Wot I Think: Dead Space 2

Visceral’s space-action horror sequel Dead Space 2 has been out on PC for a few days now, so I thought it might be time to put a tentative toe into the vacuum, step out, and tell you wot I think.

Something is nagging at me. It’s a thought, lurking at the bottom of my skull. It’s shouting up at my lofty far away higher brain with reminders of How We Should Be Behaving. It’s the feeling that perhaps I should react with more concern for the victims of Dead Space’s supernatural mutations. The opening scene, in which your would-be rescuer is brutally transformed into a kind of prolapsed screaming flesh-skull noodle dish, just made me laugh. That can’t have been the reaction that anyone was supposed to have, but the truth is that I find the game to be almost hilariously gory, so over-the-top are its man-to-meat moments.

Then again, perhaps I over-estimate how people approach these games. I am sure there’s a section of the audience who are genuinely terrified of the bending-metal noises and tube-monsters popping out of metal cupboards, but could the reality be that the desensitized mass of gamers are actually doing what I did, and pushing onward through the game purely to get to the really strong bits – the inspired moments where the experience offered by the game crests a wave of inspiration and stands out from the sea of its action-game equals. Because it does have a couple of those.

Okay, let’s rewind a bit and talk Dead Space: a third-person action game set aboard a spaceship. You blew the limbs off enemies – the mutated, dead humans called Necromorphs – and you stamped on them, punched them, and upgraded your suit and weapons at convenient shops or upgrade benches. There were some mighty boss battles and some handsome-lookin’ scripted sequences. Mostly, however, there was wandering about in the semi-darkness with a gun and a flashlight, through a few hours of looking for the next corridor, the next fight with Necromorphs, the next bit of loot to suck from the gloom. It was okay.

There were a couple of other axes of interaction along which the action unfolded, too. There was the gravity gun telekinetic glove thing, and the stasis gun, which slowed down enemies and, conveniently, fast-moving things, like big ventilation fans and haywire doors. All this is back in Dead Space 2, and the game quickly equips you after the opening ten minutes of helplessly running about in a straight-jacket. That’s almost a shame, because there’s then a couple of hours of feeling like an armoured badass with a plasma-gun, which, well, you are. The jack-in-box predictability of the first few waves of necromorphs left me feeling a bit bored, and it wasn’t until a couple of chapters deeper into the game that the tension began to return and the spectacle of the game delivered what I was looking for.

That said, the technical proficiency of Dead Space 2 never wavers. The continuous level (there is no loading, just one seamless experience with occasional cutscenes) provides a weird kind of momentum. I still love the interface being “in the world”, with the health on your suit’s spine, and the pop up floaty screens remain convincing and shiny. The vacuum of space is thrilling and threatening, and all too brief, and the environments are pitch-perfect sci-fi corridor. Gone are the wonky bugs from the first game (such as the v-sync weirdness EDIT: apparently this issue is still appearing for some people, although not for me) and the mouse-keyboard control is just fine. Of course you are still constrained to the over-the-shoulder camera, which gives you a weird feeling of being trapped behind your own head, but if you can recalibrate your consciousness to accommodate that queasiness you should get along okay. The audio and visuals are all solid and rich: triumphantly spooky, brilliantly lit, with only occasional level design confusion (which is pasted over by the game’s built in “this way for more stuff” objective-locator feature). There’s also some genuinely beautiful architecture work, such as the space cathedral of chapter 4 (I think).

(As an aside, I noticed that one of the Dead Space 2 devs was saying that games need better stories, and he’s right. This game needed a better story, too. There were a few individual moments that really stood out, and the team are clearly brilliant at depicting specific scenes – some of the hallucinations were splendid and unexpected – but I still have zero interest in the ongoing tour of protagonist Isaac And The Space Horrors. I think the move to move Isaac to a speaking role was an attempt to make the story a little more rounded, but it also feels like an admission that the team couldn’t handle the Gordon Freeman condition and still be happy about their drama. Not sure how I feel about that.)

Anyway, there are occasionally crescendos of action that make it all worthwhile: either battles with monsters that have you shooting and flailing and stamping your way to a wounded victory – backed up in corner and wading out of what seems to be a heap of balloon-physics meatparts – or big flashy sequences where you are blasted out into space wrapped in a nightmare tentacle creature the size of an elephant. It’s definitely worth pushing through the game on a slightly higher difficulty level, too. Normal provides you with too much ammo, and you are seldom motivated to take the higher road of repurposing severed limbs and environmental objects as telekinetic weapons. This physics combat is almost always the better option: more satisfying, more entertaining, and more spectacular than the conventional weapons.

