Dead Space 2

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The first Dead Space was sort of a positive surprise that threw a variety of situations at the player, the sequel does this a little less and seemingly tries to keep a higher level throughout instead. Gameplay-wise it is a bit more linear, more akin to Bioshock than any other influences the first Dead Space might have had. It is very similar to the first Dead Space in direct terms, though – upgrades, controls and gameplay elements are more or less the same.

Dead Space 2 is a horror game and it uses a lot of the common tricks to provide gameplay horror – narrow field-of-view, enemies appearing behind you, very limited resources and enemies charging at you for grissly fatality scenes. While it is a decent way of making the player panic, it only really makes the game startling, not really frightening. Making the player feel unsafe also serves to make the game very punishing if you do not play it very carefully – if you do not pick up all the ammunition or do not kill every enemy in a strategic manner, the game will leave you shorted for a long time. This is a tricky balance issue in itself, but it is worsened by the game narrative constantly telling you to hurry along.

Speaking of the narrative, there is not much to say about that either. The big difference to Dead Space is that Isac is no longer a silent protagonist but a real main character, considering the emotional trauma at the center of the story this makes it less awkward. Sure, he is not the most original of characters but at least he is consistent.

Dead Space 2 feels like a sequel by the numbers, it has a small amount of new things to give it value but is more or less the same game as the first one. I think the things that annoyed me about the balancing might have appeared in Dead Space as well but that I did not pay attention to them. I really would like to say something more interesting about Dead Space 2 but the truth is I simply thought it was about as good as the first one.

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Posted on Mar 20/11 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »