Dead Space 2 is a third-person shooter horror game for Windows, Xbox 360, and the Playstation 3. I played the PS3 version a while ago so forgive my lack of details in places. Also, seeing as this is the second game in the series, the story carries over from the first game. You could try to get a synopsis from the in-game movie that recaps the first game, but even then you might be lost. So, if you’re like me, you decided the important thing was shooting monsters and started playing.
The basic gameplay consists of going through dark environments in the future while fighting off zombie alien things. You get a cool arsenal of weaponry along the way, each with its own pros, cons, and cool effects. These different weapons are also just fun to use as they can do things like dismember enemies, impale them, explode, electrocute, and all sorts of neat things that make them feel very satisfying to use. You can upgrade the weapons as well as your suit with power nodes. You place them in a circuit board type of chart, similar to a skill tree. They can branch off into different paths, but they all need to be connected to the previous ones in a line. Most spots have different stat boosts, but some are blank and simply there to connect you to more boosts further along the line. This is done to add balance to upgrades and encourage strategic decision making. Do you want to upgrade your current gun or wait to find another one later that might be more useful to upgrade? Can you make it that far without the upgrades? Or should you upgrade your suit instead? There’s a lot to consider. There are also different suits you can get with their own pros and cons. So you’ve got some decent customization options and replay value because of them.
The difficulty in the game comes into play with the survival aspects. Sure, the enemies can be tough to beat, especially on higher difficulties, but the real challenge in beating most of them is your equipment. You’ll want to explore a lot to find all the blueprints, get extra money, and find the power nodes to keep stocked up and upgraded. Using the right gun for the right situation can be key. You’ll want to make sure you have ammo on you at all times, but most ammo is gained from hunting around the areas and killing the enemies. You can try to stock up at the shops, but you have limited inventory space which you’ll need for finding weapon schematics, holding health packs, and bringing your weapons. Plus some other items will take up inventory space. So you really have to plan out how you want to play, and sometimes you’ll have to change up your strategies and playstyle in the middle of your adventure because the supplies you want aren’t always going to be the supplies you get. It’s cool to try and live off of the random stuff you get stuck with between save points and shops.
My problems come mainly from the horror aspect. Dead Space 2 wants to be scary. This means that there are a number of sections that are overly dark and functionally boring. I’m not scared by strange noises, the lights going out, or scripted things zipping by the screen. If it scares you personally, then it’s probably a good thing. You might also like the overly dark and dirty atmosphere, but I found that a bit annoying as well. I would’ve liked a bit more color in the game. I also don’t care much for the upgrade system leaving some nodes immediately useless upon placement. It has a purpose, but it’s annoying. It’s also a bit on the repetitive side, sometimes feeling more like a grind to get to the next save point to power up rather than surviving from point to point. That might be because I played on the easiest difficulty, but I’d imagine the longer slogs through those sections on higher difficulties would be more annoying.
Dead Space 2 is pretty fun. You shoot zombie aliens while trying to conserve your supplies and survive. You can upgrade and customize yourself along the way while trying to find secrets and explore every inch of the world. The atmosphere is fine for horror fans, and the gameplay is satisfying even if the horror element fails for you. Overall, it’s definitely a cool game with some good balance and decent gameplay. It’s worth checking out if you’re interested. I just wish I could’ve started with the first one so I’d have a better idea of what the hell was going on in the story.