Dead Space 2

EA's marketing slogan for this was: "Your mom hates Dead Space 2."
Aerofare - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Dead Space 2 is violent, gory and now that Isaac is able to speak, contains more frequent strong language including the F-word and God's name in vain.

Dead Space 2 takes place a couple of years after the events of the original game. Isaac Clarke has been captured by EarthGov and detained in an asylum on the Sprawl, a massive space station surrounding a shard of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, also the setting of the game. Isaac has no recollection of the past three years and is frequently interrogated for information on what transpired on the U.S.G Ishimura. Everyday life on the Sprawl soon changes to an undead nightmare as another Necromorph outbreak takes place and Isaac finds himself on the run yet again. During his journey, more traitors and allies await, along with hordes of new enemies, new weapons and new suits. Will Isaac survive this incident and destroy the newly created Marker, or will he die trying? That’s for you to find out, if you have what it takes to brave the horrors awaiting you!

Dead Space 2 is developed by Visceral Games and published by EA. As a survival horror game, it features a third-person view. The game includes new features in combat with thrusters now attached to Isaac’s suit for more intense zero gravity combat, enabling him to fly around the environment. Some places also include breakable windows which, if shot, will essentially suck out Necromorphs and almost everything else into the vacuum of space.

Five difficulty levels are included: Casual, Normal, Survivalist, Zealot and the infamous Hard Core mode. Hard Core limits your save count to only three for the entire game. As if that were not enough, credits, medpacks and ammunition are scarce and enemies are a lot more resilient than normal. This mode is also devoid of checkpoints.

As is the case with the previous game, Dead Space 2 contains disturbing and horrifically graphic images of violence throughout the game. What also makes Dead Space 2 a vastly interesting game is that when fighting Necromorphs, they are unlike any enemy you’ve ever likely fought in another game before. Where a headshot or multiple hits to the body would usually kill a target instantaneously, Necromorphs are uniquely immune to this common form of combat, which is why they always overwhelm the populace. Few people ever really come to the realization that the only way to kill these creatures is through “strategic dismemberment,” which literally requires you to tear them limb from limb. In short, it’s a gore fest – the perfect zoo for content Necromorphs. Survivors are still as brutally slaughtered in their escape attempts, with only a bare minimum actually making it out alive…for the moment.

Profanity is no more or less present in Dead Space 2 than its predecessor, the only difference being that Isaac now swears as well since he is no longer a silent protagonist. Isaac finds it hard not to drop the f-word when swinging away with his weapon-occupied fists or stomping on fallen enemies. He sometimes uses God’s name in vain in conversation with other people.

Sexual content
One of the good things about the game is its overall lack of sexual content since its focus is shifted entirely elsewhere. There are a couple of magazines lying around with girls clad in bikinis making up the front covers. The only other case is with a Necromorph type dubbed the “Spitter.” This type of Necromorph was once a human female, and due to the transformation process, its breasts are almost entirely exposed with only her severe wounds covering it up.

Spiritual content
The Unitologists – the cult sect devoted to the studies of Altman, the founder of the original Black Marker found on Earth, and the worship of the Marker in itself – are back and is almost the primary focus of the game. At one point, for a few chapters on end, you actually end up playing inside a church of Unitology. There are writings scribbled all over the walls, statues of the Marker and portraits of Altman. Everyone’s spiritual experience varies when playing, but when I played this part, I felt an actual spiritual heaviness the whole way through the church. I just wanted to get out of there a.s.a.p.

Along with the violence, the atmosphere is ever dreary, making for a heart-pounding experience. That experience is amplified by the many recording and text pads one can pick up along the way, detailing events that are unclear. This game is definitely not for the squeamish and faint of heart.

Collector’s Edition Extras
Dead Space 2 also comes with a collector’s edition for all three platforms (PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3). The Collector’s Edition for PC and Xbox 360 contains a replica Plasma Cutter with three built-in lasers and a flashlight, a perfect tool for nocturnal in-goings and out-goings. It also includes a DLC package to download the exclusive Unitology suit. Lastly, you also get post cards with some rather graphic Necromorph art on it. I don’t know of any people that would want something like that, so I’m guessing its purpose is to send formal apology letters to the surviving Necromorphs for all their buddies killed. The PlayStation 3 Collector’s Edition replaces the replica Plasma Cutter for the PlayStation Move compatible title Dead Space: Extraction and a DLC for access to the Rivet Gun. The Dead Space 2 Collector’s Edition also includes the soundtrack for the game.

Seeing Dead Space from a worldview
From the first time I encountered Dr Challus Mercer in the first Dead Space through to the end of Dead Space 2, I constantly compared the Unitologists and the mad ravings of Mercer with our real life battle against darkness. I’ll explain:

In the Dead Space universe, Unitology is said to be the fastest growing religion in the history of mankind and some the leaders of their church are even multi-billionaire businessmen, and that secured a formidable reputation for the religion. Here’s where my thoughts come in. Followers of Unitology are all actually slaves. I mean, they are willing to do anything and everything the leaders ask of them just so they can move up in the ranks to achieve a higher position in the church. The most costly and common sacrifice is to give up their own bodies for “ascension.” The fact that they even do that without question tells me that the general populace is really so weak and broken-minded that they are being easily manipulated and their souls are consumed by darkness.

Isaac actually hates Unitology because his mother became one and spent all the family’s money on the church. Isaac’s willingness to later go up against the most horrendous abominations that the church has to throw at him, and yet his fortitude remains unbroken, is a reminder for me of our relationship with God. The Lord declared that as long as we live, we will wage a constant battle against the forces of darkness, but no matter how horrendous things may become, in Him we will always find strength and shelter.

Dead Space 2 is filled with more action that its predecessor, and a lot more content (different suits and new weapons like the Javelin Gun, Seeker Rifle, etc.). Dead Space 2 is longer than the original game, with fifteen chapters to complete. For fans of M-rated survival horror games set in a sci-fi world, Dead Space 2 would be a perfect choice. Not only is it action packed with loads of fighting, but it also sets you constantly on edge and makes you worry if you’re not going to jump right out of the chair in fright. And if, for some bizarre reason, it’s not scary enough, try playing it late at night until early morning hours with lights off, alone and headphones on. Then you’ll really be in on the scare.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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