Dead Space 2



Genre:   Third Person Action

Developer:   Visceral Games

Publisher:    Electronic Arts

Released:  January 2011

PC Requirements: 

  • Windows XP (SP2), Windows Vista, Windows 7 

  • CPU: 2.8 GHz processor or equivalent (any Pentium 4 2.8 GHz or better, AMD Athlon64 3000+ or better, any Athlon64 X2 or Core Duo processor)

  • RAM: 1 GB (XP), 2 GB (Vista or Win7) or more

  • VGA: 256 MB Video Card and Shader Model 3.0 required. NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or better (7300, 7600 GS, and 8500 are below minimum system requirements) ATI X1600 Pro or better (X1300, X1300 Pro and HD2400 are below minimum system requirements)

  • DirectX 9.0c

  • At least 10 GB of free space





by flotsam


Go on, admit it. There are times when you feel like the only answer is to wreak carnage on a horde of undead, and then stomp on the pieces for good measure. Dead Space 2 is perfect for those times.

The wreaking, however, takes second place to the running when you first start. You wake in some sort of facility, constrained by a straightjacket, to find all manner of unholy things pouring through the walls and the ceilings. Given your current circumstances, running is about your only option, but even that only gets you so far. Furious struggling will be needed in order to find some relative calm behind a sliding steel door.

The wreaking is then initially moderate, a flashlight being a simple method of bludgeoning, but not exactly conducive to large scale mayhem. Body parts, though, can be rather good weapons, given the particularly nasty parts on some of the things you will encounter. You will soon be able to fling these about using a kinesis power, and the sharp serrated claws of at least one creature make a rather impressive projectile. A similar stasis module will enable you to slow things down, making them easier to dispose of.

Fear not, though. Bigger and better weapons will be at hand, with all manner of marvellous carnage capacity. You will undoubtedly have your favourite, and will be able to “power up” its death-dealing ability, as well as other aspects like its reload or recharge time. All of the weapons that I came to like had a secondary fire function, which did some fun things indeed. Skewering and electrocuting were among my favourites.

Then there is the stomping. Apart from turning bloody bits into bloody pulp, and freeing up body parts for flinging, it can result in all sorts of items becoming available. Searching bodies is so much more mundane than a good stomp, so have at it.

“I found a friend of yours – he looks twitchy”

All of this wreaking and stomping in Dead Space 2 takes place in the Sprawl, a vast and wonderfully dark environment, built on a piece of one of Saturn’s moons. Overrun with all manner of vile things, religious zealots, and an hysteria-inducing artefact, your challenge as Isaac Clark is not helped by disturbing visions of a dead girlfriend, visions that eventually become far more than that.

Graphically the game looks sensational, and sound wise it's equally impressive. The horror atmosphere is pretty high, and with headphones on and the lights dimmed you will be scared more than once. Not everything that scares is scary – normal sounds take on a whole new meaning in a dark and unforgiving place.

Zero gravity areas, free-falling through the atmosphere, and various environmental struggles add to the interest and the challenge as you endeavour to survive your way through the Sprawl.  They also heighten the intensity, with one plummet in particular sending the heart racing. The numerous cutscenes add to the pounding, and somewhere in the vicinity of 100 audio logs will flesh out the storyline, as will encounters with a number of other characters. You don’t need to have played the first Dead Space, but if you have, you will have a greater appreciation for the plot.

But for me the exhilaration peak came from the almost unrelenting waves of unspeakable things trying to do you in. At times there will be one or two, more likely there will be many, various of them respawning, puking acid, lobbing exploding sacs or just scuttling about trying to bite your head off. Things leap off ceilings and erupt from the walls, and many continue to attack in pieces, until totally dismembered. One will run at you with great speed, attempting to do little more than batter you to death through violent collisions. All are delightfully icky, the small crawling childlike things being particularly disturbing, along with the pregnant looking ones from which small fleshy elements explode.

“You owe me an eye you **”

While the mayhem is cranked way up, there are quieter moments, which allow for some breath-catching but which also heighten the anticipation of the next inevitable onslaught. Some places do require methodical searching and there are various environmental puzzles to solve to move on. You also have to hack computers in quite a few places (a relatively simple task unless under attack), and complete a variety of other tasks, including performing eyeball surgery on yourself without skewering your own head. The screwdriver prelude was a good lesson in how not to do it.

A save point is a godsend and there are plenty of these (although not apparently in the Hard Core difficulty level), and checkpoints (which are really autosaves) occur as well. You will die a lot, whatever the difficulty setting, so make use of the saves whenever you can. You will find automated dispensaries where you can purchase ammunition, weaponry and armour, and workbenches where you can upgrade or enhance your weapons and other gear by using power nodes you find throughout the environment. Various stations can recharge things like your stasis modules, your oxygen and your health, and all manner of things can be found through judicious searching (and stomping).

You can acquire numerous achievement trophies in Dead Space 2, awarded for more mundane-type tasks like stomping ten containers (Romper Stomper) or purchasing the advanced suit (Looking Good), to more creative endeavours such as killing four enemies with a single ripper blade (Lawnmower Man) or impaling a slasher with a slasher’s limb (Taste of Your Own Medicine). Getting to the end will result in a Made Us Whole trophy, whatever the difficulty setting, although completion at more difficult levels will result in silver or even gold trophies.

I mentioned the Hard Core level. You can play this only after you have completed the game once, and while all the enemies are amped up and ammo and health at a premium, checkpoints are disabled and you are only allowed to save three times. That was probably about 100 times fewer than I needed.

If first person shooters are your thing and you have a bent for horror survival, it’s hard to see how you won’t enjoy Dead Space 2. I found it cathartic enjoyment from beginning to end.


I played on:

OS: Windows 7

Processor: AMD Phenom 9500 Quad Core CPU 2.2 GHz

Ram: 4.00GB DDR2 400MHz

Gx card: ATI Radeon HD 3850 512Mb

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