Saturday, February 12, 2011
My Thoughts On Dead Space 2
I was disappointed to hear Isaac's voice. Part of what made the first game so visceral is that you felt as if Isaac was merely an extension of yourself, an avatar if you will, and that anything that happened to him was happening to you. Giving Isaac a voice creates a distinct separation between the player and the protagonist. We are no longer the same entity but now merely an audience guiding Isaac through his journey. With that said, the voice-acting is generally well done, with the exception of the sprinkling of swear words which if anything detract from the atmosphere of the game.
In DS2 the risk of asphyxiation has all but disappeared, as they have discontinued oxygen-replenishing items and instead placed several oxygen tanks within each vacuum, not to mention Isaac's starting oxygen tank giving you plenty of room to "breathe". I was disappointed by this decision as the lack of oxygen greatly enhanced the tension of vacuum sequences in the first game. However it doesn't subtract from the overall experience of the game in any substantial way, and it does free up your inventory from hoarding oxygen cans.
I have mixed feelings about the dementia aspects of the game. I thought the parts where it basically jumps out at you were a bit tacky and more of a cheap scare than anything, whereas other parts which incorporate a quick-time sequence or reference certain parts of the first game were innovative and keep you on the edge of your seat.
I thought the addition of decompression was an intriguing aspect of the game and lent to the character of space itself as a dangerous force that can either be used as a weapon or, if used incorrectly, be the death of the protagonist. I enjoyed the elevator sequence greatly but thought that the experience could have been intensified if lack of oxygen had been a factor.
From what I've read most people feel the trip through the school is one of the most memorable parts of the game, but for me it had to be revisiting the Ishimura. Playing upon my memories from the first game, I felt no greater dread than when I was forced to trek through the very halls that Isaac barely managed to escape the first time around. There is one part where you are walking down a long dark corridor and as you pass a pile of boxes a brute jumps out and lungs at you. And when you've finally managed to defeat it and think that you're safe, another one runs out to take its place. It was these kinds of unexpected encounters that made the first game so great, and lend it to the second one.
Overall, Dead Space 2 isn't nearly as scary as the original. In DS2 I almost always felt in control whereas in the first game I didn't know what was going on half the time. In the first game you were often stuck in a small room forced to battle it out with hordes of necromorphs as you prayed for the decontamination to be completed. These kinds of encounters are few and far between in DS2 and in certain instances it is not even required (or advisable) for you to kill all of your enemies, instead encouraging you to run away. Don't let these small criticisms discourage you, however. Dead Space 2 is without a doubt an excellent game, worth every penny and sweaty hour that you might spend on it.