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True Gaming Perfection: Dead Space 2
Posted on 15th January, 2018 - By Daniel Hezzlewood
An Incredible Sequel
Survival Horror is one of my all time favourite gaming genres. From Visceral Games’ Dead Space franchise, their second instalment has to be my favourite. Dead Space 2 uses every element I love from the first game & intensifies it, so much so that you’re left with a wet patch on your chair.
They’ve also added another element to their sequel that makes Dead Space 2 even more excellent than the first, and that’s dementia. Battling the screwy, messed up psychosis that the infamous “Red Marker” gave him, is insane… No pun intended.
This added element makes for some very intense & visually stunning scenes, along with a great addition to the story.
An Amazing Launch Trailer
When considering just how much I loved the first game, it’s safe to say that I was pretty excited when Visceral Games announced they were making a sequel. But if there’s one thing I love about gaming, its the hype I build up when I see an awesome trailer.
The first trailer I saw for Dead Space 2 was incredible, and it blew me away. After watching the launch trailer, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Dead Space 2 and scare myself crazy.
Check out the trailer that got my juices flowing below.
The Opening Sequence
Dead Space 2’s first few minutes might just be one of my favourite parts of the entire game. Now after the horrifying events of the first game, you’d think that the writers at Visceral Games would gradually introduce you to the new perilous situation, right?
Wrong! You’re thrown head first into a total cluster-f**k of corpses and blood; the beginning of a horrific Necromorph outbreak.
Running through corridors filled with Necromorphs attacking anything and everything. With a straight jacket trapping your arms to your chest, and death coming at you from every angle; it’s safe to say that this scene is one of the most incredible openings to a horror game.
From there, the game only gets better.
What began several million light-years away from home on Aegis VII, now brings us to our own solar system. Set three years after the events of the first game, our protagonist, Isaac Clarke, wakes from a coma on an enormous city called “The Sprawl” built on Saturn’s largest Moon; Titan.
Isaac now find himself in the centre of a fresh new nightmare. Not only is he slap-bang in the centre of another outbreak, but to add to that, he’s now being hunted by the government, and religious zealots known as Unitologists. They actually believe that the marker(s) are going to advance our species to the “next stage of evolution”. Well, our unlucky engineer can’t be having that, now can he?
Oh yeah, he’s also battling through his dementia and is haunted by horrible visions of the girlfriend he lost in the previous disaster.
Onto an important part of story telling, the characters. Personally, the connections I form with the in-game characters are often what makes a game all the more enjoyable.
Take The Last of Us, for example; not the same kind of horror game, I know, but it’s still a masterpiece. But why? The Last of Us is a masterpiece because of how well written the characters are, and of course; because of the talented voices behind them.
The characters in Dead Space 2 are also very well voiced, and extremely well written; both of which build up the emotional connections you form with the characters. Which, as I’m sure you know – makes for a great gaming experience.
My favourite character is obviously Isaac; our beloved engineer that makes a habit of being pulled way out of his depth and thrown into dire situations… again and again. He’s strong, capable and talented. But behind the high-tech engineering RIG, and underneath those skills and talents, he’s just an ordinary guy at heart; which makes him easy to relate to.
“I’m not running anymore. I know what I have to do.”
His goal in the first game is to find his girlfriend, Nicole. His goal in Dead Space 2 is to bring an end to Earth-Gov‘s manufacture of the Markers. However, along the way he’s dragged into teaming up with, protecting, and ultimately caring for another woman; Ellie Langford.
When we first meet Ellie, she’s kicking ass and killing Necromorphs. As Isaac approaches her, he nearly joins the bodies she’s just dropped. At first, she doesn’t trust anyone (even our charming Isaac Clarke) and is reluctant to work together for a better chance of survival.
“Not a chance, Isaac. Other people are… Just a liability.”
However, as time passes and it becomes more and more apparent that the only way to survive this outbreak, is with the help of Isaac; the two of them work together and slowly build trust for one-another. As you can imagine, after saving each other’s lives time and time again, they form a bond.
