EA’s mega-sequel Dead Space 2 arrived early in 2011 to scare the crap out of everyone in January. It was bigger, louder and more violent than its predecessor, which is saying something. With a new focus on Isaac’s mind, the game tapped into some psychological issues aimed directly at the player this time, and the result was one terrifying experience. We were worried about the possibility of Isaac having an actual voice this time ruining some of the atmosphere, but those fears were unnecessary as Dead Space 2 turned out to be one of the best games of the year.
I really enjoyed Dead Space, and I loved Dead Space 2 as well, so much so that I made my girlfriend play both of them as well (I’m ashamed to say she coped with most of the scarier moments better than I did) and watching her play it through from start to finish, I was just as enthralled by the events taking place as I was when I played it myself. Dead Space is one of my favourite video game franchises because, lets face it, it’s space, aliens, gore, guns, horror, and is about as close to a good Aliens style game I’ve been able to get since the original Aliens vs. Predator terrified the 12 year old me oh so long ago.
There’s something about being alone in space with nothing but the cold steel of a weapon to keep you company, and knowing that around every corner and beside every vent there’s a chance you’re going to get your head torn off by a disgusting, horrifying monster with spikes for arms that really just sends shivers through my entire body but also makes me unable to put down the controller. Dead Space 2 played amazingly well, and I had absolutely no issues with the controls or the events that took place in the story, and the fact that they improved upon its predecessor so well, without compromising anything that made Dead Space what it was, meant I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel and can only hope they do so well in any potential sequels. Some might argue, of course, that giving Isaac Clarke a voice – where he had none in the first game – was a stupid or even risky move, taking away the sense of isolation and loneliness, but I beg to differ, and felt that by giving him an actual personality made his trauma and harrowing desperation to stay alive that much more important, and only made me want to get him out of that mess even more.
So, I must admit that I have yet to finish Dead Space 2. I’m a notorious wimp when it comes to horror games, and this proved to be too much for me. I must have gotten about halfway through it before some horrendous alien land-mine things started blowing me to pieces in a particularly nasty corridor, and I just stopped and haven’t been back. I will return and get Isaac Clarke through the rest of his horrible tale, eventually… Few games do visceral violence as satisfying as this, and I do want to know what happens to the poor bloke by the end of all this. It’s been a year since Dead Space 2 came out, perhaps now is the time to get back into it…