Dead Space 2 review


Dead Space 2 review

Three years is an eternity in outer space. It’s been that long since Isaac Clarke, Dead Space’s unlikely engineer protagonist, hightailed it off the surface of Aegis VII, escaping a seemingly endless plague of reanimated corpses-turned-monsters. But between those closing moments and the opening scenes of Dead Space 2, a few mysteries have lingered…

If you dove headfirst into the original game’s plethora of secrets — or have followed its expanded universe in books, graphic novels, and so on — you may have already solved some of them for yourself. Is Isaac’s apparition-of-a-girlfriend Nicole really dead? Is she some sort of whacked-out undead Necromorph? Was the source of all undead ghastliness, the Marker, fully destroyed at the end of Dead Space? And most important of all — what’s up with our main man, Isaac? Is he completely sane, or is he now zero-G–surfing in Crazyville? Good horror gamers who wait and survive what Dead Space 2 throws at them will get all of these answers and more.

And what a menagerie of madness it throws.

Right from the opening scenes, you’re tossed into a flurry of crazy-harrowing events that’ll leave you bewildered, vulnerable, and suitably freaked out. You’ll be ducking, dashing, and frantically wondering where to find your first weapon for a chunk of the intro sequence. It’s a hell of a start to the 10- to 13-hour journey (depending on which of four initially selectable difficulties you choose), and it’s a pace that’s gleefully sustained throughout. Downtime is for suckers, and Dead Space 2 knows this all too well.

If you’re not desperately running-and-gunning for your life, then you’re tentatively tiptoeing into a darkened room praying that those creaking rattles you hear are just plumbing problems. Because in reality, despite the sci-fi action-movie moments where you find yourself aboard a giant drill piercing mountains of stone, or scampering wild-eyed around a space-station schoolroom overwhelmed by exploding infant-like crawlers, Dead Space 2 is really a game made up of small, masterfully executed touches. It’s a superb refinement of everything that made its predecessor a ticking time bomb of terror.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, you’ll need to know what got you into this fleshy, undead mess to begin. Story in Dead Space 2’s solo campaign is paramount, and it’s what will get you through this house of deep-space horrors.

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