Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dead Space 2 Retrospective

I don’t know how I feel about Dead Space 2. Overall, I don’t think I enjoyed it as a total package. There are definitely moments of greatness, but those are few and far in between.

Maybe I bought into the hype-machine too much. Even my friends told me Dead Space 2 was a must play…not true, I would’ve been fine had I never had played this game this year. Or at anytime during my life.

I don’t hate it. There are some awesome set-piece moments. Notably anytime Issac gets thrown into space, or has to free-fall to reach an area—moments like that are great. And the end of Chapter 2 where you have to fight off necromorphs while hanging upside down is a neat trick. Chapters 6 & 7 also have amazing end sequences.

There aren’t a lot of these situations though. And admittedly having big set-piece moments sprinkled throughout a game is better than having them be re-used over and over again. Which is the trap that God of War 3 fell into.

I’d say my biggest disappointment with Dead Space 2 is it’s just not scary. Tense, yes. Apprehensive, yes. Cringe inducing, at times. Yet, by no means was I ever frightened at any moment during this game.

This may have been my own fault in a way. My first playthrough was on Zealot difficulty: the highest difficulty available from the start. Because ammo and health packs are so sparse, it brings the game to a crawl, pace wise. And since I was moving throughout each area so gingerly I found that I could anticipate almost all the “jump scares”--“Jump scares” are a shallow way of trying to scare someone anyways, and frankly I’m not 8, I’m a grown man, so you’ve got to do better. 

Don't miss. Issac's not so nimble.

Anxiety was my feeling most of time. I had no health, and no ammo. That and boredom because I was moving so damn slow! That’s the truth of it anyway. I just don’t like “tank controls” in a video game. I should’ve known that I wouldn’t enjoy the core gameplay of Dead Space since I didn’t enjoy Resident Evil 4 and 5 very much—RE5 and Dead Space share the same flaws. In that the difficulty comes from your character moving like they’re wearing a loaded diaper.

Towards the end I was waiting for it to be over. Can’t say I enjoyed the ride. It didn’t help matters that the final boss fight is lackluster, and just plain boring.

Now, I started another playthrough of Dead Space 2 just so I could get my money’s worth. I feel I’ve got to beat a game multiple times to really get it. Just like listening to music, it has to grow on you with time. Maybe Dead Space 2 will! But I doubt it--Just really a disappointing game all around.


  1. You know, I'm feeling somewhat similar about the original Dead Space, but I'm going through it on Hard and I'm spending more time be being frustrated about my lack of ammo then actually enjoying the atmosphere of the game. The plan right now is to go back and play through on Normal instead so that I can be a little more concerned about the gameplay and less concerned about the mechanics...I hope DS2 doesn't let me down, though!

  2. Yeah, I'm playing through on a lesser difficulty this time around. I was just too concerned about my ammo and health to really take in the atmosphere of the game. I'm sure that's not how Visceral intended to make players feel!