on 15 September 2012
Dead Space 2 is more or less like the first game , it sees the return of our hero and all of his alien "foes" who try to stop him/her at every turn as he/she works their way through the many challenges the game presents - which in this case it all takes place on a massive space station on what is left of the moon Titan (I won't give any more away :P). Other than the setting and possibly a minor tweak in graphics , not a lot has changed, we do however discover that Issac who didn't have much to say in the first game DOES actually talk ! :D. In terms of fear factor it's good , on a par with the first game perhaps more even. The plot is still a bit of a jumbles mess though, one minute your told to go here by your so called friends, the next they want to kill you and so on , but again that's me.
As I got the limited edition of the game , I also discovered the dead space extraction game , I'm still playing through it but I find it great fun , it's probably better if you use playstation move with it but even without its great fun.
All and all it's not bad at all and anyone who Played the first game and liked it should try the second one.
on 7 February 2011
one of the best games i have played! luckily it's not as scary as the demo, but still a proper horror game!
what i don't like is the inability to jump or go over, even small, short obstacles. and i don't like the unnaturall motion in zero-g (especially airless) enviroments where you stop simply because jets are off, like there's friction... if it was some other game, i probably wouldn't even notice, but this game is almost perfect and imperfections like these just stick out too much.
i especially like the babies and little children, which are almost as disgusting as in real life, and how good that pulse rifle is at getting them massacred:)
on 10 February 2011
I've just finished my first run-through of DS2 and felt moved enough to write my first review on Amazon...
Obviously the most important aspect of any game, and the developer, Visceral Games, have managed to build on the excellent effort they made with the first Dead Space. The gameplay will be largely familiar to anyone who has played the original- you play the game looking over the shoulder of the hapless engineer Isaac Clarke, who has found himself yet again facing off against an angry horde of horribly mutated deadites.
The name of the game is amputation- removing the creatures arms and legs is the most effective way of (re)killing them. Although this might sound slightly gimmicky to those of you used to lining up the perfect headshot for your kills, slicing the legs from under your foe before pinning their still moving torso to a wall with a javelin makes for very satisfying slaughter.
To aid you in your fight you have a couple of handy tools- your stasis and telekinesis abilities. They do pretty much what you would expect, stasis allows you to slow your enemies down for a short period, allowing you to dismember them at your leisure, while telekinesis lets you pick up loose objects in the environment (including enemy limbs) and fire them at your opponents. These two abilities are also used to solve the occasional puzzle, none of which are likely to tax anyone who has ever held a controlled in the past.
And of course, there is your arsenal of weapons... There is a wide selection of killing tools available, all of which are great fun to use (my favourite was the contact beam, which will disintegrate most enemies with one shot). You can carry four weapons at any one time, the rest being stored in the shops which are scattered throughout the game. Each has a secondary mode, which usually allows for some more tactical gameplay (for example the contact beams secondary function causes area of effect damage and stasis, useful when in a tight corner). All of the weapons, your suit and your stasis tool can be upgraded at various points through the expenditure of powernodes. These are reasonably limited so that you will only realistically be able to fully upgrade two or three of the ten or so weapons available on your first play-through.
Really the gameplay is pretty much limited to killing things, with the odd zero-gravity section or larger beastie battle thrown in for good measure, but it is all done so well that I have no complaints.
Graphics wise DS2 delivers pretty much what you would expect from a current gen game, some of the textures and character models look a bit ropey at times, but enemy animation and the attention to detail given to Isaac himself are excellent. But where the game really comes into its own is in its attention to detail in the environment itself. During the quieter moments (few and far between) lights and shadows will flicker as you tip-toe past bloodstained walls, suspicious rustlings in the wall or distant screams will keep you on your toes meaning that you manage to turn just quickly enough to unload a clip into the screaming beast that bursts from the wall behind you.
You'll bump into the odd companion that doesn't try and eat your face off during the course of the game, but for the most part you're on your own. However the game succeeds very well in making you feel part of a larger (if fairly desolate) world. The corridors you explore are littered with abandoned objects and bodies, and audio and text logs flesh out the story as you progress, with a few of them forming mini narratives within the main game.