In fact “more satisfying, more entertaining, and more spectacular” seems true of Dead Space 2 as a whole. While there was something incomplete about the original, this is the fully-fledged work of linear space-biff. There are problems with it being B-movie predictable in places, and I hate that you can only save at “save stations”, but the vision is all there. I also can’t enjoy the quick-time events (the key for which was off-screen in my first couple of encounters, but soon turned out to just be hammer “E”, whatever happens), but the production is something you can’t really fault. I am no great fan of scripted sequences, but when they’re done as well as a couple these are, it seems churlish to complain. I suspect that if there’s something lots of people will fault, it will be that Dead Space 2 has such a strong genetic resemblance to Bioshock and the rest of the recent wave of linear action games. It’s a sort of beautiful obviousness that leaves you with that faint synthetic residue of formulaic blockbuster in your mouth. Some of us no longer have a taste of it.

In conclusion, then, better than the original. But if you actually want to be scared you should buy Amnesia. Dead Space 2 is so competent that I wouldn’t worry about recommending it, but there’s nothing much here that I’ll be talking about in arguments over the legacies of great games a few years from now.

[I’ve not taken a look at the multiplayer yet, but I shall do so later in the week.]


  1. Seniath says:

    Loving it so far (I’m about half way through, on Hard) – my only gripe with it is the lack of any mapping or indication of where you are and where you’ve been. I’ve absolutely no sense of the true scale or layout of this sprawl, whereas in the original the Ishimura felt much more, I don’t know, real. Compare, say, the feel of the Von Braun to the feel of Rapture.

    All rather ironic given that the original had distinct chapters and loading screens, whilst the sequel is continually streamed. I suppose, in a way, that’s probably to blame, as the first used said loading screens to show off the layout of the ship.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Given the linear nature of the game this isn’t a problem really. Press B to see where to progress. Use your own memory to find the way you just came. Any other route is simply a dead end in which you’ll find ammo/health or get jumped by something wanting to wear your face as a hat.

      I actually appreciate the lack of loading screens, they’re rather immersion-breaking.

    • Seniath says:

      Yeah, gameplay wise it is a total non-issue. But immersion wise, I dunno, it just seems lacking somehow.

    • suibhne says:

      No map at all? The first had a quite well-developed 3D map.

    • Deadjim says:

      The lack of a map I think is down to the fact that you don’t know where you are. You had a map of the Ishimura because as an engineer supposed to be fixin it you should really know where to go. You don’t have a map on titan because you don’t know where to go.
      So far for me however the game is so linear that I don’t need it or really miss it. Still loving the HUD and the no loading screens too.

    • TheTingler says:

      I do agree, but they have made it basically unnecessary – just hold the ‘Objective’ button down and then press Forward or Back (W and S I’m guessing). You can cycle through the waypoints so that the beam points to your nearest Objective, Save Station, Store, or Bench.

      Very useful, especially when you pick up a node and want to know if you should go back to the last Bench you saw or if there’s one closer.

      Shame it doesn’t tell you this useful titbit until a few hours in.

    • Landon Aaron says:

      Not having loading screen is pretty cool, and yes it does help with immersion. But not having loading screen does not preclude non-linear gameplay and a map. That is to say the absence of loading screens and non-linear gameplay/maps are not mutually exclusive. The game streams in the next are while the door is in the process of being opened, and going through a door is mutually exclusive in regards to time. That is I can not go through a door on one side of a room and a door on the other side of the room at the same time. I can only go through one door or the other at any given time, and depending on which door I go through the game will stream in textures for the area behind that door. So it isnt the no loading screens technology that makes having a map useless or that generates that feeling that I am not really in a giant space station named the sprawl and am instead in a clautrophobic corridor called the crawl. And my character is so dumb he still needs some one to litterally draw the path on the ground for him although there is no other option. Hmm where will I go, I know the only place I can!!!!!!! Come on! Dead space 1 may not have been as advanced but the game play was far superior and much scarier.

  2. fearian says:

    Good good. Pretty much what I was expecting to be honest; Like Deadspace, but more so.

    I’ll buy it whenever it shows up in a steam sale!

