Games Meet Metal: Dead Space 2-The Riff Review

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dead Space 2-The Riff Review

Ah, Dead Space. the game I initially wrote off as a Resident Evil 4 wanna-be. The game I resisted to play for over a year after it's release. The game that all my gaming buds screamed at me to play. And when i finally did, I had to eat crow. Dead Space was a wonderful game that took me back to the days of the original Alien and how old school horror could be. So then it was obvious that I would pick up the sequel and play through the continued exploits of bad ass engineer Isaac Clarke. However, would the frantic gameplay and awesome atmosphere transfer over to a sequel?

DP2 takes place on The Sprawl, a space station docked by Saturn's main moon, Titan. Isaac gets woken up from a three-year sleep to see that his new digs is right in the middle of a full-on necromorph invasion. Even the poor schmuck who wakes you up is turned into a neckie a few moments after saving you. To make matters worse, you're in a straight jacket, and all you can do is haul your ass out of there. Then it's still another twenty minutes until you get a new plasma cutter, and anther fifteen minutes after that do you finally get a proper space suit for protection.
Then, you're off and running, acquiring new weapons while shooting and hacking the limbs of the bad guys. All while in this industrial nightmare. Yet, it is quite a wonderful looking nightmare. Unlike the Ishimura of old, the Sprawl continues to give you visuals of the station's size, and it's truly a doozie. On top of that, poor Isaac has arrived in smack dab in the middle of the necromorph party, and the little bastards are still hacking up humans in many a disgusting way, usually only within a few feet from you. Even then, it's usually too late for the poor soul, as you come closer, the necromorph's din-dins is quickly swished away.

One thing that got a good upgrade is zero g travel. Instead of leaping from platform to platform, you now have a set of air jets that help you pilot all through zero g space. Most of the zero g stuff will happen inside the station, but a few will require you to do some space walking, so watch that oxygen level. Another form of zero g travel has you rocketing from one end of the Sprawl to the other. This is presented in God of War III Icarus Wing-style flying, where you only control Isaac's 2d movement, while you're thrown towards your goal.

However, with all this awesomeness comes a few turds as well. One of the biggest issues is the lack of boss battles. the majority of those seem to have been replaced by massive swarming of the necromorphs. early endless swarms at that.Plus, there's a real lack of new enemies. What new ones there are (demon kids and a Jurrasic Park velociraptor ripoff), it just doesn't give the line-up much new enemy depth. On the flipside, the classic monsters can still give you one hell of a decapitation, whether you want it or not. let's not forget that hacking the limbs off many a monstrosity.

Bottom line: Should you buy this game? That is an emphatic YES!! Isaac tearing through enemy limbs still holds a great level of satisfaction. There's a great feeling of accomplishment every time you clear a room, only to have a brute drop on down and come running for your low-on-ammo keester. Not to mention Isaac's own mental state, as you get to watch someone slowly losing their mind over the course of a 20-hour game. Oh, yeah, 20 hours! That's a hell of a lot better than the usual 8-hour marathon that we usually get nowadays.

So go get the damn thing. Get scared. Then change your undies because you're gonna need to.

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