Gruesomely Slice: Dead Space 2 Announced

By John Walker on December 7th, 2009 at 3:00 pm.

No images of the new game yet.

Dead Space 2 has been officially announced. Did we not think that wasn’t happening? Are we surprised? I lose track. But either way, here it is! According to the press release this means we will have opportunities to once more control Isaac Clarke as he uses “new tools to gruesomely slice and dismember the Necromorphs.” Mmmm. These, combined with his plasma cutter, we’re told are “empowering him as he meets new characters, explores epic zero-G environments, and fights against a relentless Necromorph onslaught.”

I’ve never been fond of the idiotic word “empowering” in any context, but I’m fairly sure it’s not being used correctly there.

“Hi Isaac, I’m very glad you’ve come back for another session. This counselling is very positive, and I feel you’re making big steps forward.”

“Yes, I think ever since I got over my fear of my father’s dislike of dismembering tools I’ve felt so much more empowered.”

“That’s great. That’s great. Now, I wonder if we can talk a bit about your mother’s hate for cutscenes.”

As for details about the next in the horror-action franchise, those are as yet unrevealed. In the meantime we have this statement from Executive Producer
Steve Papoutsis:

“There are still loads of Necromorphs that need killing. In Dead Space 2, not everything is exactly as it seems. Expect plot twists that will surprise you and a huge cast of twisted, disgusting monsters that are sure to scare the daylights out of you.”

More information is alleged to be at the game’s official site, but there’s nothing there yet. In the meantime, read Alec’s retrospective of the original here.

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78 Comments »

  1. CMaster says:

    I’ve had Dead Space for a while, and find it while not bad in any definable way, not interesting enough for me to play more than say, a level a month.
    I’m having a good fun with Extraction on the Wii though. “Strategic Dismemberment” makes for much more entertaining light-gun blasting than constant aiming for the head. The dodgy accents on the voice acting are not quite so great mind.

  2. Sunjammer says:

    Dead Space is one of my favorite games of all time. It’s right up there with (gasp) System Shock 2. Alec’s retrospective is spot on. It’s not a cerebral game, but it’s a complete smorgasbord for the senses. Everything is meticulous and perfect. Some of the creepiest bits of the game are simply moving through the corridors, listening to sounds, and trying to imagine what the weird angular designs on the walls are even for in the first place.

    It’s good for the same reason Event Horizon was good. It’s honest about its pretensions, and it’s a spectacular bit of craftsmanship.

    That said, this sounds weird, considering the end of the previous game. You’d think they’d come up with a new protagonist. It wasn’t like Isaac was particularly memorable, beyond being a suitable avatar.

    • diebroken says:

      If only you could play it in FP then it would be even more of a SS2 spiritual successor! :)

      BTW ever watched the film Supernova?

    • whaleloever says:

      I was with you until “Event Horizon was good.”

    • subversus says:

      @whaleloever

      It wasn’t good. It was great.

    • newt says:

      Dead Space is one of my favorite games of all time. It’s right up there with (gasp) System Shock 2. Alec’s retrospective is spot on. It’s not a cerebral game, but it’s a complete smorgasbord for the senses. Everything is meticulous and perfect.

      Too perfect. Every corridor screams “this is what will happen, you know it, we know it, and there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it. we are in control. we are the borg developers. your creativity is futile”.

      And that’s why I eventually ended up hating the game. SS2 is a completely different (and, from my snobbish standpoint, wastly superior) experience. The randomness of its “ecology” is what keeps me on the edge every time I come back. Something Dead Space managed only for the first few minutes and then -poof-, the trick was exposed and the magic was gone.

    • Starky says:

      Event horizon was a classic, it lost it slightly in the 3rd act, but the first 2/3rds of that movie were equal to any Sci-fi/horror film, up there with Alien.

      I enjoyed Dead space, but sadly on the PC the controls let it down somewhat, it had a few gameplay and storytelling problems, but the sound design and production was the best to ever grace a video game to this day.

      It is a game that needs to be played with either a high quality set of headphones (almost anything that costs more than £30 from Sennheiser will do) or a high quality properly set up 5.1 system.

      Not since the first silent hill has a game gained such vast atmosphere from it’s sound design. The creeks of the ship, the distant scuttles of alien feet (often ones that never attack you), the feel of things moving behind walls just out of view is amazing.
      It is by far the best use of positional audio in any game to date, it’s by far a better game than Resident evil 5 (especially if you want to play a horror game, something which Resi 5 utterly lacked).

      It just got lost in the Q4’08 insanity – I firmly believe had it taken 3-4 months to polish the gameplay mechanics, and some of the poorer sections of the game, coming out at the end of Q1’09 it would have sold much better than it did.

