Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2 First Impressions - Out on a Limb
Written Saturday, May 15, 2010 By Martin Gaston

Isaac Clarke was a mute as he reduced alien foes to limbless chunks of blood and mush within the twisty corridor confines of the USG Ishimura in the original Dead Space. In the sequel, though, he’s not afraid to flap his gums. You’d think it would be the opposite, but it’s just more proof (if proof were needed) that Isaac has a stronger constitution than most.

After cracking hundreds in half, he’s also seen fit to grow his own spine. He’s not the errand boy anymore – this, according to developer Visceral Games, was the biggest flaw of the original – and is now taking charge of sorting out the latest undead invasion pickle. 

It looks, sounds and feels almost the same as the original. But the familiarity should not breed contempt; Dead Space after all was a splendid action-cum-horror game that was the greatest tragedy in 2008’s flood of underappreciated titles, and the core of the game requires very little tweaking to competently put competing titles to shame. 

Three years have passed since the original, and the Necromorphs have relocated to Titan, the location of the very first planet-crack. We’re mostly pottering around The Sprawl, a massive space city peppered with a now defunct mining industry and the good old working class salt-of-the-stars industrial types who have remained whilst the rest of the C.E.C. have gone further into the cosmos to hoover up resources from other planets. 

Well, in actuality they’re probably all dead and it’s their tender fleshy bits that have been reanimated to form the bulk of the latest Necromorph army, meaning they’re now the ones running around trying to skewer Isaac through his own fleshy bits. Visceral are being cagey with divulging specifics about the plot, but I’m going to go out on a Necromorph’s disembodied floating limb and guess something very bad has happened.

The main focus on EA’s latest demo is not the story, however, but instead their flashy new ‘Strategic Dismemberment 2.0’ engine that powers all the limb flaying. Now you’ve got the ability to slice off a razor barb, pick it up with telekinesis and pin your target to the wall with it.

Or you could just use the new Javelin launcher, which fires a pointy spike of metal and can electrocute your targets after skewering them. But remember, just because you’ve pinned something to the wall doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dead.

The game also promises greater interaction with the décor alongside the new ways of fiddling with glistening, pus-stained limbs of reanimated flesh. Plenty of things can now be shot to bits, knocked down, blown open or just generally messed up by getting caught in the fracas - this including plenty of light sources, too, which means you might want to be a bit more careful in the middle of a firefight.

In one instance we’re also shown how certain glass windows can be shot out to trigger an emergency – and potentially risky – decompression. It’ll suck any Necromorphs in the room out into space, but if you fail to trigger the shutters in the nick of time, Isaac will find himself caught up in the emergency airlock as it triggers, and sliced in two, his torso will float off into the cold expanse of space. On the flipside, it gives you the ability to clear out a room with only two bullets, which will be excellent for people trying to chug through the game on hard.

We’re promised the usual assortment of fixed up controls and sharp visual refinements, but the demo shows off the same horizontal/vertical firing spread patterns that helped make the original’s combat so distinct. The suits Isaac will wear (like the original, there will be many) are a little sleeker, a little fancier than the chunky selections he donned first time round, with the face mask retracting outside of combat so the audience can better relate to his humanity.

Visceral’s sound design is still top-notch, with Isaac’s desperate grunts eerily echoing through his suit as he swings his arms as he stomps baddies to bits. The Necromorph swarms remain super freaky as they gurgle and hiss whilst trying to poke Isaac’s brains out of his skull. 

There’s also some new baddies lurking in the dark. One of the new mutations are the Stalkers; beasts that peer around corners, pulling their head back as the flashlight shines off their beady eyes. The scary part is what follows: they work in packs and stay out of sight, meaning they’re at their most deadly when you can’t see them.

A few well-chucked Javelins and some cheeky shots from the returning Plasma Cutter are more than enough to put them down though.

