The lights are on
Redefining the term Mature, Visceral Games' Dead Space 2 definitely has a specific demographic in mind. After forming a sort of cult following with the its 2008 predecessor, Dead Space 2 delivers exactly what fans of the original asked for. With revamped visuals, audio, and gameplay mechanics Visceral Games hits the first home run of 2011.
For those of you who haven't played the original, Dead Space 2 is a survival-horror third person shooter, in which you play as Isaac Clarke. Visceral takes a different approach on the shooter genre and eliminates the HUD, or heads up display, that you would find in virtually every other shooter. Instead of a health bar and equipment status implication on screen all you need to know is on Isaac's body. A health indicator lines his spine and your weapon displays how much ammo you through a projection. Inventory and objective screens also work on a projector that stems from Isaac's wrist mounted computer.Visceral took a cue from fans and gave Isaac what he was lacking from the original game, a face and a voice. The result is a much more involved story as Isaac voices his opinion on his surroundings and the events that unfold.
The story of Dead Space 2 takes place in a space colony called Sprawl, on Titan one of Saturn's moons. Isaac is first seen being interrogated and wearing a straightjacket. The action begins quickly as “Necromorphs,” Dead Space's enemies, begin flooding the medical ward. Faced with annihilation, Isaac flees desperately to safety. After things calm down and Isaac is properly equipped, the story begins to unfold. Depending on which of the 5 difficulties you wish to subject yourself to, your method of combat can differ immensely. Seeing that Necromorphs are essentially zombies one might think to take traditional tactics and go for headshots. Wrong. On most enemy types the headshot is utterly useless. Instead, dismembering individual limbs seems to be the main method of dispatching these baddies. However, you may find that ammo grows particularly scarce when you play on a higher difficulty. Resorting to other methods such as kinesis and “curbstomping” is a good way to conserve ammunition.
Unfortunately, the online multiplayer is not included with the game. A one time 10 dollar download is needed to hop online, though for some the concept may be enough to sway your opinion on purchasing. Two teams of four are pitted against each other. One human. One Necromorph. If you are a hardcore Left 4 Dead player and are looking for a bit of variation this may be for you.
Still, for those of you who have seen Saw or Hostel and cringe at the sight of blood on the screen, THIS GAME IS NOT FOR YOU. If you own Saw or Hostel on DVD, BUY THIS GAME. Gallons and gallons of blood are spilled, many interactive cut-scenes are full of explicit gore. One moment in the game is particularly gory, if you mess it up.....which I did....about 4 times in a row. With an ad campaign of Your Mother hates this game found at www.yourmomhatesthis.com it is easy to see why. For the super hardcore, there is of course, Hardcore Mode. Approach with caution, as you will only be able to save 3 times and when you die you are reverted to your last save rather than a hidden checkpoint. Also the bare minimum amount of ammo and health packs are distributed throughout the game. I give it an 8.5/10
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