E3 2010: Dead Space 2 (Impressions)

by: Tina -
Internet, I have to make an admission. I am a huge wuss when it comes to horror video games, but that certainly does not take away from my enjoyment of them. Having somehow carried myself through the startlingly frightening realm of Dead Space 1, I was more than excited to see what Dead Space 2 had to offer. I knew there would be new evils to encounter, just as devilishly sneaky as the first, with more of the story to delve into.

Our demonstration begins early on in the game, with Isaac traversing the city of The Sprawl. It is built in space, on one of the last shards of the moon Titan. The first thing to notice is the upgraded mining suit. Rich Briggs is on controls, and heads over to change his suit and equipment in the similar fashion we can remember from Dead Space 1 (essentially from a locker set in between levels).

The next thing to admire is much more important: the location. No longer trapped on one monotonous ship, Isaac is currently roaming the frozen crypts beneath the church of Unitology. The art director on the project, Ian Milham, explains that they were able to play around with much more variety in terms of locations. These include schools, transportation systems, factories, malls, apartments, hospitals and more. What more could you ask for than to take the terror of Necromorphs out into the everyday world?

As for the expected new creatures lurking about The Sprawl, Isaac was almost immediately attacked by a slew of what looked like baby Necromorphs thirsty for his blood. They attack in waves, and spare no second in charging at you. Acting swiftly, Rich Briggs freezes them with the stasis module, and blows through with the plasma cutter. Spitter Necromorphs are just as tricky, and this is where stasis comes in even bigger handy. Freezing them in place, it’s easy to avoid their nasty spit and concentrate on dismembering them without worrying about the damage being done to you. Darker colored Necromorphs with more speed and power than the originals also charge our way. Although there’s plenty of heavier ammunition to pick up, it’s at this time that the Javelin gun becomes essential.

The Javelin gun (undoubtedly soon to become my favorite) projectiles three foot spikes into your enemy, impaling them onto the wall and resulting in a one-hit kill. I’d never seen something I wanted more in my possession. Of course, ammunition is minimal on this weapon (with about 5 rounds per clip).

Although locations will be much more versatile than Dead Space 1, I still felt that the environment was fairly similar in feel. The concept of zero gravity is still used often, and you’ll find yourself managing various equipment (pulling levers, pushing buttons, that sort of thing) with the help of being able to float around. That was always an unpleasant task in Dead Space 1, because I was fearful of all floating, allegedly harmless Necromorph corpses.

While concentrating on the making comparisons between this demonstration and my experiences with Dead Space 1, I was thrown off my guard by the emergence of an enormous three-legged abomination (of which you can catch a glimpse of here). He threw Isaac’s balance off, towered over him, and relentlessly proceeded to use his spiked and abnormally large tonsils to strike at him. Eventually the Tripod boss grabs you with his tentacles, leaving you to struggle helplessly amongst his disgusting and powerful torso, and we’re left to wait for following events.

Dead Space 2, made by Visceral Games, will be available on January 25th of 2011 on the 360, PS3 and PC. 
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