  3. Qjuad says:

    I endorse this opinion

    Completed it yesterday – bucket loads of fun. The weapons feel meatier and far better balanced, although the ammo drop system seems off – I was swimming in plasma cutter rounds when I switched back to it at the end, but on other weapons the drops were extremely few and far between. The plot is kinda overwrought, but it actually didn’t bother me – the atmosphere was terrific and I thought the voice acting was great; count me in the “hurray for Isaac speaking” camp, although I confess I’m not a silent protagonist fan.

    As for the horror element? Yeah, you want scares you should definetly go for Amnesia – I never felt frightened during Dead Space 2, but the environment design, the audio tapes/text logs and the amazing sound design certainly created a suitably creepy ambience that I liked. Especially the Unitology Church where all these elements came together nicely.

    I would actually recommend people play on the difficulty above normal to really add that back-against-the-wall feel and force you to encorporate the alternative killing methods available – e.g, cutting some goons arm off and using it to impale him. Word of warning though – difficulty spikes at the end were frustrating. But yeah, definetly recommended.

    Oh! And the “cross my heart and hope to die…” scene near the end REALLY had me squirming in my seat…

    • Kits says:

      Just finished it this morning….and it took me 4 or 5 gruesome tries to do that part. I just couldn’t watch, and kept closing my eyes or looking away at the last moment…which obviously caused me to miss and have to start over..*cringes* Other than that, not a bad game, but nothing special.

    • krayzkrok says:

      I think people should take these “X is scarier than Y” comments with a pinch of salt. What scares people varies tremendously. Amnesia had its moments, and I love the game, but it wasn’t anything like as frightening as Dead Space for me. Dead Space (1) was unplayably frightening at times. System Shock 2 was the last game that did that to me, so it must be something about mutants / aliens in space that hits a psychological nerve in me. HP Lovecraft? Not so much.

    • Menthol says:

      Agreed. Amnesia spooked me a little at first, but it quickly wore off and I ended up wandering around mildly interested, but never really scared. The first Dead Space instilled in me a tension and unease I found a lot more scary.

      So far, Dead Space 2 has been fun, but I’m not getting the same creepy vibes that the original gave me. It’s more like the movie Aliens than Alien, if you follow.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      In most cases, the game should be called Meat Space 2. Approaching it with the same level of psychopathic kill everything mentality of the Doom guy*, it’s hard to be scared other than when the game is NOT throwing monsters at you, and making you wait. I’ve almost finished the game and I can safely say the most tense part of the game was getting on board THAT SHIP and waiting to be attacked. It was a relief to finally have them attacking me again.

      *There’s a Doom comic. Go look it up. It’s a thing of… beauty. I guess.

  4. Zenicetus says:

    There are problems with it being B-movie predictable in places, and I hate that you can only save at “save stations”

    Ugh… that stupid save system was what kept me from finishing the first game. If you’re going to do checkpoint saves, instead of allowing the user to save at will, then at least make the saves automatic and frequent, so the checkpoints are basically invisible and the user isn’t repeating too much prior content after dying.

    I was going to buy this, if they had changed the save system. Now I’ll probably wait for the bargain bin Steam sale. Too many other good games out right now, or on the near horizon.

    • Qjuad says:

      DS2 does have a checkpoint system, so you don’t have to backtrack from a save station if you die. You just lose the checkpoint when you turn the game off.

    • DestinedCruz says:

      Yeah, the game uses checkpoints. It usually only puts you back to the beginning of the room you’re in.

    • cjlr says:

      What the fuck is this, the late 90’s? Goddamn savepoints… I cannot fathom the reasoning behind such a system, other than to screw with people if you find you don’t have time to get between save points in a short session.

    • Brumisator says:

      The late 90s had quicksaves.

    • MattM says:

      Ehh, I prefer checkpoints over quick saves in many games. Quicksaves often break the game balance and if the devs want to make a part difficult they have to account for players saving after killing each and every enemy. They break the game down into very granular pieces and can eliminate more complex gameplay strategies that might evolve over time. Even when checkpoints set me back more than a few minutes, I can get back to where I was much faster the second time. They also add a little tension since you lose a little something when you die as opposed to being right back where you were and they add a little reward when you make it past a hard part to a checkpoint. Perhaps quick save could only be enabled on easy.

    • Dougal McFrugal says:

      I’m kinda torn on this one; I think it depends on the game. However I quite liked the save points in deadspace 1, quick saves would have allowed for the save per dead baddie which i’m not sure would work in these games

    • Ian says:

      Or, hey, have autosaves and quicksaves and if you prefer not to quicksave then don’t.