Cysts are rooted to the ground, and give away their position by a deep gurgle. They’re the Necromorph’s spin on a bounding proximity mine, and spew out an explosive sack of gore when they detect something nearby. However, if Isaac’s reflexes are quick enough to catch it in time with his telekinesis, he can fire it back at the source as a makeshift grenade.

The other new enemy Visceral were showing off was The Pack, a group of charging Gollum lookalikes whose strength comes from blind rushes. They’re easily dispatched by a couple of shots from the Plasma Cutter, but could prove all kinds of freaky when mixed up in groups of other enemies.

Visceral are also hoping to bring Isaac’s competent engineering skills to the forefront, though in the demo this comes about by way of a hacking mini-game where Isaac stuffs his arm in a box of tangled wires and, by feeling around with one of the analog sticks, needs to yank down the right clump of components to override a door.

There was no word on the recently announced multiplayer modes, but if terrifying monsters jumping out of dark places and going “boo” is your idea of a good way to spend ten hours, then Dead Space 2 looks set to make itself a firm favourite come its release in early 2011.


User Comments
Forum Posts: 689
Comment #1 by Lo Key
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 11:06:13 PM
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I've already got it pre-ordered :) I can't wait for this to come out!

Forum Posts: 620
Comment #2 by ashiano
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 11:09:42 PM
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Can't fucking wait- any news on when the demo's out?

Forum Posts: 82
Comment #3 by Chaosflare
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 11:18:11 PM
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Definitely the best title of 2011.

Forum Posts: 1605
Comment #4 by Kiwicrash
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 11:19:48 PM
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Forum Posts: 93
Comment #5 by zenous
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 11:21:15 PM
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cant wait to play this

Forum Posts: 62
Comment #6 by kingepa
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 11:43:47 PM
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"slice off a razor barb, pick it up with telekinesis and pin your target to the wall with it. " Totally Fucking Awesome!!!! And if multiplayer pits 4 players against a swarm of necromorphs it's going to be badass...And lastly that gollum looking thing reminds me of the greeders? from Dante's Inferno (the ones that spin around with a ball of golden coins), I only point that out because Visceral makes that game too :)

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #7 by yourdog23
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 12:44:52 AM
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I really am excited, but hope that they don't mess up what I loved in the original by putting too much emphasis on a weak multi-player.

Forum Posts: 1869
Comment #8 by Psikorps
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 01:28:10 AM
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Game looks so sexy, its going to be a day 1 pre-order for me.

Forum Posts: 202
Comment #9 by Ardhanari
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 01:36:45 AM
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All I can say is that this is gonna rock, so damn good.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #10 by MikeyMoach
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 01:42:56 AM
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gotta say visceral got two really good games with dead space 1 and dante's inferno, lets hope they dont mess this up with a crap multiplayer in dead space 2

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #11 by MikeyMoach
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 01:43:44 AM
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and yea the multiplayer is my only concern other then that this WILL be amazing

Forum Posts: 128
Comment #12 by Chocobo115
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 02:46:22 AM
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The game I want the most of all games announced.
I really hope they try not to dumb the game down to appeal to the bigger masses thoo :/

Forum Posts: 166
Comment #13 by Hopp-E
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 03:49:56 AM
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excellent 1st deadspace was awesome cant wait for this unless they ruin it with a load of multiplayer trophies. this game does'nt need multiplayer good enough without it

Forum Posts: 455
Comment #14 by Majero88
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 05:37:31 AM
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I can't wait for this to come out it looks amazing!

Forum Posts: 2971
Comment #15 by dante_kinkade
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 05:51:25 AM
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Looks like it is going to be great, lol I just hope that all the cool nps don't end up dead again like in the first game.

Forum Posts: 586
Comment #16 by turner_8t8
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 05:54:07 AM
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he looks like raiden in the new suit

Forum Posts: 2377
Comment #17 by Eliminator1
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 06:36:50 AM
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This game looks really good, i missed ouyt on the first dead space and i'm playing it for the plat now and can't wait for Dead space 2

Forum Posts: 190
Comment #18 by XBOTS SUZORX
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 07:01:52 AM
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original sukkked donkey ballz. resident evil in space. ripoff and ghey, any change would be an improvement.

