“Dead Space 2” is the unnerving sequel to an abominably violent escapade that will leave you flabbergasted and screaming with delightful terror.
Once again you play as Isaac Clarke, a deep-space engineer caught in a daunting fight for survival against gruesome parasitic corpse-reanimations called Necromorphs.
After narrowly escaping from the USG Ishimura, Isaac awakens from a coma in the hospital of a gargantuan space station called “The Sprawl,” a civilian-colony on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.
Unfortunately for Isaac, chaos has followed him to his new home.
Previously, Titan was a bustling colony. The new station features dangling ceiling lights dripping entrails onto convulsing bodies and the incessant wails of ravished survivors who litter the crumbling complex.
These transfixing sequences of awe-inspiring repugnance are a change of pace from the spaceship found in the first game. The “Dead Space 2” development studio, Visceral Games, traded in the Ishimura’s cramped atmosphere for an array of less enclosed apartment complexes, Laundromats, churches, shopping malls and an elementary school.
Although the change of pace is welcoming, much of the best game play still takes place in very claustrophobic hallways and air ducts.
Throughout the well-paced adventure, Isaac searches for a solution to the infestation, twiddles away time hacking computer consoles and tries to survive with the assistance from two mentors — each with his and her own goals.
Isaac is also haunted by the recent suicide of his girlfriend Nicole Brennan. Without warning, unplayable flashes of baleful hallucinations featuring his deceased lover flitter across the screen, alluding to the impression that Isaac is teetering over the line of insanity.
In the original game, Isaac felt far too slow and clunky; however, the protagonist has received a noticeable speed boost that allows for a nimbler character and a smoother gaming experience.
Moreover, the curb-stomp action in “Dead Space” was a painfully useless tactic; in “Dead Space 2,” curb-stomping an enemy is much more efficient and in many cases a necessity.
The previously showcased stasis ability was another rarely used tool in Isaac’s corpse-rendering arsenal. The sequel’s addition of constantly recharging Isaac’s stasis fuel allows the player to actually make use of the time-slowing tactic, employing it from a more strategic angle.
Stasis is especially useful against becoming a gooey pile of remains when confronting misleadingly cute infants — who just happen to explode on contact.
The days of Necromorphs lumbering after Isaac in single-file with limbs exposed are all but gone. An impressive and immediately obvious improvement is the way in which a Necromorph attacks Isaac.
Often following shrill taunts, Isaac is lured into a shadowy claustrophobic trap where a battle against one insidious monster will transform into a seven-on-one survival game, with every creature more vicious and bloodthirsty than the last.
Initially, excitement was abounding when Visceral Games announced that “Dead Space 2” includes competitive multi-player. However, the hopeful anticipation for a unique experience swiftly dissipated. Horror-survival junkies will immediately recognize the creature versus human survival scenario from “Left 4 Dead 2.”
A team of four humans is assigned the objective of activating a series of computer consoles, gathering a data pack and returning it to base. These tasks would be simple, if not for the four varieties of opposing Necromorphs who are unwaveringly intent on devouring a still-beating human heart.
Even though the multi-player experience is essentially a remake with a few modifications, the experience is still fantastic. The objective-based multi-player system alongside a traditional survival atmosphere leaves the multiplayer game memorable, unbelievably unsettling and quite enjoyable.
Commencing with its story-driven paralytic scenes of anxiety that lead you into a truly unique realm of sleep-depriving exhilaration, to the nostalgic but addicting multiplayer, “Dead Space 2” is a wonderfully twisted masterpiece executed in such a glorious way that it will revolt mothers worldwide, and snare any horror fan for years to come.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com