Dead Space 2Dead Space 2 is a third-person shooter survival horror video game developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Set three years after the events of the first Dead Space, the game follows protagonist Isaac Clarke's fight against a new Necromorph outbreak on the Sprawl, a space station above Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Unlike its predecessor, Dead Space 2 has a multiplayer mode, pitting human characters against Necromorphs across the Sprawl. A Collector's Edition is available for all three platforms; the PlayStation 3 Limited Edition includes Dead Space: Extraction as a PlayStation Move compatible title. A sequel, Dead Space 3, was released in February 2013.
Dead Space 2 PlotThe game begins in the asylum on the Sprawl, a densely populated space station surrounding a shard of Titan, one of Saturn's moons. Isaac Clarke awakens with no memory of the past three years since Aegis VII, having just been awoken by Franco Delille (protagonist of Dead Space Ignition), who is attempting to free him. The already-ongoing Necromorph outbreak claims Franco's life, leaving Isaac to escape on his own. He is contacted by Daina Le Guin, a woman claiming to have a cure for his "condition". He is also contacted by fellow patient Nolan Stross (a main character from Dead Space: Aftermath), who endured a treatment similar to Isaac's. Daina explains that Sprawl administrator Hans Tiedemann is building a new Marker using information encoded in Isaac and Stross' brains. She also claims that a self-replicating signal was imprinted on Isaac's mind by his previous encounter with the Marker, putting his life in grave danger, which Tiedeman kept in check with memory suppressants. Ignoring Stross, Isaac fights his way through the city (still filled with survivors trying to escape the Necromorphs) to reach Daina. Along the way, Isaac experiences hallucinations of Nicole, which become more vivid as "she" tries to deter him from his task. Upon his arrival, Daina, a Unitologist agent, has Isaac restrained, claiming that they need him to build more Markers to spread Convergence, an event foretold in Unitology, across the universe; however, an EarthGov gunship strikes, killing Daina and her associates and allowing Isaac to escape.
Stross contacts Isaac, claiming that they can destroy the Marker, telling him its location in the Sprawl's Government Sector; left with no choice, Isaac reluctantly decides to trust Stross. As he makes his way there, Isaac comes across Ellie Langford, a CEC pilot who eventually joins their mission. As they travel through the Sprawl, they encounter several obstacles caused by Tiedemann and the Necromorphs, eventually forcing Isaac to venture back inside the Ishimura, which is docked at the Sprawl for decontamination and repair after the events of the first game. Additionally, Stross' dementia worsens, causing him to gouge Ellie's eye out with a screwdriver; she survives, and Isaac kills him in self-defense. After weathering further verbal assaults from Nicole, Isaac comes to accept the guilt of being unable to prevent her death, causing the visions to become benign.
Upon reaching the Government Sector, Isaac sends Ellie away on a gunship. Once inside, he sets the Necromorphs onto Tiedemann's forces near the Marker chamber. When Isaac reaches the Marker, he finds it surrounded by Necromorphs, which triggers Convergence. With Nicole's guidance, he uses the NoonLight Diagnostic Machine, which activates the Marker-affected parts of his brain, and was used on him and Stross prior to the events of the game. He fights his way to the Marker, where he encounters and kills Tiedemann. At this point, the Nicole hallucinations pull Isaac into his own mind, revealing that the only way to make the Marker "whole" is to absorb the body and mind of the one who created it — in this case, Isaac himself. Infuriated and betrayed, Isaac destroys "Nicole" and the Marker codes in his mind in a grueling mental battle.
Waking up, Isaac discovers that the Marker has been rendered nonfunctional, and that the accumulated damage to the Sprawl has resulted in its reactors melting down. Isaac slumps to the ground, ready to accept his fate, to be interrupted by Ellie, who crashes the gunship through the ceiling. The two escape as the Sprawl explodes.
In a post-credits scene, an audio transmission is heard between two people: an unknown man and his ranking superior, known only as "the Overseer". The subordinate relays that Titan Station, which he calls "Marker Site 12," and its Marker have been destroyed. The Overseer replies that the other sites will have to pick up the pieces.
Dead Space 2 GameplayThe player controls Isaac Clarke from a third-person perspective, looking over the character's right shoulder. As in the previous game, the game uses the Resource Integration Gear (RIG) suit, an in-world HUD (heads-up display) system that uses holograms projected from Isaac's suit and weapons to show information such as messages and ammunition count. In vacuum areas, a timer appears on Isaac's right shoulder, counting how much oxygen his suit has before he suffocates. The RIG also uses gauges on Isaac's back to display his health and stasis module levels. If Isaac's health or air timer reaches zero, or if the player fails to survive a quick-time event, Isaac will die, forcing the player to restart from the last checkpoint.
