Feature Articles

Sliced Gaming Feature: Exploring Dead Space 2

Writer: Anthony J Scarcella
Posted: 24th January 2011, 7:55pm
click to view full image
view full

due to hardware constraints). Trudgen emphasised the importance of playing the game with headphones: clearly, Iron Monkey is making sure all of Dead Space's bases are covered. One to keep an eye on.

After Jarrod's presentation, we were introduced to Shereif Fattouh, Producer at Visceral Games. While he only took the assembled through the already released demo for the game, he gave a rundown of some of the changes made from Dead Space 1 while playing. Anyone that's played the demo will have picked up a lot of the changes already, but for those who haven't yet been able to stomach a large PSN or XBL download, read on.

DEAD SPACE 2: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release: 27th January 2011

A lot of the change between the two games is represented through Issac himself. Rather than the strong, silent protagonist of the first, Issac has been given a voice. As well as this, there's ample opportunities in the game to see his face, a change that I believe was facilitated after various comments were made concerning the 'generic' lead in the first. Issac is suffering from bouts of insanity and dementia, which are certainly apparent in some sections. Apparitions and flashbacks cut sharply into the world during gameplay as overlays to the level, meaning the player can never be sure that the shadow that just vanished around a corner was simply the last remnants of an illusion or the grotesque form of something about to tear Issac's face off.

Speaking of face tearing, the gratuitous violence from the first is back in full spirit here. Towards the end of the presentation, Shereif (purposely) led Issac to his death via a giant, bloated, spider-esque creature, which proceeded to pin him down, shove a sharpened mandible down his throat and decapitate him. Seemingly, just to rub it in, the creature (during the post-death close-up) ripped off various appendages all while blood spurted like a burst fire hydrant. It prompted a exclamation of joy from the crowd to which Shereif rather proudly acknowledged.

The zero-gravity sections also return in Dead Space 2, but with a difference. A true "six degrees of freedom" are on offer at certain parts of the game, which I for one am glad to see. Shereif promised that combat will be extended as a result, with the opportunity for enemies to come from every direction, which unfortunately wasn't on show. Remember the old PC series Descent? The greatest 6DOF series of all time? It's a little like that. Only with more pants-wetting.

Overall, Dead Space 2 is looking to bring in a bit more humanity to the series. There's more contact with actual humans, Issac has a personality and a purpose, and there's a greater sense that there is a larger, breathing world. While the claustrophobic nature of the first game is still present, Visceral has made sure to open up the game at certain parts to give it encounters a far more grand feel. From what we were shown, any one that was ...

(continued next page)