      If you didn’t play Dead Space with a good sound setup (or quality headphones), in the dark, loudly (enough that the loud bangs were verging on painful) – then you didn’t play Dead Space, it is as simple as that.
      If you played this game on tinny 2.0 speakers, with low volume or with the lights on, it wasn’t the game at fault – it was YOU.

    • Starky says:

      Nopte: using the non-individual specific scattershot “YOU”.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Agreed, Starky. Agreed to the MAX.

      I’m not usually snobbish about sound in games, but Dead Space needs some quality equipment to be truly appreciated. It’s worth the effort.

    • Willy359 says:

      This was the moment: Someone on the radio told me to go to the Hydroponics deck and find some toxin to kill off some biomass. That was the moment when Dead Space crossed over from “quite a bit like SS2″ to “shameful SS2 copycat.”

    • Subject 706 says:

      When it comes to frightening moments, Dead Space can equal SS2. When it comes to gameplay elements and story, it surely does not.

      That being said, it is certainly not a bad game, per se, but it could have been a lot better, if they had just put some more focus into the story of the game, which became really lame and predictable. And the bosses, especially the end boss. Whoever designed that should be shot.

      And yes, Dead Space’s sound design is awesome, and I have I high end pair of headphones to enjoy it :)

    • Gregg B says:

      @Willy359: Me too, I couldn’t get over how that section was just lifted straight from SS2.

      I actually bought a brand new 5.1 separates system and amp for Dead Space. I’m glad I did because it quite literally blew me away. Literally. *poof* Gone.

  3. Sartoris says:

    I hate those non-epic zero-G environments.

  4. terry says:

    I got Dead Space on the recent Steam sale but I can’t get into it. Something about that camera angle makes me reallllly nauseous :(

  5. Phoshi says:

    Surely the point of a horror game is NOT to be empowered? I realise dead space was a rubbish horror game, but it could at least TRY.

  6. Seniath says:

    Equally, in a move that will surprise no-one (who knows me), this makes me very happy.

  7. jsutcliffe says:

    I’d rather have Mirror’s Edge 2 but this will do, though I think I’ll be plying it from behind the couch where it’s easier to hide. I still haven’t finished the first one because it gives me the willies.

    • Triangulon says:

      Amen Brother. I only have the final level to do but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Strangely, I’m at the same spot in Dragon Age. Last bit and still havn’t got round to finishing it.

  8. MisterX says:

    I found the first one very entertaining and atmospheric, I’ll happily pre order the second for more of the same.

  9. Kleevah says:

    I found Dead Space to be an awful horror game, but a very good action game. It always felt like a very modern day cross between System Shock 2 and RE4. Of course it was not as good as either, but they sure lifted a lot of the good concepts from both games.

  10. mrmud says:

    Considering Dead space got lost in the shuffle last year im slightly suprised.

  11. Patrick says:

    I impulse bought it on steam last week. It’s a much better successor to System Shock 2 than Bioshock, to be sure, and is probably the least disappointing next-gen game I’ve played. I may just get Extraction and the sequel.

  12. Elos says:

    It’s going to have the same horrible 50 degree tunnel vision isn’t it? God that sucked hard.

  13. Hmm says:

    It played nothing like System Shock 2. Still decent though.

  14. NegativeZero says:

    Wait, there are guns in the original other than the one you start with? I didn’t finish the game but I played at least halfway without touching anything other than that starting pistol since there wasn’t anything that it didn’t seem effective on…

    • Willy359 says:

      No kidding. I finished the whole thing with the first weapon (upgraded to the max, I’ll admit). The store really needed a hotkey for “buy all the plasma ammo I can afford.”

  15. Don says:

    >fights against a relentless Necromorph onslaught

    Or on the PC fights against the awkward controls because the devs couldn’t be bothered to do a proper conversion. With DS1 I had to resort to temporarily installing the Microsoft mouse driver – on this occasion the lesser of two evils – so I could set up macros and use the mouse the way I liked it.

    Luckily for me I bought it for pennies in the pound and, once I was actually able to get Isaac to walk down a corridor without repeatedly banging his head against the wall, it was reasonable VFM. But I won’t be buying a sequel unless I know I’ll be allowed to configure it the way I like. It’s not like it’s difficult – despite being a very console centric game Batman Arkham Asylum managed to do a reasonable job for PC gamers.

    • suibhne says:

      The problem was with DS’s implementation of vsync, not with its overall controls on PC. With vsync off, controls were brilliant – at least as embodied and affecting as any game I’ve played.

