|Pardon the dust!
This page includes some jargon that hasn't been added to the site's glossary yet. I'll be around to fix this later, but sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.
Review: Dead Space 2
At a Glance
|ESRB Rating:||M - Mature Audiences|
|My Rating:||Adults - 18+|
|Genre:||Third Person Shooter|
|Review Published On:||September 28th, 2018|
In order to save your game, you'll need to locate a save point. These are fairly common, so you won't have much trouble finding them.
Since this game is about zombies in space, there's a lot of graphic violence, blood, and foul language -- even moreso than what was present in the first Dead Space. Additionally, some of the zombies were created using children and infants; a detail that probably crosses a line for some players.
When we first meet Isaac in this sequel, he's confined to a straitjacket and kept locked away in a psychiatric unit on board the Titan Space Station. While most video game protagonists live through the events of their games with little more than some cool selfies and maybe a neat scar, this series opted for the realistic approach. After his brush with the necromorphs and the Marker that spawned these cosmic horrors, Isaac's suffering from distressing hallucinations and severe post traumatic stress disorder. The fact that another outbreak is about to occur probably isn't going to help matters.
Story aside, this game also plays much like the first game, though there are some tweaks to the formula. It's still a science fiction themed Third Person Shooter, but this time around you'll also need to interact with various objects and parts of the station. In other words, Isaac will actually be doing some engineering during the course of the game. None of this is really much of a puzzle, nor do I think it was meant to be challenging. In my opinion, these new elements are there to make the game more immersive, and they do a good job of it!
Many of those tasks are done using your kinesis module, which can now be used to do more than just lift heavy objects. Specifically, it can be used as a makeshift weapon by using it to fling sharp or explosive objects at nearby monsters. This includes the sharp and explosive bits of other monsters you've already dispatched.
On a side note, this game does a better job of trying to be a horror game than the original. With Isaac's violent and disorienting hallucinations interrupting the game at seemingly random points and the fact that the player witnesses the necromorph outbreak from its very start, there's plenty of things to make you uncomfortable. There's still a ton of ammo lying around, and a plethora of ways to kill the monsters with ridiculous ease, so I'd still consider this more of an action game than a horror game. This is just a far better attempt at embracing the terror of a zombie plague than the previous entry in the series.
Again, fans of science fiction and zombies will probably enjoy this title, especially if they enjoyed the first game. However, keep in mind that there's an awful lot of bad stuff here, and that may be a problem for some gamers.
Points of Interest
On top of this, there are a lot of dramatic and involved cutscenes this time around. At times, it almost feels like you're playing through a Hollywood blockbuster rather than a game.
Additionally, since this game takes place on a space station instead of a space ship, the environment is more interactive. Isaac will need to do things like crawl through vents and hack into various computer systems. Not only is there more to see and play with, the environment can also be quite dangerous. For example, one new hazard you'll encounter are glass doors designed to temporarily seal off areas of the station that are under construction. It doesn't take much to break them, and when they go, everything in the room is violently sucked out into space. If you don't get the safety doors closed in time, it's an instant game over.
Also, it seems that once you unlock items in the store, they remain unlocked permanently, regardless of whether or not you're playing a New Game Plus. This means it's a good idea to root around for those schematics during one of your playthroughs.
Concerns and Issues
Of course, there are situations where dismemberment isn't needed. Some necromorphs have glowing yellow pustules on their bodies. These pus-filled sacs are essentially organic bombs, as they'll explode when struck or shot. Another option that has been added in Dead Space 2 is the ability to impale the monsters using nearby objects or even sharp pieces of other monsters. It doesn't always work, but it can help you save on ammo.
Since it's vitally important to dismember these monsters, Isaac can stomp down hard on anything immediately nearby. This stomping attack is strong enough to sever limbs, and it results in quite a large splash of blood when his foot lands on something organic (which is probably exactly what you'll be trying to crush underfoot).
Speaking of blood, there's also a fair amount splattered over the walls and floors, as the space zombies aren't exactly neat about their business.
Also, when it's time for Isaac to poke himself with the needle, you have full control, sort of like you're playing a gruesome minigame. Mess up, and the needle goes straight through his eye, into his brain, and he dies screaming while blood spurts all over. Scariest part of the game, in my opinion.
Dead Space 2 however, takes place on a space station with a large residential area, so there were more than a few children who died during the outbreak. Thus, we now have actual zombie children. The primary example of these monsters is known as the Pack, which is a loosely organized group of what appear to be zombie elementary school children. Zombie babies also appear, as some infants have been turned into crawling suicide bombers.
There are rumors that this fictional religion is loosely based on a real religion, but the developers won't confirm or deny this detail. Either way, it doesn't make religion in general look good.