Dead Space 2 – Review (PS3)

As someone who thoroughly enjoyed the first Dead Space, despite not being a fan of jumpy horror stuff, I was really looking forward to the follow up.

Continuing the story of Isaac Clarke it picks up three years after the first game was set, with Clarke now finding himself as a citizen on the Sprawl – a huge space station development on one of Saturn’s moons.

Sadly for Clarke he has no knowledge of the last three years and discovers a situation has arisen that only someone with his expertise can deal with.

The game itself plays similarly to the original but Visceral have upped the pace slightly, which make sense because not all of the Sprawl is as narrow as the Ishimura was.

Dead Space 2 starts with one of the most impressive openings I’ve seen in a while – I remember feeling the same way about the first game.

As you get to grips with everything that is going on around you there will be twists (some I saw coming and a few I didn’t) and plenty of scares.

Visceral continue their great job of creeping you out by NOT throwing stuff at you – I would’ve liked to have seen slightly more of the insanity that featured in NPC’s during the original game but on the whole the Sprawl is definitely somewhere you wouldn’t want to find yourself.

The combat remains the same, with a few new weapons thrown in. Essentially the aim is to dismember as opposed to going for headshots on enemies.

Playing through the first half to two thirds of this game I was certain Visceral had topped the original, such was the craftsmanship on display. A strong story, coupled with superb graphics and atmosphere had me immersed completely.

Unfortunately it seems the developers threw everything into that part of the game as Dead Space 2 loses steam in a big way – resorting to cheap design in the shape of large open areas where you face off against a much bigger number of enemies. While this is called for on one or two occasions due to the plot, it really does become tiresome and frustrating at other times.

Thankfully it picks up again in the final few chapters and finishes with a flourish.

One of the questions when they announced Dead Space 2 would have multiplayer was ‘does it need it?’

The answer is no.

We’ve seen predominantly single player games include multiplayer in impressive and interesting ways (Uncharted 2 and Assassins Creed: Brotherhood to name two) but Dead Space 2 tries to moves the single player to multiplayer – giving one team the human experience and the other team the necromorph experience. It doesn’t really recreate the feel of the single player.

Let me just clarify – it’s not that this is a bad multiplayer, it just feels unnecessary and I suspect the free 48 hour trial will be more than enough for most people.

As a package Dead Space 2 is a slightly lopsided beast – on the one hand you have a bloated but generally excellent single player and on the other an average multiplayer experience.

Despite the fact the single player loses its way for a spell, with a better implementation of online this could’ve been a 10/10 game.

Rating 9/10

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  1. Thanks for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting info .

  2. I also loved the original Dead Space, so I have really been looking forward to playing this. Glad to hear that it is just as good as its predecessor, if not better. The addition of multiplayer is a bit curious, but at least it sounds like it doesn’t detract from the single player experience.

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