  16. kyrieee says:

    You know you’ve bought too many games when you need to start Steam to check if you own something or not… Turns out I do own it, I didn’t think I did

    Maybe I’ll play it some day. Fuck Steam =(

  17. Ravenger says:

    It’s a great game, but let down by a few niggles, including not being able to re-map the movement keys to the arrow keys – a big deal if you’re a lefty like me.

    Luckily there’s a way to hack the config files to fix most of the issues.

  18. Lilliput King says:

    Question is, do the awkward controls add to immersion, considering you’re in a spacesuit?

    LK would argue “Yes.”

    Looking forward to the second one greatly.

  19. Dominic White says:

    So, those bitching about the PC version know that there was a bug with the Vsync that added huge control lag to everything and halved the framerate, right? You just had to disable Vsync (and if you want it back, force it externally), and it’s as responsive as any other shooter on the PC.

    And if you still can’t shoot straight, that’s because you suck at the game and need to grow up and stop blaming others for your mistakes.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I think the camera angle and tiny FOV upset a lotta people.

    • Dominic White says:

      Then they’re great big babies and have no place playing a horror game, then. The entire game goes to great lengths to make you feel as claustrophobic as possible. That’s a very clear design decision. And the camera angle? Standard third-person? How is that a problem?

    • Lord_Mordja says:

      “So, those bitching about the PC version know that there was a bug with the Vsync that added huge control lag to everything and halved the framerate, right? You just had to disable Vsync (and if you want it back, force it externally), and it’s as responsive as any other shooter on the PC.”

      Just about to post this. The controls work just like any other shooter when you disable it so I have no idea what people are complaining about.

      Dead Space may not have been an incredibly deep experience that pushed the narrative of the genre forward, but it was damn fun. Also it could work well on my laptop and look great doing it.

    • Marcin says:

      Mainly because that camera angle, on a monitor that’s only a few feet away from you, is a little nauseating. At least for me it is, and I *never* get queasy from games. I get the same effect with the “consolized” Borderlands FOV.

      But I agree that the way the controls are done and the limited viewpoint work *great* in Dead Space. I’m quite enjoying it, after the first 5 minutes of getting accustomed to the barftastic view angle all over again ;)

      I shall pick up the second game much as I did the first, on a $10 steam sale (or equivalent).

    • Kleevah says:

      There are still some weird issues with the aiming though, even with vsync off. When you go into aim-mode (right mouse button) the sensitivity on the mouse goes down drastically from when you’re just running around. I didn’t have too much problem with this, but it certainly got annoying at times.

    • Dominic White says:

      That’s how aiming/ironsights modes work in most games though… Of course you want to lower sensitivity when doing precision aiming, otherwise it’d just be a glorified zoom function.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Most people agree Resident Evil 4 was pretty fantastic when it came out. Dead Space was done better since you were to the side of the character, not directly behind the shoulder.

  20. JuJuCam says:

    I enjoyed Dead Space enough to finish it, which is actually fairly uncommon for me, and trying to examine why I did is actually a bit difficult. But I think what it comes down to is verisimilitude. I believed in Isaac enough to consider him an extension of myself, and I believed in the world he inhabited enough to want to set it right. In fact, I think a well realised world with gameplay elements that support the nature of that world will carry me through to the end of more games than anything else a game can do.

  21. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I liked the first one a lot. Yes it’s a lot of cliche’s and copycatting bundled up in a very linear experience but it’s still a good, entertaining game and although it’s short it’s long enough for what it is.

    I still (and my fellow citizens/denizens of RPS debated this with me at great length on the old forums) don’t understand why a mining ship had a store room of cryogenically stored babies in it or why the medical scanner on a far-future faster-than-light capable flying city size ship was bigger than the ships shuttlecraft (and some other stuff) but it was fun and it was exceptionally atmospheric (as per above: Sennheiser headphones, hi end 7.1 surround system – probably the most terrifying noise experience I’ve had since being forced to watch a Take That concert on DVD by a girlfriend once).

  22. Paul Moloney says:

    “It’s good for the same reason Event Horizon was good.”

    I presume since I thought that movie was a load of hokey shite, then DS is not me.

    P.

  23. Lilliput King says:

    Event Horizon really ruined itself with the latter half.

    Kinda like Sunshine. Sci-Fi films just tend to do that.

    • Funky Badger says:

      I real shame in that case, as parts of Sunshine were absolute genius – particularly Takeda’s you know what…

      (Anyone know of a way to get hold of the Sunshine soundtrack, btw, I’ve never been able to track it down)

  24. redrain85 says:

    Great news. For a while, I was concerned that they might not do a PC version of Dead Space 2 because of low sales (but this happened across the board with all versions) and all the bitching about the controls (but it was justified).

