Dead Space 2 Preview - 360/PS3/PC

Dead Space 2 Preview - 360/PS3/PC
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Sci-fi Horror - Dead Space 2 Preview

If you’ve watched Dead Space 2 trailers or played the first Dead Space, then you’re aware that the series takes a more sci-fi approach at the horror genre. Like many sci-fi films before it, Dead Space forces players to deal with nasty creatures in locales that are isolated, cold, and completely atmospheric. EA and developer Visceral Games are bringing the series back for another horrific intergalactic romp, and they promise to continue surprising and scaring gamers by delivering an unpredictable sequel to 2008’s critically acclaimed sci-fi/horror shooter Dead Space.

Gameplay Changes

Time to waste some more necromorphs.

The first Dead Space was a calculated horror game that constantly surprised players. The game was designed so that decaying monsters and alien creatures would pop out and attack protagonist Isaac Clarke out of nowhere. It was creepy, it was twitch-inducing, and it was nicely paced. Dead Space was a successful horror shooter, and this was all due to the game’s combination of atmosphere and emotion. Locales were vast, lonely, and dark while the game filled players with a sense of desperation and fear. In short, it did what a horror game was supposed to do, and it did it effortlessly.

This time around, Visceral Games wants to get those same emotions out of the player and create a similar type of lonely environment, but there are also a number of new wrinkles to the formula that should make the game feel fresh. Dead Space 2 still features the slow build design of its predecessor, but it also features a number of action-oriented areas where running and gunning are integral to your survival.

Upgrading Weapons

Even the weakest weapons gain some pretty awesome abilities after you upgrade them.

Dead Space 2 introduces several new weapons and enemies. Like its predecessor, the game requires you to upgrade your inventory to get the most out of your weaponry. You start off with fairly weak guns and items, but as you progress you can enhance them significantly. A weak gun, for example, can be turned into a devastating weapon of destruction. You can also place traps along the floor to catch enemies, and this proves extremely useful as the creatures in Dead Space 2 like to travel in packs.

Constant Change of Pace

Expect to free-fall through space a few times.

Dead Space 2 trailers and developer interviews have all showcased a number of varying gameplay elements in the game. The pacing of Dead Space 2 is very different from that of the first game. One moment you’re sneaking around corridors, the next you’re firing away at hordes of enemies. There is also some puzzle-solving in the game; expect to see hacking minigames, switches, and other such puzzle-like elements. Dead Space 2 also features several free-falling sequences where you must dodge incoming obstructions and debris, and in some cases even go through openings in structures.

Dead Space 2 Multiplayer

Multiplayer pits the humans against the necromorphs in close quarters combat.

Dead Space 2 introduces multiplayer into the mix, and despite horror games losing a bit of their eeriness whenever multiple people join in, Visceral Games has stated that there will be plenty of thrills in the upcoming team-based mode. Although this mode is separate from the single-player campaign, there will be a number of subtle references between the two so that players who have experienced both can make connections while players who may be unfamiliar with the solo mode won’t necessarily be left in the dark.

Combat is up close and person, so be prepared for some gritty action-packed battles. Teams consist of the Sprawl security and the necromorphs. The security team can handle weapons much like in the main game while the necromorphs have specific abilities such as wall-climbing, melee attacks, and venomous spitting. Members of both teams can respawn after being killed, but if you play as the necromorphs, you can change your character type as well as select one of numerous respawn points.

It is still unknown how deep the multiplayer will be, but it looks like a fun addition so far. Unfortunately, there are only five maps, all of which are objective-based. So unless the developers release some DLC or increase the number of multiplayer levels when the game releases, it doesn’t look like there will be too much variety.

Dead Space 2 Preview - Hunt Down Some More Necromorphs


Dead Space 2 certainly looks like it’s headed in the right direction. It’s going to be interesting seeing how the changes Visceral Games has made enhance the experience. The multiplayer mode doesn’t look very deep, but it could prove to be a worthwhile distraction. But if the first game is any indication, most players are likely to be too enthralled in the single-player campaign to spend time with the multiplayer right from the start. Dead Space 2 will launch on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on January 25.