    • quintesse says:

      I normally hate save points, the first time I die and they make me go through half of a level again I can accept it (although I’ll probably go “what?? all the way back here?? damn!!”), the second time it’ll piss me off, the third time I’ll uninstall the game and never play it again. There are some exceptions where the save points are so many that they almost feel like a continuous save.

      Strange thing is that the moment I have quick saves I might redo a certain part 20 times until I get it “perfect”. This might ruin it for some people but for me its part of the fun. Besides I tend to like explore every nook and cranny of a level, if I have to rely on save points I tend to be much more cautious.

      An example of this was the original Crisis. I loved being able to roam around the island, but I remember some times thinking: can I jump of this ledge and survive? And then thinking “and redo everything I did up to now? Forget about it!”

    • Zenicetus says:

      The new Penny Arcade comic about the save system…

      link to penny-arcade.com

    • Sam says:

      Quicksaves would have ruined the game. As it is, if you die you almost always restart at the room you died in or the room before. I think the maximum time I died was four times, really not a big deal.

    • MadMatty says:

      Agreeing with MattM.
      You *think* you want quicksaves, but in reality you don´t.
      Quick Saves for SuperMeatBoy anyone?

    • Saiko Kila says:

      If you people have so weak minds that you need quicksaves disabled if they bother you, instead of just not using, then I could only feel pity for you. No quicksaves = lazy design. Or programming. Or both.

  5. lokimotive says:

    I’m not sure if there’s a different ad campaign for this in the UK, but is anyone else bothered by the “Your Mom is Gonna Hate It” ad campaign for this game? It’s amazing how much it turned me off from even bothering to think about it.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Agreed, it’s a terrible idea.

    • HermitUK says:

      Particularly stupid because the game’s an 18 anyway. And that sort of ad campaign is clearly aimed at a mid-teens demographic.

    • woodsey says:

      Exactly the same thoughts, although I did still have a chuckle at some of them.

    • cjlr says:

      It’s kind of morbidly fascinating when painfully stupid ideas like that get approved on multiple levels and then actually happen.

    • Qjuad says:

      Yeah, really odd ad campaign.

    • WJonathan says:

      Same here. Not sure what bothered me more: the idea that a game company is exploiting the generation gap, or parent/teen divide, to sell a product, or sitting down middle-aged, non-game-playing women in front of scenes like this to shock them. I guess nothing gets a marketer off more than giving 60 year old women nightmares.

      “Buy this and make your mom mad!” sure isn’t a way to gain credibility in the entertainment industry.

    • lokimotive says:

      Okay, this is actually a lot more amusing than the “real” ad campaign.

    • Fathom says:

      My ad campaign is better: link to youtube.com

    • pagad says:

      The adverts in the UK have an incredibly inappropriate Smashing Pumpkins song playing over them instead, which annoys the hell out of me.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:


    • DXN says:

      @Fathom: That’s rather nice.

  6. HermitUK says:

    About halfway through myself and this seems to match what I’m finding. This is essentially the first game with a bit more polish, so if you’ve had any experience with the first you’ll know what to expect.

    For a game supposedly boasting an improved story, though, I’ve yet to really see it appear. The first five chapters chronicle Issac’s hike to his first objective. The first game papered over the weaker plot points by keeping you busy, and at least repairing the Ishimura made you feel like an engineer instead of a generic space marine. So far Dead Space 2 seems to think the whole unitology fluff is strong enough to hold the plot together on its own. So far I’m not really convinced about that.

    New-fangled English speaking Issac has a pretty bland personality, too. The voice acting itself throughout the game is excellent, mind. But why go to the trouble of giving your silent protagonist a voice if he doesn’t really do anything important with it? He does shout “fuck” a lot when you’re stamping on boxes to release the goodies, so presumably there’s some container related trauma in his childhood as yet unexplored by the games…

    This all said I’ve still got half the game to go, so maybe the latter stages will change my mind on the story.

    Tried a couple of rounds of the multiplayer. If you can imagine L4D’s scavenge mode with a somewhat awkward thrid person camera, you’re on the right lines. Playing as the humans is good fun – you’re usually tasked with a series of “fetch this thing” objectives and time limit which is extended each time you complete an objective. The Necromorphs feel a bit weak and clumsy, though. Each one has a special ability but I found the tactic that worked best was to awkwardly circle strafe a survivor while mashing the melee button and aim to do as much damage as possible before they kill you. Respawns are only a few seconds long for both teams, so if you do die you’re rarely sitting around for long.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      He’s angry at the boxes, because in 2023, when all the game developers ran out of ideas, every game made that year was a clone of Super Crate Box.

