Dead Space 2

All right, now this is more fucking like it! 

I play a wide variety of games.  And by that I mean…all of them.  But the shooter is my old glove.  It's where I started.  Where I came from.  And I get this warm and fuzzy feeling all over when I play them. 

The first computer game I played was Doom.  The second was Quake.  After that I only remember Half-Life, followed by Counter-Strike…and I think you get the idea.  When I started playing Dead Space 2, I was filled with this really weird sense of nostalgia for the year 2004…the year Doom 3 was released.  Because this game is so damned similar to Doom 3 it's scary.  Pun intended. 

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Okay, enough of my fanboying over shooters.  Dead Space 2 is a survival horror shooter, as I mentioned, very similar to Doom 3.  It's in outer space, it's got a lot of sci-fi mumbo jumbo, and there are monsters lurking about in every dark corner, vent, closet, bathroom, locked room, train car, and whatever else a monster could possibly hide in.  Hell, sometimes they just appear out of thin air.  And if you ever seen unbroken glass, you can bet your ass a monster will be breaking through it as soon as you take two steps towards it.  There are also a lot of monsters that enjoy making you think they're already dead, ready to leap up at you as you approach.  I've come to the conclusion that killing you is actually SECOND on the monsters' to-do lists.  The first is making you poo your pants. 

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Before we move on, I just want to say that the above screenshot reminds me of the end of the original Nightmare on Elm Street film, where Nancy's mother dissolves into the bed.  I'm not sure why, but I thought of that when I saw this in-game.  Weird. 

Anyway, the story is as follows:  After whatever the fuck happened in Dead Space, our hero is in this weird hospital on a space station orbiting Saturn.  Shit goes wrong and lots of people start dying.  When Isaac wakes up, there are monsters trying to kill him and there are hospital administrators trying to kill him.  All in all, not a good day, but a typical day for Isaac.  The man's seen more death than the Ghost of Christmas Future. 

After a harrowing half hour of walking around without a weapon of any kind, and another half hour of walking around in a straight jacket, we're finally treated to some bad-assery and given proper gear. 

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I just want to point out that the above screenshot wins the Fucking Cool Ass Screenshot of the Month award. 

Combat in this game is the same as the first game — headshots aren't useful at all.  You want to shoot off arms and legs to kill the monsters.  It was an interesting concept in the first game and it hasn't lost its appeal.

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If I had to make any gripes about the game, one would be the checkpoint save system.  I hate checkpoint saving.  If checkpoint saving were the leader of a small terrorist country, I would fly to it and assassinate the son of a bitch myself.  There is nothing fun about replaying 15 minutes of gameplay that you just played through, only because you didn't know that yellow thing would blow up when you stomped on it.  If developers insist on continuing to use the gods-fucking-awful idea that is checkpoint saving, then put in more checkpoints for the love of Crom. 

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Also, I think I may be experiencing some bugs with the hacking system.  My icon for the hacking module keeps vanishing on me, and when it does it's basically impossible to solve the hacking riddle before the timer runs out. 

Other than that, I really don't have any complaints.  Just one more, and it really has nothing to do with the game as it is now.  EA has announced DLC packages for Dead Space 2, and have explicitly stated they will not be releasing them on the PC.  The DLC will be for the console version of the game only.

Hey EA!  Fuck you very much, and your mother, and the horse you fucked your way in on.  Thanks. 

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The javelin gun is rather fun, btw.  It's a ripoff of every other spike shooting gun that has existed in every shooter since 1998, but it's still fun.  (Let's see:  Crossbow in Half-Life 2, Stake Gun in Painkiller, Rail Gun in Quake, Rail Gun in Red Faction, and on, and on, and on…)

The gravity gu…I mean the grabber gu…I mean the FORCE GUN is conversely not so well done.  It just doesn't have the OOMPH as its counter-parts in other games.  Which really pisses me off, because I should be using it more.  Maybe then I wouldn't be running out of ammo every fucking time the lights go out.  Swearing incessantly at the monsters, contrary to popular belief, does NOT kill them. 

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Right, so I should talk about the graphics.  Simply put, they fucking rock.  The darkness and the blood all over the walls and stuff is really, really what screams Doom 3.  But everything else about the graphics is an improvement from there.  The creatures are more detailed and arguably more horrific than anything you'll see in Doom 3, and in this game you actually get to see your bad-ass self instead of just his arms most of the time (ah the good 'ol days of shooters when things were always first-person). 

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The game does get a little be repetitious when it comes to the “monster triggers”.  Pick up an item, kill monster.  Open a door, kill monster.  Dead monster on the ground is never dead.  Unbroken glass in the window will get shattered.  Closed vent will blow open.  It's all too predictable.  But, of course, there's really only so many ways you can have a monster jump out at you, isn't there?  One time I'd like to see one just tear its way out of my chest like an Alien facehugger.  That'd surprise the shit out of me for sure. 

There was one unique encounter I had so far that I should mention.  I really liked this:  I was on this train, and of course it crashed.  I mean, that's just to be expected.  If there is a moving vehicle of any kind in a game, you can bet your ass it's going to crash and blowup. 

What was interesting about this, though, is that I fell out of the train and my leg caught on something.  I was left there, dangling UPSIDE DOWN.  And then the monsters came.  That was exhilarating. 

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All in all, this game is an exceptional example of the survival horror shooter game.  One of the best among the best.  It has me leaned forward in my seat, sometimes swearing loudly at the screen, occasionally just screaming, and many times yelling, “I'm out of fucking bullets!  Again!” 

Now playing: Toshiro Masuda - Orochimaru ~Fight~


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