Forum Posts: 47720
Comment #19 by Terminator
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 07:32:07 AM
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This is looking seriously good but the idea of multiplayer is worrying as it could be another RE 5 type dissapointment but if it's anything like the Horde Mode from Gears Of War 2 then it could be good.

Forum Posts: 243
Comment #20 by XoreElon
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 07:36:56 AM
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@18 too complex for you I take it?

Forum Posts: 1767
Comment #21 by julesthegr8
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 08:14:29 AM
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this is going to be as much fun as the first i hope.

Forum Posts: 166
Comment #22 by ProjeckNemesis
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 09:59:14 AM
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I have read quite a few previews for DS2 (I am assuming they are all based on the same demo) and this is by far the best one. Hell its one of the best written previews I have ever read. Why do I always skip on the articles from here???

The original Dead Space is one of my favorite games ever. Playing this game for the first time was very reminiscent of the first time I played the original Resident Evil.

DS2 is my most wanted game right now. To hell with 2010, bring on 2011.

Forum Posts: 178
Comment #23 by Saltitao
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 11:25:38 AM
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It looks great. i want it. :D

Forum Posts: 39
Comment #24 by Fluidic-Venus
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 12:02:26 PM
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Me wants :(

Forum Posts: 55
Comment #25 by Steady-Hipp0
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 12:54:15 PM
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Really Want This!

Forum Posts: 782
Comment #26 by Mostik
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 01:17:19 PM
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The 1st one is the most under rated game of all time, I can't wait 4 this 2!!!!

Forum Posts: 7763
Comment #27 by Labartu
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 04:50:18 PM
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I can't wait. Day 1 purchase!

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #28 by Dragonic
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 05:18:33 PM
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Dead Space is by far one of my favourite PS3 games, got the Plat and been through it 6 times, never get bored of this game, roll on DS2, it looks amazing from the previews, I just hope it lives upto expectations ^^

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #29 by Lairfan
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 09:35:40 PM
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Underrated? Dude, this game got great reviews from pretty much every reviewer on the 'net. And as far as I know, it sold about a million copies, which is a pretty good amount. Sure its not as many copies as they probably would've liked to sell (which is why they now have multiplayer, in order to keep people playing it instead of taking it back to the store after one playthrough), but its still a good enough amount for a sequel obviously.

To all the people who are hoping the multiplayer won't dumb down the single player experience, EA has said that they have two separate teams working on the game: one for single player, and one for multiplayer. So I wouldn't worry about that too much.

Forum Posts: 388
Comment #30 by Lix
Monday, May 17, 2010 @ 04:02:47 AM
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I hope the multiplayer is some form of co-operative stuff rather than competitive. I personally don't think that 3rd person games translate well into competitive deathmatches. Dead Space co-op would be so good. This game looks great I just hope it captures the feel of the first. Will keep my eyes on this for sure.

Forum Posts: 166
Comment #31 by ProjeckNemesis
Monday, May 17, 2010 @ 06:10:38 AM
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I am with #29, the first DS is referred to as "underrated" however I don't think it is. I think originally upon release it was overlooked but almost everyday I hear people saying they are playing it or just finished. I think overlooked is definitely the proper term.

Forum Posts: 41
Comment #32 by N-D-N12
Monday, May 17, 2010 @ 09:38:37 AM
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this looks insane, can't wait...i hope the boss battles are better though

Forum Posts: 146
Comment #33 by truehorizon
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 @ 12:47:46 AM
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Yea this game was overlooked on launch date.

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Game Info
Visceral Games
Electronic Arts


US January 25, 2011
Europe January 28, 2011

Resolution: 480p, 720p, 1080i
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Players: 1
Online Players : 4-8
ESRB: Mature
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