Dead Space 2 Preview

dead space 2 the pack

Immersion was the name of the game when it came to the Dead Space 2 gameplay preview at E3 this year. The hands-off demo was showcased in a small, dark room illuminated only by the screen and a few stained glass windows. While sitting in the pews and perusing "The Big Game" Unitologist literature, the lights dimmed and the demo began, showcasing a level early on in the game where Isaac Clarke explores the frozen crypts underneath the Sprawl’s large Unitologist compound. The soundtrack is as eerie and foreboding as ever, the lighting in the crypts emit an ethereal blue glow, and Isaac Clarke is alone once again with what can only be a fantastic horde of necromorphs just waiting to be dismembered.

In addition — as previously announced — Isaac is fully voiced in this sequel, and assumes a lot of responsibility for the emotional drive of the narrative as a result. The demo only showed off a few snippets of the voice acting, but it looks to be at least up to the same standards as its predecessor, which is a good thing. 

The first conflict we see is between a new enemy, the puker, who vomits acid onto Isaac in a button-mash defense sequence. Isaac’s rebuttal is more than commensurate however, as he fits the puker deftly under his arm, ripping off its head before blasting off the remaining body parts, showcasing some of the great new melee options. If you’ve been following the Facebook dismemberment contest, then you already know that a number of these kinds of close-up kills were actually inspired by fan-submitted ideas, and some are just awesomely gruesome.

As Isaac continues to lumber through the crypts, he encounters a few more necromorphs which he handles in true Dead Space fashion. Before strategically dislodging an arm to kinetically launch into an enemy, he uses the stasis module to give himself plenty of time to prepare the attack. Eventually, the demo reaches a gravity control center where Isaac uses a combination of the kinesis module and some up-close engineering side games to allow for the use of his Zero-G enabled engineer suit. This time around, players will take a little more control in these situations as the suit and boots allow Isaac to float in all directions of the 3D space.

dead space 2 gorilla

Before you get too comfortable in those boots, the demo then turns topside to the church of Unitology where Isaac dons a new suit dubbed "The High Tech Suit." It doesn’t take long before he’s once again ambushed by a much larger foe that ignites an interactive on-rails segment similar to those from the first game, where careful aiming while being dragged and moved is crucial to survival. After defeating this new breed of giant necromorph, Isaac is assaulted by "The Pack," a group of what look to be children (not tentacle babies, mind you) that swarm by the dozen, but are easily eliminated by a well placed mine or line rack. More sick melee kills. Then Isaac pulls out his new arsenal called the "Javelin Gun" which functions very similarly to a harpoon gun or rail gun in its ability to pin enemies against structures in the environment. The demo showed off the incredible uses of the javelin gun, especially in tandem with the stasis module and a pinned explosive necromorph that instantly becomes a strategically placed volatile trap.

And just when Isaac is out of breath, searching for a moment’s peace while staring out at the Sprawl through a wall of large windows, a gunship rains bullets through the glass and Isaac has no choice but to escape through an emergency chute. Unfortunately, this chute leads right to a gorilla necromorph, which initiates another on-rails segment with ten times the explosive action you’ve ever seen in the series. The segment ends with Isaac and the gorilla necromorph clinging to the side of the gunship, attempting to avoid getting sucked into space as a few explosive tubes float by, posing Isaac’s only means of escape.

Phew. The whole demo was pins and needles, including the hold-your-breath intense action sequences. If this small piece is indicative of the greater picture, then Dead Space 2 should be well worth your money come January 2011.


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Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

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