It's time to blast more Necromorph limbs in the sequel to Visceral's 2008 survival horror game Dead Space.
Once again you take the role of system engineer Isaac Clark. The game starts with Isaac awaking after three years of the terrifying events on the Ishimura. He finds himself aboard a huge spaceship named the Sprawl and has no memories to how he got there. The spawn is infested with creatures known as Necromorphs and Isaac must fight for his life once again. For the first time, Isaac speaks which brings more life to the character and will have you caring as he struggle for survival. If you didn't play the original Dead Space or need to jog your memory you can always catch up with a previously on Dead Space video from the main menu.
If you did play the original Dead Space you should be used to the formula instantly. There's no major change here but instead it has alot of improvements and tweaks. The main weapons like the Plasma Cutter and pulse rifle have returned along with some new additions like the detonator and trip mines. Each weapon has attachments so it's great to experiment with them to see which works best against the creatures. Using stasis to slow down a Necromorph, shooting off a limb and then using telekinesis to impale the creature on a wall never gets old.
You will be faced with different types of Necromorphs. Each have their own approach when attacking you. For example, the Brute will simply charge at you with high speed and no warning. The small child aliens known as the "pack" are a new addition to the series. These will attack in groups and have razor sharp claws that will hack and slash your body apart. If a Necromorph get close to you it may grab hold and result in rapid button tapping to shake off and kill the creature. It's intense stuff but the boss battles really nail it. Only a few occur but each delivers heart-pounding moment with some impressive cinematics.
There are many puzzle sections throughout the campaign. These can require you to use the Telekinetic power to pick up a power cell for example, and restore power to progress. Alot of puzzles are used in the new improved Zero-Gravity sections. The original had you only moving from one place to another, but now you can float freely around in Zero-G. Alot of my memorable moments in the game where from these sections and it breaks the gameplay up nicely.
It's really shows that Visceral Games have put alot of work into Dead Space 2 just like the original. The single player has a fantastic pace and will keep you entertained from start to finish. It's a decent length with around 10 hours or more. There's some great replay value to be had as well. Finishing the story once won't leave all your weapons upgraded so it's great fun to return and make them more powerful against those ugly Necromorphs.
Dead Space 2 also features a multiplayer mode. It's a team based game with humans Vs Necromorphs and works similar to the Left 4 Dead formula. Being a creature allows you to move around the map and choose where you would like to spawn. You can play as four different creatures and some are fun but are very weak. Being the humans gives you more of an advantage, not only are you stronger but you can pick up health packs from dead creatures. Ranking up will unlock upgrades, new weapons and new suits. Necromorphs also get upgrades with perks like extra damage for example. Multiplayer is fun for a while but it's not the strongest part of the game and isn't the reason you should purchase Dead Space.
Visceral Games has brought another quality and terifying return to space. It's improved from the original and has great replay value to be worth every penny. If you love gore and blowing off limbs, this is the game for you.
Review by Gareth Smith