    Even so, despite the problem with the controls – including the idiotic decision to hard-map the keyboard keys so they couldn’t be easily changed – I really enjoyed Dead Space. Putting aside the VSync issue, once that was turned off the game ran superbly and flawlessly. And the load times on the PC were non-existent.

    That, and Dead Space was a much better “spiritual successor” to System Shock 2 compared to Bioshock, as far as I’m concerned. My expectations for DS were quite low, but I was pleasantly surprised. Its only real flaw was that it actually wasn’t all that scary. I think the only time I jumped was the part where the lights suddenly went out. Meanwhile, SS2 always filled me with dread.

    Hell, I’m betting Dead Space WAS supposed to be System Shock 3 originally. (Remember all the rumors about “The Godfather Team” at EA making a SS3, well guess which team made Dead Space).

  25. DMJ says:

    Dead Space is stompy fun. Everything in it was meaty.

    Isaac’s lumbering gait and hefty curb-stomp – meaty.
    A limb being removed by a plasma cutter – meaty.
    A vault-like door opening with a bass rumble and hiss – meaty.
    The meat – meaty.

    It relieved the frustration of a long day at work.

  26. redrain85 says:

    For a while, I was concerned that they might not do a PC version of Dead Space 2 because of low sales (but this happened across the board with all versions) and all the bitching about the controls (but it was justified).

    Even so, despite the problem with the controls – including the idiotic decision to hard-map the keyboard keys so they couldn’t be easily changed – I really enjoyed Dead Space. Putting aside the VSync issue, once that was turned off the game ran superbly and flawlessly. And the load times on the PC were non-existent.

    That, and Dead Space was a much better “spiritual successor” to System Shock 2 compared to Bioshock, as far as I’m concerned. My expectations for DS were quite low, but I was pleasantly surprised. Its only real flaw was that it actually wasn’t all that scary. I think the only time I jumped was the part where the lights suddenly went out. Meanwhile, SS2 always filled me with dread.

    Hell, I’m betting Dead Space WAS supposed to be System Shock 3 originally. (Remember all the rumors about “The Godfather Team” at EA making a SS3, well guess which team made Dead Space).

  27. Dominic White says:

    Just want to reinterate what some people have said – the game has AMAZING sound. If you have a 5.1 or better setup, it’s mindblowing. Just a subwoofer alone makes the experience fresh. Your starting plasma pistol sounds like the goddamn end of the world whenever you fire it, and later guns only get beefier.

    Oh, and anyone planning on picking up and playing the original (it really hasn’t aged at all yet – still looks better than a lot of the stuff coming out now), play it on Hard mode. Normal is a bit of a cakewalk, but Hard is downright intimidating in places. It really helps make things scarier, as enemies are fast and brutally powerful. Just a couple of seconds in their claws and you’re spread across the walls.

  28. Carra says:

    They’d better allow the sequel to rebind my keys to numpad so I don’t waste any more money on a game I can’t play.

    Lazy console converters.

  29. bhlaab says:

    Everyone complaining about Dead Space’s bad pc port can feel much better about the sequel— it probably won’t be on pc at all!

  30. ChampionHyena says:

    Geez. I had no idea there were so many misgivings about the PC port. Everyone I’ve talked to seems to love it.

    • Antsy says:

      I got it on sale from Steam last week and I have to say I love it. I am playing it with a gamepad though given its console roots.

    • Wooly says:

      I’m surprised too! I got it from the Steam sale last week, too, and I’m really enjoying it. Terrified, but having fun–I’m not generally a horror fan…

      My only complaint might be that the mouse-look controls feel a bit weird at first and that the the field of view (something that never really bothers me) makes it hard to see properly. But then again, the FOV is probably intentional to make me claustrophobic. D:

      I was also surprised at how well optimized it was! I can run it with everything maxed out on my aging laptop with an 8600GT at 30fps, although I turn it down a bit to get 60fps. Is this unusual?

  31. 1stGear says:

    Resident Evil 4 pretty much killed survival horror. It’s all about action horror now.

  32. We Fly Spitfires says:

    I’m so excited I think I pee’d myself a little.

  33. Tei says:

    The game was good, but there was a enormeous “Savepoint” button betwen rooms, that is ridiculous and break inmersion. I hope the next generation of consoles get a harddisk, even a 2GB one will do for savegames. There was also some extreme scenes where timming QTE-ish is vital/letal.
    I have not finished the game, but I have see some videos, and read a walktrought, and seems a bit linear , so maybe the devs where already borded of the game at a point.