As mentioned the audio also does a terrific job of building tension and adding to the atmosphere, with the score rising and falling as the action ebbs and flows, fading away to leave only environmental sounds during the more tense moments.
Although some may complain the graphics aren't anything special the game really succeeds in creating a tense and at times terrifying atmosphere. In particular the nursery level and Isaac's return to a certain ship will stand out in my memory as brown pants moments (as I like to call them).
I finished the game in around 12 hours on survivor, the third highest of the four difficulties available on your first run through. I found it enjoyably challenging, especially in the final few levels, but not so difficult that I got frustrated, but that's just me! If it isn't hard enough for you the first time through, completion unlocks a hardcore difficulty, allowing you only three saves to complete the whole game.
Although the enemy isn't especially intelligent (with a couple of exceptions) the variety of enemies and their uncanny ability to jump you from behind means that there a few fairly challenging battles, steering clear of exploding necromorphs while avoiding the other enemies crawling at you along the walls or grasping at you from the ground keeps everything exciting.
Where the real challenge is, however, is in managing your resources. The developer has done a great job of giving you just enough ammo and health to get you through a battle and often you'll end up relying on your stasis and kinesis abilities to keep you alive while you desperately hunt for more ammo.
The best thing I can say about the checkpoint spacing is that you'll rarely notice it, I don't think I ever had to repeat any large or frustrating sections of the game because of poor spacing.
As I mentioned the final few levels are particularly challenging, but my one complaint on this front is that the final battle was far too easy, especially compared to the rest of the final level.
The story picks up a few years after the events of the first game. This time around there is more emphasis on the characters- Isaac actually gets to speak and he has time to build a couple of interesting relationships. The opening of the game is especially compelling- you wake up with little idea of what's happening and are immediately thrown into the thick of it. Overall however I don't think the storyline is quite as compelling as the original and I felt that there was less of the interesting background info than was provided through the audio and text logs in the original (though that might be because I didn't find them).
Overall the story was interesting enough to keep me playing and provided some character development, but didn't flesh out the marker/necromorph mystery as much as I would have liked.
Apologies for the lengthy review. Hopefully anyone who can be bothered to read it will find it useful!
EA continue their hot streak with their second truly amazing title in as many months following the fantastic Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. This sequel to 2008's big surprise survival horror benchmark title brings back everything that made the original such an engrossing, atmospheric joy to play and improves on it pretty much across the board and simultaneously offers so much on-disc content that I would seriously challenge you to find a more value packed standard priced single release this generation.
Picking up a few years after the first game, you are once again Isaac Clarke who awakes disoriented in a mental ward aboard an enormous space station called 'The Sprawl' and the game gives you no time to breathe as the opening scene quickly leads into a prologue level where you must control a straight-jacket restrained Isaac as he attempts to escape an outbreak of the mutant 'Necromorph' creatures in his ward. Events soon escalate and it isn't long before you are wading through mass slaughter across the sprawl as you witness swathes of civilians being ripped to pieces or transformed into grotesque horrors. Unlike the first game, there are plenty of other survivors around, most of them not lasting long but some who accompany you occasionally, which makes for a pleasant change from the isolated feeling of terror that is usually present through the game and that made up the entirety of the first game. Make no mistake though, this is still as atmospheric and tense as gaming experiences come, with utterly nerve wracking moments peppered throughout and while the actual 'scares' may seem a little light on the ground, the atmosphere doesn't falter for a second and there is some truly horrifying Necromorph design in the game, with not only Necromorph children who swarm at you en masse, but also haunting sounding Necromorph babies, who crawl toward you and explode if you touch them. It is a game of true visual horror and masterful suspense work.
True, the gameplay is much the same as the first game, just with more refinement and some truly superbly done fully free zero gravity controls. This is no bad thing in my book, but if you found the first game repetitive or anything, then the sequel will do little to change your mind, but there's no denying this is a solidly made, impressive piece of work across the board. Maybe not so much in the new multiplayer modes though, which I've seen described as a simplified Left 4 Dead knock off. Not an inaccurate statement I guess, but it is still enjoyable, even if the single player is where the game truly shines.