      The only innovation? To make your game even harder than the other company’s game.

  7. Snuffy the Evil says:

    In conclusion, then, better than the original. But if you actually want to be scared you should buy Amnesia

    Amnesia will desensitize you to pretty any horror game worth mentioning.

    So far, at least.

    • Sam says:

      Now I come to think of it, that’s so true. I played the original Dead Space and found it pretty scary. Then I played Amnesia, and found it incredibly scary. Then I played Dead Space again and didn’t find it scary at all (maybe because I played it before), and Dead Space 2 didn’t scare me at all either.

  8. DestinedCruz says:

    I loved the first game, but the new one seems a little too forced in the action. The sections where they just send endless waves of children/crawly arm-tail guys at you in an effort to suck out your health packs and ammo are just boring and sometimes frustrating. At least in the first game, I never felt like I was in a room full of enemies too damn long.

    • DarkFenix says:

      I don’t mind gunning down the waves of children, the pulse rifle chews through them with minimal fuss, turning them into an ammo bonanza as each one fountains out its goodies.

      The crawly-tail thingies really annoyed me though, they move faster than anything that obviously unwieldy has any business doing and are damn near impossible to hit properly courtesy of their strange way of moving. Still, the game has made stasis more available than DS1 so I’m pretty sure the intention is to liberally use it on them. That or the force gun, both work wonders on them. Personally I like the sadistic touch of using stasis on the last one then forgetting my guns and brutally bludgeoning it to pieces.

    • DestinedCruz says:

      I never actually had trouble with the children, but by the third room full it just wasn’t interesting anymore.

    • Bret says:

      This is the best out of context gamer discussion.

      “So, I’m not fond of mowing down children with an assortment of high powered weapons”

      “Ah, having trouble, are you? Well, that’s to be expected, they’re slippery bastards. You want an automatic weapon for this sort of thing”

      “Oh, no, it’s easy enough, but it’s so dull. Hardly get any thrill from it anymore.”

      Can only imagine the media response in the 90s.

    • Qjuad says:

      Ban this sick filth/down with this sort of thing

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Won’t someone think of the children?

  9. DarkFenix says:

    Picked this up via bittorrent (and might even consider forking out money when it’s a) cheaper and b) the PC version gets less screwed by EA) and it’s a bloody good game.

    One of the game’s highlights is again the weapons; they’re meaty, their upgrades have been made slightly more interesting than DS1 and balance issues have been worked out (a couple of seriously sub-par entries to DS1’s arsenal have been improved greatly). There are a few new additions to the collection too, mostly being the sort of military hardware that was curiously absent from DS1. As Qjuad says though, the ammo balance is rather wonky; the cause being the same as in DS1 – some weapons are more kill-efficient for the size of their ammo pickups and different ammo types stack in different quantities (some ammo types fill a stack in 3 pickups, some take as much as 6).

    Atmosphere-wise they’ve done a good job, but it’s no Amnesia. The jump out scares are the same tired old thing we’ve seen time and time again, it just doesn’t work anymore. In fact, the one time I actually jumped in the game was when I was leaving a room and an innocuous little alarm clock (of a sort you’ll see dozens of throughout the game, except they do nothing) went off right as I passed it. Of course, this isn’t scary, but the alarm clock sounds just like my real life alarm clock. I’ve flinched each time I’ve passed it, even when expecting it in a second playthrough. I really hate alarm clocks, I hate mine even more.

    I honestly can’t say I noticed anything in the way off difficulty spikes. Sure, there are the typical horror game set-pieces where you get locked in a room then swarmed, but those are spread throughout the game and to be expected of the genre. On normal difficulty the game isn’t especially challenging if your weapon loadout is any good (ie. mostly easy but I can think of a couple of areas I’d have struggled without a pulse rifle).

    One way the game fails to deliver is in terms of boss battles. Dead Space 1 had some frankly ridiculously huge monstrosities to fight. The end boss in particular was well delivered (if insultingly easy) and was probably the biggest boss I’ve ever seen in a game. Dead Space 2 on the other hand provides a single new large sub-boss enemy, as easily dispatched as the ‘tank’ necromorph out of DS1. As for the final boss, well, let’s just say it can be dispatched in a single clip of a certain weapon in the space of about 6 seconds.