    • Dominic White says:

      Erm. All the current generation of consoles have harddisks… Usually 40-60gb. Some PS3 games even need installing before you can run them.

      The save-points are basically there to divide up clear areas of the game. There’s checkpoints after every room, but you can only save every ten or so rooms, so you have to be able to handle that whole stretch in one go. It’s not long, but enough to encourage the player to push forward.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Save points break immersion more than remembering to quick save?

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Wow, talk about a sheltered PC gamer. MAYBE CONSOLES WILL SOME DAY GET INTERNET TOO

    • Starky says:

      To be fair to him hard drives in 360s are optional, so the developers HAVE to put in save points for those users without them.
      They have to make games that run off the disk, and save to a memory card and all the limitations that come with that.

      Limitations that the PS3 and the PC do not have.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Only the size of HD in a 360 is optional. It does have to have a HD or it doesn’t work. If you’re saving to the flash memory card: surely they’re big enough and fast enough to save even massive save files?

    • Clovis says:

      The XBOX 360 arcade came without a hard drive. It just has 256/512k onboard memory. This was such a dumb thing to do that you could get a basic hard drive for like $10 through a MS program. The system is pretty useless without a hard drive.

  34. Sacred_flame101 says:

    what is the bet this will be banned in australia if it involves dismemberment

  35. redrain85 says:

    Man, some people around here are bitter.

    Anyway, what’s fucking embarrassing is when a PC port doesn’t allow you to select whichever keys you prefer to use, to control your character. Something that’s been a standard in PC games since, you know, FOREVER.

    It would take a programmer, what? A day to implement that code? Why take that choice away, when you know it’s going to annoy players? It’s just being lazy and cheap.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Oh noooooo, the entire game is ruined because you can’t use h p d = for movement. Let’s be alarmist and disproportionately angry over what is otherwise an extremely good original IP and port, which PC gamers probably pirated anyway.

    • Maej says:

      If someone has used a certain key layout for years and a game doesn’t allow those because of the laziness of the developers I’d be annoyed too. It’s an absolute pain in the ass to learn a different layout and really affects the enjoyability of the game.

  36. Lord_Mordja says:

    Oh, oh! One thing I loved about that game? The weapons. They were all interesting and powerful and not enough of them.

    But what I mean is that they did not, in fact, follow the generic assault rifle, sniper, shotgun syndrome that so many shooters seem to be suffering from nowadays.

  37. Lilliput King says:

    I didn’t even notice you coudn’t change the keys, as the keys they used are the keys I always use.

    Seems like a valid complaint though, and one we shoudn’t jump all over aggressively.

    Incidentally, can anyone confirm that DS did indeed sell badly?

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Well it sold over 1 million copies as of February 2009 so it didn’t do THAT badly. As to the PC/console breakdown on that, not a clue, it’s pretty rare that they ever talk about that. Obviously it was good enough to bankroll a sequel, even after the disastrous sales of Extraction (because people are stupid and don’t buy good Wii games).

  38. redrain85 says:

    What Maej said.

    Look, I already mentioned in an earlier comment that I LOVED Dead Space on the PC. The stupid control decisions weren’t enough to put me off from playing it and enjoying it.

    But I’m not going to turn a blind eye to its faults and overlook something as simple as allowing people to map whichever keys they prefer. It takes absolutely zero effort on the part of the devs to implement this. Even the most junior of programmer could have done it. Either this was some misguided notion on the part of the devs that they “knew what was best” for the players, or they were just too cheap or lazy.

    And I just remembered that, in fact, Dead Space did allow you to remap SOME keys but not all of them. (So shoot me, it’s been a year since I played it.) Some were hard-mapped, some weren’t. Which made the decision to lock-in a fraction of the keys even more inane.

  39. PHeMoX says:

    I’m not surprised at all. Dead Space, although a tad short, was pretty damn solid and lots of fun to play. To some extent it had the right difficulty too.

    I don’t quite get why people thought or why people claimed it wouldn’t be feasible to make a sequel.

    I guess that’s what you get with all those naysayers these days, when the franchise was actually reasonably successful. That the expectations from the publisher was higher, thinking they had a true Doom 3 killer (which it easily is btw), doesn’t mean the game was bad or sold bad.

    Doing some quick numbercrunching I’m sure they figured the franchise was promising enough to start development of a sequel.

  40. Viskernus says:

    I enjoyed DS a lot but it’s silly to downplay the inability to properly remap your keys as id it means nothing. It might not be as bad as, say, re4 releasing without mouse control but not everyone likes to just go with the default controls/WASD in every game, and remapping your keys IS a basic pc feature.

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