Visually the game is amazing, with highly detailed graphics and rock solid performance. The sole critique I could offer is the sameyness in the level design, but considering the game is set on a space station it's not likely to have jungle or snow levels really, is it? The sound work is moody and atmospheric, and while the voice work is decent, I couldn't help but feel that having Isaac talk(As he was silent during the first game) actually detracted from the tension rather than added to it. Maybe not the best idea the developers had, but I can understand why it had to be done from a story perspective and it doesn't exactly ruin the game.
To say Dead Space 2 is the best horror game this generation so far is putting it mildly. I've seen some criticisms of the game citing a lack of "scares" in the game, but they seem to miss the point that the game's true horror aspects come from it's atmosphere and use of suspense and tension to keep you on edge, which is far more effective a device to employ than merely having a big monster pop up and say 'boo' at you every 5 minutes. This is horror as it should be done in a game, and while there may be a lot of focus on action and gore alongside that, the whole thing blends together to create a game that may not be original or heavy with variety, but offers up an experience that will stay with you long after you've finished. It is excellent.
And... it would be a tad remiss to review the game without also covering the free Move enabled Dead Space Extraction that comes included on the disc with this PS3 version. As you're no doubt aware, Extraction is the truly superb prequel to Dead Space 1 that was previously released for the Wii in late 2009 to some critical(Though sadly not commercial) success. Played in the style of a Time Crisis-esque shooter, Extraction is actually put together very much like an interactive sci fi movie, with you as the central character on a colony slowly succumbing to the Necromorph infestation. You view the story from your character's perpective the entire time, making for an impressively tense experience, though obviously the on-rails nature of the game progression will make this a bit of linear, one time affair in terms of horror, the gameplay is sufficiently strong in the physics/dismemberment heavy "light gun" shooting sequences that the challenges and additional challenge mode that you are given the option to try to earn high scores and bonuses for the game. Extraction has an extremely strong narrative to it, with superb atmosphere and voice acting pushing the experience along. The gameplay is simplistic, but tense and fun, with the Move controls being very well done, with a scheme that uses just the Move itself, as opposed to the Wii set up which also required the Nunchuk. While the visuals are very nice, they are clearly still a Wii game with a HD upgrade and some minor touching up. Extraction is still a good looking game, but next to the main DS2 game, it is unquestionably a step down. This is the sort of game that may be questionable as a full price purchase, but as something that is absolutely free, it is a fantastic addition to an already satisfying package.
This is a truly amazing package that simply should not be missed by anyone. An awesome sequel to one of this generation's best new series now with a decent multiplayer mode AND with a full free prequel game that is itself superb included on the disc? You'd have to be mental not to appreciate what amazing value for money Dead Space 2 represents. You owe it to yourself to buy this game.
on 29 January 2011
Turn off the lights and turn up the sound!
The game is set a couple of years after the events on the USG Ishimura and things have not gone well for Isaac.
The Necros are back with a vengence with a few tricks up their sinewy, depraved sleeves......
From the first few minutes up to the last moments of the game, it had me jumping and sweating with it's adrenaline fuelled pace. Action is thick, gory, bloody, fast and twisted, with more than a few surprises on the way.
Visuals and sound are awesome, and really add to the atmosphere so enough said there. Combat is improved, (especially melee), and is very tight and responsive.
Tons of extras. Dead Space Extraction Game thrown in with Move support, similar to the likes of Time Crisis and House of the Dead, a video to bring you up to speed with the story and even a 2 day free multiplayer trial.
I played for half an hour online, I don't usually bother as I don't like being shot in the face upon respawn, but Visceral have really thought about this and it shows and I must say I am impressed. Whether trying to complete a team mission as Engineers or stop them as one of the Necros, the game swaps sides half way through, a nice touch and overall seems to add balance. Very enjoyable.
I liked the first game and I really enjoyed this. There are many small improvements and extras to ensure decent replay value.
