minor difficulty spikes aside) and, had some extremely well executed “player training” woven neatly into the narrative/game context. I think that was one of the stand-out elements for me, although the original was a good title, this time around it seemed more thoughtful in its execution. Mind you, this was only possible due to awesome work on the original title’s team, they paved the way.

The “flashbacks” were great, adding a real sense of unease to the game, making it feel even more like EVENT HORIZON!

Some of my favourite moments are outlined below, please skip:

*** SPOILERS ALERT ***

Learning about the “you can still shoot in an action scene” mechanic when the room exploded out into space and you had to shoot the air locking door switch while hanging onto the furniture

Loved the initial training of the suit’s “boosters” to reach the splintered train cab

Seeing the first exploding baby (when the woman hugs the baby in nursery)

Meeting the “long necked, chicken-looking” Stalkers for the first time.

Using the kinesis mechanic to grab the dead body on the bed to get passed the security door.

The flashback in Chapter 5 (ice area) when all the screaming bodies are flailing in their tubes; fucking awesome!

The huge action scene where you avoid the soldiers, only to be attacked by the brute while falling.

Hanging upside down in the room while the creatures started to advance.

The moment after the long suit boosting section (avoiding the debris in space). Isaac hits the tube in the way into the space station, smashes through the roof and lands in the room (the camera work here was AMAZING).

Suit Boosting out of the final area, following the ship out of the collapsing building

The “moment” Isaac thinks there’s something wrong in the absolute final moment of the game, he looks to the side, and she’s still there (and normal, a wink to the end of Ds1).

Putting the needle in my own EYE!

*** SPOILERS END ***

There’s probably a ton more, but they’re the ones that came to mind instantly.

Another mention must go to the numerous, incredible set-action scenes, some of which continued to allow player input, which I loved. Much like some of the “one-offs” seen in CoD titles, Visceral pulled them off brilliantly.

On the downside there was very little really (if you like this genre). There were some difficulty spike problems in a couple of places, but nothing major.  Chapter 15 annoyed me, but maybe the team wanted me to try and run everywhere after teaching me to be such an affective killer, I’m not sure.  Another element that that can’t go without note, was the overly long death sequences in the end fight that I COULDN’T SKIP; I know I’m dead, let me get back to the game instead of throwing the fact that I failed in my bloody face!

Also, I never bothered a single iota about any of the other characters in the game. I think that this was due to being conditioned to expect everyone to die. Every time I met somebody new, they were usually dead within a few seconds, or very soon after.

Overall though, it’s a killer package. From a gamer and a developer, I can see this team got so many things right and, executed on those things with finesse and flare. Bravo Visceral, now all I want to know, where is Dead Space 3!?!?!?

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About Haydn Dalton

Videogame Designer

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