    I actually felt the game delivered on characters and story, but then again I’m not especially fussy and don’t arbitrarily down-score things for anything unoriginal. I actually am interested to see where the series goes from here, though that is at least partly because I look forward to more zombieshoots in a new locale.

    Overall a good game. More competent as a shooter than most shooters, more competent as a horror game than most horror games. It isn’t Amnesia grade horror, but what is? Worth getting if you’re a console-tard, worth torrenting for now on PC.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      You put yourself in a bad position here with your first sentence.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Really Malawi? How so? I download games, big deal. I thought people had gotten over the “PIRACY IS KILLING PC GAMING” crap the big publishers want us all to believe.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Oh no, I don’t think piracy is killing PC gaming. It’s a fact of life working with software.

      I just think you’re stupid.

    • CommentSystem says:

      People, choosing to pirate a game to play when it first comes out and waiting for it to drop in price before you purchase it is still piracy. If you can’t wait to play a game until the price drops then pay full price for it. Otherwise, suck it up and wait for the price to come down to next to nothing, it only takes about eight months.

      The absolute worst is when pirates try and justify their piracy by deciding the game they have played all the way through already is not worth the asking price and withholding their funds from the developers until the game reaches a price they deem worthy. It’s pretentious and amoral.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      Piracy may not be killing gaming, but it’s certainly not helping it. I prefer to support the things I love, not undermine them, and I think you’ll find that to be the majority opinion here, so don’t be surprised if your open admittance of not paying for something that really should be paid for draws a certain amount of disaproval.
      There really is no excuse these days, and it’s your lack of shame I find to be the most depressing thing. If it’s too expensive, buy something cheaper and wait or play some of the many free games about. Coming here and boasting about torrenting it – well basically just bugger off would you?

    • thestjohn says:

      I actually find the last sentence more amusing than the first to be honest. “Worth getting if you’re a console-tard, worth torrenting now for PC”? You’re basically behaving exactly how the “Piracy is killing PC gaming” argument is put by the publishers, whether it’s true or not. And you want EA to make the PC version “less screwed”? Given your position, what’s their incentive?

    • CFKane says:

      Just wanted to join the torrent (pun intended) of posters piling on DarkFenix. Like most people here, I don’t think that piracy is destroying PC gaming. That being said, why would anyone want to go around the internet advertising the fact that they are *stealing* from the publisher of a game?

      The fact that you might buy it later is not an excuse. You can wait, or you can pay for the privilege of paying early, without facing any ethical concerns. The fact that you chose to steal the game now is not justified by your future payment. If anything, to make right stealing the game, you’d need to pay back the current price plus interest when you finally decide to pay for it.

      And as others have noted, your “console-tard” argument is nonsensical. Piracy is not a solution to the problem of publishers focusing on consoles. Just like it is not a solution to DRM. If you want publishers to not put games on consoles, don’t buy games that are on consoles. If you are really committed, don’t buy PC games that are also on consoles unless the game is built for the PC, or the port is done extremely well.

    • Fathom says:

      Pirating games is stealing and that’s that. There is no justification, it is what it is. DarkFenix is an idiot.

    • ezekiel2517 says:

      I don’t really agree on his position, but I wish I had done this for Mafia 2 (I preordered a deluxe steam edition). That game was not worth 60 dollars at all and the 75% discount only 2 months after only made it worse.

      Do note that I am not just cheap. 60 bucks is something I may only spare every few months.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “Worth getting if you’re a console-tard, worth torrenting for now on PC.”

      I don’t know, man. I just don’t know anymore.

    • DarkFenix says:

      If I’m stupid, it’s for overestimating the posters here, an easy mistake to make given the usually reasonable RPS community. The very mention of software piracy immediately categorises a person (among many less intelligent internet-dwellers at least) as some kind of shifty-eyed kleptomaniac spitefully stealing the downtrodden developers’ hard work simply because they can.

      I don’t think piracy is a big deal. Statistics show it isn’t anything like as big a deal as we’re led to believe. And yet when I conversationally mention I downloaded it, as a means to a simple point, I’m now apparently advertising it, I’m apparently bragging about it. Maybe I exist in a different reality, one where software piracy is a fact of life and doesn’t need to be such a taboo subject. Hell, I doubt half of you even read beyond the first sentence before jumping on the bandwagon to have a go at an easy target.

