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whatshot Dead Space 2 PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.9
Graphics 9.0
Sound 8.9
Value 9.0
Distributor: EA
Classification:
MA15+
Review Date:
Jan 2011
Reviewer:
Peter Bourke

8.9


Dead Space 2

This title was definitely on one of our most anticipated games for 2011 and even though the original had a few problematic issues, the atmosphere, story and gameplay created a thoroughly entertaining survival horror game set in deep space. And here is the sequel and best of all, the action in Dead Space 2 has been amped up another notch and there are quite a few parallels between Dead Space 2 and the awesome James Cameron blockbuster Aliens.

Given the similarities, Dead Space 2 is still unique but everything in the sequel feels bigger, better and bolder with some great Hollywood inspired cinematics. Thankfully the tension from the original and Half Life type scares are still rampant in Dead Space 2, so for those with continence issues, may want to investigate some protection.

In Dead Space 2, players take the role of Isaac Clarke, an engineer whose day is about to the hit the fan. A trained soldier with state of the art equipment, it's up to the player to use their wits and more importantly conserve their ammunition as together you take on an almost never ending army of aliens. Thankfully for Isaac, he has a few tricks up his sleeve like telekinetic powers and other "fun" abilities.

The story of Dead Space 2 takes place a few years after the original that begins with our hero talking to his psychiatrist about what he experienced. But this is where it all goes bad and before he knows it, his world is once again falling apart as he literally wakes up in bloodshed, surrounded by Necromorphs as marines attempt to contain the situation. The introduction is also cleverly set up as a tutorial which teaches you the controls, navigation and abilities of your character.

From here, the player must work their way to not only survive another alien outbreak on this colony but perhaps even regain Clarke's sanity and save the colony. With a healthy dose of cutscenes along the way, this not only helps progress the story but creates a flawless transition from gaming to cinema and is a great reward for the player. Depending on which version of Dead Space 2 (360, PC or PlayStation 3) that you were playing, some of these versions were plagued by load issues which thankfully are almost non-existent here. This flawless transition only adds to the positive atmospheric experience of the game.

With a variety of different difficulty settings, you will spend much of the time exploring this colony and killing the outbreak of Necromorphs. Combat is well mapped on the PS3 controller and the whole experience seems more fluid as you try to save your skin from these deadly creatures. However, Dead Space 2 is not all about combat as the atmosphere plays an integral part of the gameplay.

For the majority of the game, you will be on edge because you don't know what is around the corner. Problems happen when you let your guard down and even though you may solving a puzzle in the game or using your telekinetic abilities on a foe for some player satisfaction, the game almost has this psychic ability to detect your defences lowered and then jump on you. It's all very cool. In terms of puzzles, the zero gravity areas are a hell of a lot of fun but can also be frustrating as well but it does help break things up.

As you interact with NPC's through classic Aliens style, Isaac is given a variety of objectives that must be completed. Thankfully you have a hub like navigation tool which not only points you in the right directions such as a blue dot for missions but you can even set a waypoint to more important gaming areas such as save points.

Telekinesis can be used for combat but weapons are the primary focus in this game. As mentioned, the game has this real Aliens type feel to it and this is mirrored with the weapons such as the "Pulse Rifle" but unfortunately it's missing that cool sound from the movies. Although some of the weapons return from the previous game, the developers have added some new additions to the franchise such as the awesomely cool sniper-rifle.

To compliment the new weapons, there are new enemies as well, with some of them having a rather nasty bite. The new enemies are all inspired from a plethora of genres but have a healthy dose of alien grunt behind them. Another highlight of the aliens is that a f ew act quite differently to each other which may force you to swap weapons or use your powers to kill them in their tracks. Upgrades play another key role in the game and are needed to survive. Bosses on the other hand are tough!

The game does contain a multiplayer aspect with a handful of modes as you work in conjunction or against your human opponents. I'm quite impressed that between levels, you can tweak your character for the next match and is quite fun, although you cannot beat the great single-player mode.

 

Graphically, Dead Space 2 is an amazing piece of gaming art. The environments are quite diverse and definitely a polar opposite from the original title that contained claustrophobic closed corridors and dark levels. These environments are larger, brighter but that damn darkness is back. Your combatants looks great and are oozing with eye candy and this is one game that must be experienced in FULL HD to see the full detail of the graphics and flawless animation. Lastly, you have the cinematics that really make you part of something big and it's easy to get captivated by them.

Sound has received an interesting overall in Dead Space 2. Generally when you play a character in a game, you really don't hear much from them, unless they interact with another NPC or maybe hear the grunts of combat. But here, Isaac actually curses, shouts and screams when things become a little too difficult for our almost insane protagonist. Not to mention his own personal victory taunts!

In conclusion, Dead Space 2 is a much better game than the original and although it's different, it's a good different. The developers have definitely addressed all concerns from the first game and created something that not only compliments the original story but actually betters it. With great graphics, some awesome use of surround sound and gameplay to die for, it seems that 2011 is going to be a very good time for gamers. It's time to rock 'n roll with guns and aliens again!





 

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