After losing Nicole, Isaac can’t lose another person that means something to him. Because of the bond he’s formed with Ellie, he forces her to escape the Sprawl via a security vessel. Yet Ellie‘s having none of it. She come in right when he needs her and saves his life.
After that, we get close to Dead Space 3 territory.
Daina Le Guin
Daina Le Guin is one of those bat-s**t-crazy Unitologist members that believe Humanity was designed and created by an ancient alien race, and that with the help of the “sacred” artefact known as the Marker we will be “reunified” after death.
We’re first introduced to her at in the opening sequence of Dead Space 2, as she guides Isaac to safety during the beginning of the latest outbreak.
“You’re a dangerous secret, Isaac.”
After becoming suspicious of her intentions and rejecting her help, he’s forced to trust her, which obviously bites him in the ass, as he’s apprehended by her two other members of the faith.
Fortunately for Isaac, Daina and her goons are shot to bits, which affords Isaac the perfect opportunity to escape both EarthGov and the Unitologists.
Tiedemann is one of the primary antagonists in Dead Space 2, and although he’s trying to kill Isaac, I don’t believe he’s an evil guy… Well, at least not at the beginning. After all, when the outbreak begins, he does order a station wide evacuation (against his orders) – sparing countless lives.
After listening to several audio logs, we learn that he sees himself as the protector of the station’s residents, and that he only wants to harvest the powerful energy that the Markers create.
He also acknowledges the difficult situation he and Isaac are in, apologising multiple times and saying that he doesn’t want to waste his potential, but has no choice.
“The research in that Marker is worth every life we just lost! I won’t let you throw all this away!”
However, he’s still a primary antagonist for a reason…
With his stubborn, hard-headed nature and stern belief that his cause is just, he makes for a powerful and formidable enemy. Eventually his tolerance of Isaac wears thin and Tiedemann then attempt to take out Isaac himself; which obviously results in his death.
Originally tasked with seeking out and retrieving any remaining pieces of the Red Marker, this seinior scientist becomes obsessive over a single piece that he had recovered. As we all know, this isn’t a good sign… “For the marker, changes all…”
“I keep seeing you, but… you’re so mad, so… angry. You’re scaring me.”
Being neighbouring patients with Isaac, under Dr. Foster, Stross is aware of how unique our skillful engineer is, and how important he is to their current predicament.
Nolan Stross isn’t your typical antagonist. In fact, he’s quite helpful. First warning Isaac of an approaching Necromorph, to then explaining (to the best of his ability) how the Markers have come to be on Titan Station.
However, as his mind escapes him more and more, he eventually turns on Isaac and tries to kill him, after first turning on Ellie, and removing her eyeball with a screwdriver…
When I played Dead Space 2, it looked amazing and it doesn’t look half bad today. The level of detail in the environments, surroundings and characters do a great job of building a fearful atmosphere. Going from the visuals in the opening sequence, where Franco Delille (Dead Space: Ignition) wakes Isaac from stasis.
The environments are eerie and often gory, which gives you a strong feeling of uneasiness and dread. The detail in structures, characters, bodies and Necromorphs is great; and of course, the graphics are always important for immersing the player in game.
As we all know, when you’re playing a horror game of any kind; music is key to immersing you in the world of your game. Well Dead Space 2‘s music is perfect. Sinister and treacherous, the eerie music does a great job of keeping you scared.
As we go from the slow tones that are played as you creep along a silent, blood covered corridor, all the way to the intense and terrifying battles; Dead Space 2‘s music really keeps you in that state of fear throughout the entire game.
The DLC for Dead Space 2 is primarily weapon packs and rigs; which enable you to take to The Sprawl with a neat selection of upgradeable weapons and tools to help you dismember every last one of the hideous, terrifying Necromorphs.
There’s also some story DLC; Severed. I have to be honest though, I haven’t played it… Not fully, at least. I think I started it with my brother back in 2011, but we never completed it. I’ll be giving it another go and writing an update for this part of my article.
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