Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lost in Dead Space 2

So earlier this month I got my bloody little hands on Dead Space2, which would have had to be one my most anticipated gaming titles this year.

I had ordered the game through a friends credit card, and it was supposed to be sent to his mailing address, so for about a week I kept bugging him to check his post office box over and over. When it finally arrived, my buddy dropped it off at my office, which was pretty awesome.

This was the beast that I had been waiting for since release and now it was firmly within my grasp!

As soon as I got home I slipped the installation disks in and waited anxiously as the game did it's thing. Surprisingly it took a little bit of time installing the game, so instead of sitting there watching the install bar fill, I put on Pandorum and chilled for a bit.

Then the moment had arrived, the game had installed and I was about to revisit my favorite nightmare.

Right from the start menu I was as giddy as a school girl. The original Dead Space would be number one in my list of top three video games of all time... and playing through the opening moments of Dead Space 2, it was clear that this game was soon to join the ranks. The game looks great, the visuals are just stunning and the art direction (just like the first one) is incredible.

I started my first play through on Zealot which was the hardest difficulty to begin with, and I managed to finish the game in about a week. Needless to say that I played this thing almost religiously every night till the early hours of the morning.

The game experience Dead Space 2 offers is just awesome. It feels like the first game, but with additions and not really changes. I'm sure the Dev team over at Visceral games knew they had a winning formula with the first game, so they simply perfected that formula to create a new yet familiar game play experience.

A lot of this contributes directly to further developing Isaac Clarke as a character. His no longer the engineer who's caught in something that's way over his head, instead his the guy who has lived through this mess before and now his ready for anything. Well... almost anything.

From the way he handles his weapons now, to the more effective melee attacks, all of which checked into place with the uneasy way he looks around when walking. Isaac is fun to navigate around.

Isaac also gets to do a bit of tinkering here and there with machinery and computers to show of a bit of his engineering skills. Every now and then you'll come across something or other that's not working, and you can go through what could be called a very small mini game to fix it. I like the inclusion of the engineering vents here and there too, which Isaac can crawl through to get to otherwise unreachable areas.

Isaac Clarke is so bad-ass this time.

And the weapons... god I love the new weapons.

I think every Dead Space fan loves the trusty ol' Plasma Cutter. But my other favorite weapon would have to be the Ripper. Nothing beats cutting down Necromorphs into little messy bits with a circular saw. And it's also my 'out all the time' weapon that I carry around. It sometime feels like I'm cheating with it, only because I've gotten so good at using it. It cuts through like 3 or so baddies when it's fully upgraded and it saves you a shit load of ammo. And I just the love the mess it creates... and the way the baddies are all like "AARRGGHHH!" as I carve my way through em.

As far as new weapons go, my fave would have to be the Javelin gun. This thing is so much fun to use. It fires a high powered Javelin at baddies which can impale them. Upgraded it's pretty much a one-shot kill on most Necromorphs, but what makes this awesome gun even better is it's alt fire.

Smack the alt fire and it activates this electricity thing on the last javelin that you fired, which starts to electrocute and hold down baddies within it's range. And then when you upgrade this bad boy, the javelin also explodes after the electrocution. This is another gun that makes you feel like you're cheating because it just totally murders anything you come across. In fact, this makes the last boss fight easy as cake.

Speaking of upgrades, there's a lot more options in terms of customizing things this time around, and at anytime you can pay a little fee and even remove upgrade nodes that you've spent and apply them to something else. There are also a number of new rigs that you can put on for varied types of protection and item storage space... These also add different perks to Isaac as well, such as extra weapon damage for a particular weapon or even better hacking skills.

Shop smart...

The zero-gravity areas are a lot more fun now with the added 'flying' upgrade to your rig. In fact, one of my favorite areas in the game is this one place where the gravity is out, and you get to hover through the area floating past dead bodies and ghostly masses of blood moving past you.

It's so eerie.

And that's another awesome thing about the game. This time around there's so much action happening around you, but the game never stops to creep you out.

There's also a number of cool new Necromorphs in the game this time, but my favorite new baddie would have to be the Puker, the design of this things is just so sick.

The Puker

This is a guy with this massive gash running down his front from the neck to the groin, and he spits out this acid thing that not only hurts you, but also slows you down, so his other necromorph buddies can take you out.

The Puker doing it's thing

His also got one of the best kill animations, where he opens up your helmet and spews his sick, vile puke all over your face.

That's how I wanna take out people who piss me off... just hold them down and vomit all over them.


You can check out the video below for the other awesome new Necromorphs too.

As far as objectives go, you do end up fixing a lot of stuff here and there just like the first one, but a lot of it just involves exploring places. No one is telling Isaac what to do this time around, and he kind of decides for himself what to do next.

O and he talks!

That definitely adds a lot more to Isaac. Just seeing his tired, worn out face at the end of the first game made me feel some sort of connection, but hearing him speak his mind instead of just quietly walking around taking orders is awesome.

I must admit that I was a bit iffy about the talking in the beginning, only because I felt without the talking in the first game, Isaac is able to become sort of your avatar in the game, and it's actually you going through all the messes of surviving. But this way you start to value Isaac as a character and not just your toon. I can actually say now that he is pretty bad ass because I know what his thinking when his doing all the crazy things I make him do to survive. So the voice is a great addition.

With all the added new stuff the game felt so fresh to play, and yet it felt very familiar. This was the best thing about the game too me. I wanted more Dead Space 2 and Visceral delivered with added goodies and I thank them so much for it.

I would consider my self a bit of a Visceral fan boy. I actually own all three of their titles now, not counting the ones before the name change, and I feel these guys really share some sort of wave length with me. Cause they make games that I would so definitely play. The only other developer I feel this way about is iD software.

I <3 Visceral

At the moment I'm ripping through Dead Space on the Hardcore setting and it's proving to be a lot of fun. I read online about how Zealot and Hardcore are immensely hard to get through, but I think it sort of depends on what weapons you wanna run with. I've got my trusty Plasma cutter by my side, but my two bad boys, the Ripper and Javelin gun are tearing shit up like mad. For the forth slot I have the line gun which helps a lot on Hardcore.

Well this has certainly been a long post. There's much more that I can think of saying about the game, but it's been out for awhile and you can read up on the details any where online.

In the end I just wanna finish off by saying that Dead Space 2 is awesome, and it was more than anything I could have expected... and that I can't wait to see what the Dev team does next.

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