So if like me, you into you survival horror, this game will blow you away and even if you don't then buy and play it anyway because you should, just make sure you have a spare pair of underpants on standby.........
on 2 February 2012
Horror themes in games seem to be making a bit of a resurgence of late with the likes of FEAR, Resident Evil and even zombie modes on FPS games. However, the survival horror genre which has the standard bearers of the Resident Evil and Silent Hill titles in the past has suffered due to games that are now more action orientated. Dead Space 2 like the first game is a return to survival horror at its finest it is really that good!
Don't get me wrong the term survival horror is usually associated with slow based games that are high on scares and offer less of a run and gun approach to gaming. Dead Space 2 has taken that definition and ripped it apart as what you get now are run and gun action with the key ingredients of survival horror - a general fear that your character will not survive to reach the next save point and plenty of jump out of your seat horror moments.
There is not an insane amount of ammunition available and you have to use what you do get very sparingly. For real fans of survival horror the following statement should mean something to you - on a couple of sections I literally had to run and not get involved in a fight! This is something I haven't experienced since the last Silent Hill game I played (3 or 4 probably).
Technically the game is one of the best I have played on the PS3 of any genre as the graphics and sound are both top notch examples of what developers could and should be able to produce on the current generation of machines. There are not many games that I have played where there are no memorable glitches in terms of graphics or gameplay but this is one of a few and reminds me of the days on past consoles when games were actually tested before release.
The story progresses nicely from the first game and for those really into the Dead Space universe there is an animated film which fills in the gaps between the first and second game. This isn't an essential watch as the game is pretty good at filling the gaps for those interested.
The one minor quibble I have about the game is the infamous difficulty increase at the end of the game which considering the general play of the game up until that point was difficult without being frustrating. Admittedly it may just be me being a bit soft after having a few years of games basically being a bit easy and I did actually feel a sense of accomplishment upon completing it, along with exhaustion! Unfortunately, this left a bit of a bad taste for me as I felt this was just lumped onto the end of the game without much thought for what the player had been through previously and lacked the grandstand finish that the game deserved. I know that many games go overboard on the ending but this one was a bit of an anti climax and the game deserved better than a point and shoot at the bright yellow blob.
However, this is still a must for fans of survival horror and for those players that like a challenge, I for one am hoping that the Dead Space franchise runs and runs as long as they keep up the quality of their releases as they have set a very high standard for all survivor horror games to follow.
on 8 November 2011
Now firstly there are more pleasent things in life to do than play dead space 2 (a stroll in the countryside, a glass of merlot with some nice grub). However if you just happen to fancy a very intense survival horror experience.... then this game NAILS it. In the sense of intense, and survival horror, it sometimes not appealing to put the disk in the machine. However, once you become experienced with the gameplay and controls, this event becomes rewarding and enjoyable. On offer are a good story; problem solving as you pass through various challenges (the probelm solving for me was the highlight and sublime in every sense - not too easy - not too hard); and err something called 'necromorphs'...how could i forget. The game is hard in places and I was playing certain parts 30-40 times over in chapters 9, 10 and 14 with no real tactic exept just luck and perserverence. I am not a fan of hard games but in this game on reflection..when you know how.. its a lot easier (especially the last chapter). The pacing of the game is excellent and some of the more dramatic acts are brilliantly played out. My only negative is the extreme gore of your characters frequent death. Its excessive and over the top and I couldn't see a short cut button when getting fed up with it. In that sense this game should stay far away from kids. I didn't come across a glitch in the entire game and the whole game is fluid and very polished. However its not staying in the house and will be traded in as soon as possible (my son is going nowhere near it).
on 15 August 2011
So i just completed this game after a weekend of sheer terror mixed with complete Awe!! First off the graphics here are the best i have ever seen in any game!! I knew i was in for a treat when my TV was set at 1080 when the game started (first time i've seen that). The game is almost like a work of art, a true masterpiece... the clean crisp detail of the main character and his surroundings, coupled with incredibly atmospheric lighting create a truly unique and thrilling world. Add to this spot on sound effects, amazing gameplay, lots of variety and very engrossing story... you have yourself the best game released in 2011 so far!
