Dead Space 2 Review by Henry McMunn

Dead Space 2 Review

Isaac Clarke’s first encounter with the Necromorphs in 2008’s Dead Space wasn’t exactly a picnic, but sure enough, they’re back with a vengeance, and after waking up in an insane asylum on the space city known as the Sprawl, so is Isaac.

Fortunately, this isn’t the same old game with the same old tricks, and Visceral games have seriously stepped their game up with this Scare-tastic sequel.

As if starting out in a nuthouse doesn’t say it well enough, it’s no longer just hideous hordes of undead Necromorphs you’ll be up against this time around, but Isaac’s own mind, irreparably damaged after the ‘incident’ on the Ishimura and the death of his love, Nicole.

Fortunately, to keep the real monsters at bay, the game offers new weapons including the awesome Javelin Gun, an improved and smoothed-out melee system, and Isaac no longer controls like he weighs several tons.

Many people will be asking right off the bat – is it scary?
The answer: yes and no.

As a horror game, it’s on the whole a lot creepier than your average third-person shooter, sure, but don’t expect to be sweating it for the full 10-hour experience. There are plenty of jumps, and a particularly tense Chapter 10, but this time there is a much greater emphasis on action, and in this aspect Dead Space 2 offers with both hands full.

The single player experience is a varied, well-paced and most importantly thrilling two-disc adventure into the dark, but that’s not all. Not only have Visceral added a Hardcore mode, a gruelling challenge of maximum difficulty and only three save slots for the dedicated horror freaks out there, but an all-new multiplayer mode.

Teams of four survivors must face a team of four Necromorphs in a Left 4 Dead-style objective match across five maps, and while it’s not the most addictive online mode out there, it’s certainly a positive new step for the series, and one that helps lengthen the game’s play time.

Dead Space 2 might not be the best horror game in the world, but in terms of balancing high-adrenaline action and a fair share of scares, it does a heck of a job. Regardless, this is a highly polished and satisfying sci-fi third person shooter, and is the ideal title for anyone who likes a little blood and gore in their games.

Dead Space 2 - Nine out of 10

Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Visceral Games
Number of Players: 1-8
Rating: M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong
Available On: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

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