Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2 review: Multiplayer and gameplay tweaks should please new players and Dead Space veterans alike
- Offers more variety in gameplay than its predecessor, addition of multiplayer
- Not as tense as the first Dead Space (I liked it better this way but some might be disappointed)
Dead Space 2 may not be as frightening as the first game but it still an atmospheric and action-pact game that will make you think twice before entering a darkened room.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
A deep space setting, a brooding ambience and gruesome arachnid foes; Dead Space ticked all the boxes for fans of horror games. Two years and two prequels later, Visceral Games has brought forth Dead Space 2 as a direct sequel to the game that launched the series.
Three years after barely escaping an alien infestation aboard the Ishimura starship, Isaac Clarke is left with amnesia and thrust back into the exact same compromising position as he was in during the first game.
In what seems to be the kind of bad luck previously reserved for Ellen Ripley from the Alien trilogy (because Alien Resurrection never happened in our world), the creatures that killed and reanimated the Ishimura crew into killing machines have returned. They have made their way to a colony on one of Saturn's moons which, unfortunately, is where Isaac has ended up.
On top of that, the images of Isaac's now-deceased girlfriend are haunting him Silent Hill 2 style. Somebody give this man a break!
For those that missed the first Dead Space, the monsters are called Necromorphs; they are reminiscent of Zergs from StarCraft and they are hard to kill. They cannot be disposed of with just a bullet to the head: They require systematic dismemberment.
I could get deep into the storyline and explain how there is this strange alien religion that ties into the plot, but, frankly, it's just as convoluted as the Halo storyline so I'll let you play the game and unravel the mysteries yourself (this isn't a spoilers page, buddy).
The drawcard of Dead Space had always been its scare factor. It literally made people jump in fright, much akin to the effect of the dogs crashing through the windows in Resident Evil.
Let's just address this now: Dead Space 2 is not as scary as the first game.
For one, the setting plays a part. This time around, it's in a more populated location, complete with shops, residential quarters and Unitology churches. I found it much more comfortable roaming around in that kind of environment. The Ishimura, being a mining vessel, was inherently a little more creepy.
I'm not saying Dead Space 2 isn't atmospheric, with ample numbers of poorly lit rooms, but it's just not the same.
What the game does exploit is primal fear. Because when you've seen a Necromorph once you've see it a hundred times. But when your kid cousin suddenly jumps out of the pantry screaming, it's hard not to react even if it is a cheap scare.
Dead Space 2 is littered with sneaky Necromorphs that jump out from the dark and random things going off in the dark (damn those stray air vents!) going off to suddenly to scare the bejesus out of your. But that hasn't really changed much from the first game.
What Dead Space 2 does offer is more polished gameplay and some nice additions to differentiate itself from its predecessor.
As well as combat, Dead Space 2 offers a minigame involving hacking access terminals well as innovative use of Kinesis. Don't get me wrong — there is still plenty of limb-removing action with a trusted Plasma Cutter followed by a swift gory stomp to the dismembered bodies — but the game offers a bit more variety than just pointing and shooting.
With Kinesis, you can actually use it to grab objects, including taking hold of a Necromorph's sharp severed limbs and shooting them right back at it.
As shown in E3, there are new weapons, such as the javelin gun which can pin enemies to the wall and fry them to death with electricity. Another worthy addition is a modification to the pulse rifle that turns it into a grenade launcher — very handy against a large number of enemies.
Joining the expansive sub-species list of Necromorphs, Visceral Games has included a new type which resembles a horde of naked screaming toddlers. Not really scary (more annoying) but they hunt in packs so players have to shoot fast to avoid getting swarmed.
The new locator system comes in handy, the weapons upgrade system has been streamlined and the zero-gravity events have been changed up a little.
Multiplayer mode is always a welcomed addition to a game especially one that allows you to assume the skin of your alien foe. Much in the vein of the Left 4 Dead series, multiplayer in Dead Space allows you to play in the Necromorph or human faction.
Multiplayer gameplay is fairly balanced, since whatever biological and group advantages the Necromorphs have, the humans can match that with some serious firepower.
Overall Dead Space 2 is more about the action than relying too much on cheap thrills like the first game. There are still "holy moley I need clean underwear" moments, however.
Multiplayer and some nifty additions to the single-player mode bring replay value, and should satisfy veterans of Dead Space as well as lure new victims — I mean, players — into the Necromorph nightmare.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCProject Specialist l Large Media Capital Investment ProgramNSW
- CCMultiple System Engineers - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- TPDigital Project ManagerVIC
- TPBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- FTBranch Practice Manager - SecurityQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)NSW
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- CCServiceNOW DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- CCCloud Solution Architect - Financial Services - Continuous IntegrationNSW
- CCGIS Developer - GeocortexWA
- FTPerformance TesterACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - Cyber SecurityACT
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)VIC
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- FTSenior Database AdministratorVIC
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- FTDeveloper/ ProgrammerSA
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer - Internet of ThingsNSW
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedVIC
- FTSalesforce Technical Business Analyst (Brisbane based)Other