Monday, April 20, 2015

First Impressions: Dead Space 2 (PC)

I've started Dead Space 2 twice.  The first time, I made it 1h48m in then discovered that the Dead Space 2 game sold through Steam comes with three DLC packs pre-installed, which I did not know about, although it does not contain the Severed DLC which is a standalone prequel to Dead Space 2; Severed was apparently only released on PS3 and XBox 360 with no word as to a PC release.  The reason I restarted was because I had thought that all of the free items in the store (as a result of the DLC weapon/armor packs) were supposed to be there and I equipped myself to the teeth right before a mini-boss fight.  I would rather not play the game that way, so I started over with the intent of only buying items from the store as they become available in-game.

Always be wary when the best items for sale are free.
Dead Space 2 is fun at the present.  There are a number of jump scares with necromorphs bursting through walls or environmental elements springing to life as you walk by, minding your own business.  There are a number of modifications from the original Dead Space that I feel like I have to come to terms with in order to fully like this game.  

The first major change is that the game is no longer told in separate chapters.  In the first game, each time you boarded a tram to a different part of the USG Ishimura, you began a new chapter and you knew what your objective was.  In DS2, at least up to chapter 4, you are following the guidance of a voice on the other end of your radio as you make your way through Titan Station (built around the remnants of Saturn's moon Titan) with no clear break between chapters.  I recall seeing a "Chapter 2" pop up at one point, but I have not seen anything to denote that I had entered a chapter 3 or 4.  I personally liked the individual chapters as part of a larger whole that made up the first game as well as the mobile game.  The current less structured narrative makes me feel like I am just going from one area to another and killing hordes of necromorphs along the way, because that is what you are supposed to be doing in a video game.

"Oh hai dere!"
I do like the present variety in necromorphs compared to those in DS1.  It would make sense too (does it really!?) that not all off the mutated/transfigured humans would look like the same sprinting blood thirsty brute.  You are on a space station that is full of residential living areas as well as industrial, religious and private sectors so the population is going to be different, which is something that I appreciate.

Maybe it's just me, but so far, I am getting a very Bioshock feeling from wandering around the Titan Station residential and commercial areas.  It could be due to wandering through living quarters and that a space station with super-security-gorilla-glass would be somewhat akin to the glass used in an underwater city and the necromorphs are more perverted than the splicers, but they are still often sprinting monsters that jump out and want to annihilate you just because you have a prettier face.  The point is, I don't want to be playing Bioshock, I want to play the sequel to Dead Space and I am not getting that feeling with only four hours in.

A physical representation of a Marker that size is never a good thing to come across in this universe.
I was talking to Conklederp the other day about this and I decided that I am going to reserve my final judgement of the game until after I reach the end.  I am still enjoying the game, despite how I have sounded through half of this article and I am also interested to find out if I have been intentionally mislead and that my impressions of the game will change later on.  I am also interested to see how the previous stories from Dead Space: Aftermath, Ignition and Mobile all fit together and how they are presented, if at all, in this game that is a cumulation of all of those individual parts.

I Awake From Madness

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