The lights are on
During a hands-off demo, EA invited an eager group of writers and executives to watch the latest gameplay footage of Dead Space 2. The event took place in a freezing cold room designed to look like a church complete with pews and fictional biblical literature behind each seat. This set the stage for what we were about to see. Spoiler: EA and Visceral Games successfully scared the hell out of everyone.
Ian Milham, art director of Dead Space, led the presentation. We were shown one of the earlier parts of the game that takes place in the Church of Unitology. There were plenty of frightening moments from pipes suddenly bursting releasing a stream of steam, to enemies jumping out from around corners as Isaac continued through to the lower depths of the building. Though of course it's nothing he couldn't handle.
We caught a glimpse of a new enemy in the franchise called "The Puker." The name is pretty self explanatory. The scraggly demon spews disgusting bile from his mouth, which looks fantastic when Isaac triggers the slow motion effect. The fluidity and texture of the substance was realistic enough to emanate some disgust from the viewers of the demo. It was excellent.
Strategic dismemberment played a huge role when taking out enemies. The Puker battle took place in slow motion as Isaac carefully targeted each of its limbs and blasted them off one by one until there was nothing left.
Other new enemies of note include "The Pack." These mutated children attack in large groups and frenetically jump toward Isaac. This is where one of his new weapons, the Javelin launcher, comes into play. Isaac triggers the slow motion effect, and similar to the spear gun in BioShock 2, enemies hit with the three foot spikes will go flying right into a wall where they become pinned.
Another thing to note in Dead Space 2 is Issac's voice is heard for the first time. Dana provides information needed to proceed and Isaac responds. He is told the exit he is looking for is suspended above and he must find a way to get up there, which triggers a quick puzzle. Isaac essentially just uses a tool to magnetically pull down panels that releases an anti-gravitational field. Environmental objects and Isaac himself begin to float in the space in zero gravity as part of the game's integration of flight and navigation. He floats toward the room's exit above past hazardous fan blades that he slows down to get through without a hitch. Once he makes it out he finds himself in a bad situation.Dead Space 2 takes place on the Sprawl, a large space city that we caught a glimpse at in a sequence where Isaac was surrounded by windows. The expansive city will have transportation, schools, hospitals, factories, churches, and just about anything else you can expect from any large metropolitan area. We assume they will be inhabited by terrifying creatures. The scene is probably the most serene of the entire demo, at least until the windows burst revealing a huge ship pulling with an unusual force that pulls Isaac nearly off the ledge, until he finds a loose floor panel that he pulls off and jumps through.
At this point a large monster reveals itself, admittedly startling me, grabs Isaac and whips him around, but he thankfully escaped its clutch. Combat then moves to a narrow hallway and as he makes it toward the end the ship returns pulling both Isaac and the large terrifying enemy toward it amid combat. Isaac appears to be in a bit of trouble as the enemy delivers devastating blows. Unfortunately the demo ended on a cliffhanger, leaving us wondering the fate of our hero. We'll find out what happens next when the game releases on January 25.
To see some of this stuff in action for yourselves, check out the E3 trailer of Dead Space 2.