This sequel builds on the first instalment very well keeping the core elements going and only adding a few changes... most notably the map has gone and is replaced with a beam of light as your guide whenever needed. I'm not sure if this was a good move as you can't see the complete layout of the level like before... but hey, it's not that important.
There are new weapons too and new suits which add variety.. and you also have the ability to jet around in Zero-G rather than just jump from wall to wall.
There are some downsides to the game in comparison to the first (**SPOILER WARNING**)... I felt that this game was not as difficult, and didnt make as much use of the surroundings or enemies to create puzzles like before. You just blast your way through this game without thinking... Although you still need to be careful with conserving ammo and pick the best weapon for certain situations.
The other main issue is that it's not as scary! The game is set on a large space station so that sence of claustrophobia we all felt on the Ishimura has dissapeared. The scariest part of this game was the parts where you go back on board briefly... It brought it all back!hehe.. Also i should note that it is still a very scary game with all the jumps and creepy noises you would expect ;)
Overall i just loved this game.. i was so dissapointed when it ended, i just wanted to keep going! Although maybe that wasn't such a good thing, because with Dead Space 1 i was so so happy when that game ended, but for all the right reasons!! :D
If you liked Dead Space... You will love Dead Space 2 just as much, it's well worth the money!
on 17 June 2011
To keep this brief,
I expected this to be Dead Space 1 with new locations, I was quite wrong. They have basically expanded the gameplay mechanics to improve the game as a whole.
One example is the Zero-G sections which now allow you to move in 360 degrees of space, so none of the restrictive space jumping that was seen in the first game.
Let me list three strengths and weaknesses, it seems to help.
1) Shooting - snappy, brutal and fun. Dismemberment will never get old.
2) Campaign - at the precisely correct length in that it is not too short or too long but gets the balance right.
3) Horror - I finished Resident Evil 5 before this, and this is true horror, not a rambo-esque shooter. In space. This is horror. In space. Visual frights are not the limit of this brand of horror, but are extended to audio (such as whisperings, and abrupt sounds).
1) Campaign - it ends. The campaign is so good you want it to keep going on and on and on.
2) On more difficult settings it can be a case of trial and error as you aim to defeat x amount of enemies and get to a checkpoint, particularly towards the end when I took an incredible twenty attempts to get to the next section.
3) Enemies - some are too fast and as a result can become overpowering. Not really a criticism, but they can frustrate.
Overall a highly polished SURVIVAL HORROR game that comes very, very recommended. You won't regret buying it.
Also, PS3 owners get Extraction for free on the disc. I have yet to play it or the online modes, but the core package (the single player) is very good.
I can say with confidence that I look forward to Dead Space 3, whenever that comes. I am also thinking about buying the 'Severed' DLC which is at an affordable price of just over £5.
Three years have passed since the Necromorph outbreak on Aegis VII, and Isaac Clarke wakes from a coma on The Sprawl, a civilian space station built on one of Saturn's moons. Suffering dementia caused by exposure to the marker, Isaac must confront his own demons whilst battling a new threat.
Thankfully, Visceral has kept the soul of the franchise intact. It's more action oriented and slightly less scary, but the experience is equally brilliant. Like the original, it has that rare ability to wrong foot players at the perfect moments. Plot twists avoid predictability, and gameplay elements are rarely used twice. Examples include inverted controls whilst hanging upside down, and a frantic dash through space. Stasis (slow motion) and Kinesis (object manipulation) make welcome returns. The iconic Plasma Cutter also features in an impressive and varied weapon selection. Zero gravity sections now have full 360 degree movement. Melee combat is snappier. Visuals are noticeably more detailed; lighting and sound effects are absolutely phenomenal.
Multiplayer does feel like an attempt to tick another box, and isn't much fun. But mercifully, the single player experience isn't sacrificed in any way. The HD re-master of Dead Space Extraction also sets up the newly released DLC, Severed, which continues the story of lesser known protagonist Gabe Weller. If Dead Space was the film Alien, then Dead Space 2 is Aliens. It's bigger and bolder; expanding the franchise, but maintaining an exceptional standard of quality.