Another solid showing for a fantastic horror game.
After a long, long time of slowly playing through Dead Space 2, I finally completed it. I didn’t write anything while I was playing through the game, mostly because my game sessions would be entirely random. I think I started playing it around Halloween of 2020 and completed it around the same time a year later. It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying myself with it, but more that I couldn’t find the perfect time to sit down and just have a long period of time with it. It’s one of those games that I felt like I needed to make sure I had enough time to run through an entire chapter before I set the controller down.
After the ending of Dead Space, I wasn’t entirely sure where the story was going to go. After opening up three years later on a giant colony civilian space station called the Sprawl, and with a Necromorph outbreak in full swing, it all made sense. Of course, the curse/plague thing made its way off the Ishimura. Opening up the game ever so slightly for bigger alien fights, but still keeping its claustrophobic atmosphere with tight hallways and moody lighting. The game is still intense and scary but definitely felt like it leaned more into the action bits of the game. This isn’t bad at all, but there’s definitely a bit more of a balance between slow tense moments and the high octane scrambling from multiple enemies.
I don’t want to dive too much into the story in this review, mostly for spoilers, but also because it took me a year to actually play through this game and I really only remember the more important parts of it anyways. That being said, the story is wild from start to finish. With Isaac returning as the playable character, him not having any memories of the last three years left me wondering what the hell happened. He continues to see his dead wife Nicole everywhere he goes on the station, but whether her shadowy presence was there to help or to send Isaac to his doom was a total mystery.
Along the way you meet some new characters, some crazy, others interesting, and a couple downright nasty. I honestly don’t remember caring a lot about the NPC characters in the first Dead Space, and it kind of continues throughout the sequel. They play a role in the story of course, but it doesn’t ever feel entirely important? I might be way off base with this, but that’s just how it felt playing through.
Dead Space 2 plays exactly like the original, but with some new abilities and weapons. I found myself using the telekinesis ability a lot more. Picking up spikes and pinning monsters against the walls was exciting. So was grabbing the not yet exploded bomb hand of one of the Necromorphs and using it to take out a handful of other enemies. Weapons were similar, but a few new additions stayed in the weapon throughout most of the game. The Flamer was excellent to take out a bunch of enemies all at once, or at the very least get some distance away from them. The plasma cutter will forever be in my inventory just because of its utility and awesomeness. I still think the Line Gun is my favorite out of all of them though. Being able to take out several aliens in one shot is amazing, and with no blowback when you’re right in front of an enemy is crucial. It’s like the shotgun of the future and I love it.
The ending of Dead Space 2 is once again a perfect wrap-up to the story. It doesn’t quite end in a way where it feels wrapped up like the original one could have gone, but I suspect the developers knew they were going to get at least one more game to the franchise to wrap everything up. It still feels really good and has an awesome joke (if you want to call it that) at the very end that made me laugh out loud.
I’m honestly excited to play through Dead Space 3. It’s installed and prepped on my hard drive right now, but I want to make sure I don’t take another year to complete it. There are a few other games that are currently in front of Dead Space 3 in playing order, but I believe I will get around to it this year and (hopefully) have it completed in a much more suitable time frame.
Have you guys played the Dead Space franchise? What did you think of the sequel? I think I liked it more than the original, and I really enjoyed that one a lot. I know there is a remake on its way as well, anyone excited for that? Let me know in the comments below!