Early in the game, Isaac acquires the stasis module, which slows down enemies and otherwise-impassable moving obstacles (e.g. active heavy machinery) to allow Isaac to pass through safely; and the kinesis module, which allows Isaac to carry and fire objects telekinetically. The player can upgrade their weapons and armor at work benches, using power nodes. There are also automated stores, where the player can buy and sell various items, and gain new weapons and suits through acquiring schematics found throughout the Sprawl.
Throughout the game, the player will come across different puzzles that impede progress. In some cases, Isaac must hack consoles to activate machines and open doors; in others, Isaac must repair or reposition mechanisms to proceed. The player regularly encounters zero-G environments, where Isaac is capable of maneuvering in all directions with thrusters attached to his suit. Both normal and zero-G environments may be in areas within the vacuum of outer space; in these situations, Isaac must refill his limited oxygen supply via oxygen dispensers.
Much like in the first game, Isaac must fight the Necromorphs, organisms that mutate and take control of human corpses. To take down Necromorphs, the player must use "strategic dismemberment": in other words, slicing off limbs or sections of the Necromorphs' bodies. For example, shooting a Slasher Necromorph in the head will, like many other types, have little effect; however, it can be stopped by shooting its bladed arms off. Depending on how they are wounded, some Necromorphs, like the Pregnant and the Ubermorph, can adopt new stances and tactics, even sprouting new limbs or spawning more enemies in the process.
Dead Space 2's main campaign offers five difficulty levels (listed in order of difficulty): Casual, Normal, Survivalist, Zealot and Hard Core. Hard Core is unlocked once the game has been completed on any other difficulty. Playable only from a fresh start, Hard Core mode limits the player to three saves in the entire campaign. Item drops and credits are very difficult to find, enemies are very challenging, and checkpoints are absent.[
ReceptionPSM3 gave the game 92%. Official Xbox Magazine gave the game a 9.5. Game Informer's Andrew Reiner gave Dead Space 2 a 9/10, calling it a "monster of a sequel". He praised its horror aspect by claiming: "attling a seven-foot beast that vomits acidic bile and tries to impale Isaac with razor-sharp appendages is one thing, but watching a mother cradle a necromorph baby will haunt my nightmares until I die." Official Xbox Magazine UK gave the game 9 out of 10. GameTrailers gave the game 9.0 out of 10, praising the game's dark and dreary atmosphere and its intense and unrelenting gameplay, while pointing out the multiplayer component's shortcomings.
GameSpot's editor Carolyn Petit, who gave the game a score of 8.5 for the Xbox 360 and a 9.0 for the PlayStation 3, said: "Dead Space 2 doesn't bring with it the same sense of experiencing something utterly new and innovative that its predecessor did. But it's nonetheless a terrific game, with a campaign that simultaneously leaves you satisfied and eager for more, and intense multiplayer that gives you a great reason to keep coming back to this terrifying universe. Unless you're just plain chicken, this is a sci-fi horror adventure you definitely want to suit up for."
IGN's editor Greg Miller gave the game a 9.0, saying that the survival-horror genre got a new gold standard and that: "Dead Space 2 is more than just an action game and it's more than a survival horror game – it's a game that tells a really personal story about a guy who has been seriously scarred by the events around him. That premise alone makes it interesting, but Visceral Games melds it with rewarding combat, shocking enemies, and huge set pieces before tossing it into a world that's truly creepy and scary." He also said that he did not find the multiplayer very interesting.
Thierry Nguyen from 1UP.com compared Dead Space 2 and its predecessor to "Ridley Scott's Alien and James Cameron's Aliens". In his review, he says, "The first installments in both series focus on civilians panicking their way through a dark spaceship while avoiding an extraterrestrial lurking horror; both follow-ups retain their predecessor's basic aesthetic while deliberately shifting from creeping tension into outright sci-fi action. Aliens introduced space marines, the power loader exosuit, and the Alien Queen; Dead Space 2 gives us scenes of Isaac flying around in zero-g, mowing down Necromorphs with an assault rifle while wearing 'space marine' armor, and confidently throwing explosives with his telekinetic powers."
Fangoria's Doug Norris gave the game 4/4 skulls, praising both the gore and psychological horror. He stated that the intro is "one of the most hellacious first fifteen minutes of a game ever to appear on consoles."
Destructoid's Jim Sterling liked Clarke's change from a silent protagonist to a speaking role, and praised the overall quality of the single player part of the game. However, he felt that there were too many tight corridors in the Sprawl, which made it look like the spaceship of the previous game. He also thought that the multiplayer was "rather unsatisfying and delivers nothing of the pacing and tension that the main game brings."
Hardcore Gamer's Adam Beck gave Dead Space 2 a 4.5/5, praising the cinematic single-player campaign but criticizing its horror aspect by claiming "there are just too many expected encounters when you enter a room and it never allows you to let your guard down". He goes on to say "Dead Space 2 is one of the most disturbing, grotesque and unsightly games I've ever played... but it's so damn good."
EA reported that Dead Space 2 shipped nearly 2 million units in the first week of its release.[102
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