      So forgive me for off-handedly entering an area you’re clearly not mature enough to deal with. You disagree with me? Fine, that’s your right. But leave your trolling, stereotypes and judgementalism at home.

      PS. Some of you seem to read into my “console-tard” comment too much too. It’s called tongue-in-cheek guys, I own consoles myself, doesn’t stop me referring to console users as console-tards.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      Interesting, being labelled immature by someone who shamelessly takes stuff without paying and uses the phrase ‘console-tards’.

      You could have made your points regarding the game without mentioning pirating it – there was no need to, as it added nothing to what you were saying about the game. Mentioning pirating is going to be controversial almost anywhere, and especially here, where developers often contribute to the debate, and yet you accuse others of ‘trolling’.

      There was also no stereotyping going on – you admitted you pirate, other people told you what they thought of you.

      As for judgementalism, you are quite right – everybody judges everybody else by their actions. Thats how society functions – by singling people out when they have crossed the borders of acceptable behaviour so that others can see where those borders lie. I doubt very much that you will get many, if any people here on RPS agreeing with you, but if you want to believe that what you are doing is OK and everyone else is deluded, then that’s your prerogative (wrong as it may be).

      Where are your boundaries by the way? Do you just pirate from big companies like EA, or from smaller developers like Cliffski as well. How much does someone have to earn for it to be OK to take and enjoy their work without paying? £20k? £50k. Would you pirate minecraft – that’s made Notch a lot of money after all? If it’s not hurting anyone, then you must think anything is fair game, yes?

    • Seth says:

      I hear your protests that casual torrenting, mentioned casually all casual-like, is a fact of life not worth freaking out about, and I imagine you saying at a party:

      “I shoplifted this book today and it’s a great read. I think I’ll even pay for it when it comes out in paperback.”

      Then I imagine how your friends would treat you and I laugh and laugh.

      You’re an idiot.

    • Muzman says:

      Dude, there’s a certain amount of implicit arrogance in waltzing in, proclaiming you got something, illegally, without paying the asking price and assessed it’s not worth the asking price, knowing full well that’s not how it works.
      All the arguments that piracy as a practice isn’t all that harmful and its effects are complex aren’t going to save you after that piece of behaviour.
      Indeed, it’s so inflamatory and lacking in decorum one could be forgiven for thinking it’s trolling (to use the expression correctly).

    • The_B says:

      Quite frankly, in my opinion – if you don’t think it’s that big a deal, then why feel the need to mention that fact within your post? Making something the opening statement, in my view, automatically makes any point seem relevant or at least noteworthy.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Except shoplifting is what’s known as ‘stealing’. It’s when you take something without paying and the original owner no longer has it. Software piracy is what’s known as ‘copyright infringement’ and is simply making an unauthorised copy of software, taking nothing from the owner. The owner, in the case of software, is frequently some bloated megacorporation charging a ridiculous markup on an often sub-par product. I could cite a few more entirely irrelevant real world analogies right back at you, but I reckon the local lynch-mob is just waiting to jump on something like that and take it out of context.

      Incidentally, if I did shoplift a book as per your example then casually say so to my friends, they wouldn’t give a damn. Why should they? I pity you, since you’re apparently surrounded by such shallow and judgemental people. I know people who steal, I know people with serious drug problems, I know people who’ve done time for a few different things. I don’t approve, but I’m not going to be openly judgemental to them unless it directly affects me.

      Donkeyfumbler: If you say you’ve not been stereotyping, you should probably avoid doing precisely that a couple of paragraphs on. Since you ask though, I’ll tell you my rationale. I don’t pirate PC games as a matter of habit; like you said, it’s better to support the developers etc. When I have the money to buy a game, I buy it. If I don’t have the money, I might download it, I might not, but either way I’m not going to buy it and the release schedule is busy enough that I’ll never buy it at full price. They don’t get my money either way, so they lose nothing. What happens if I do download it then? Sure, I’m getting something for nothing. So are the game’s makers, they’re getting publicity for their series or indeed any game from the same developer. The Total War series is probably the best example from my own collection, I pirated Medieval Total War years ago when it came out. It was something of an unknown for me, there was no way I’d have forked out for it, but I downloaded it on a whim. Since then, I’ve purchased every single game or expansion in the series and sold the series to two friends who also did so. Tell me that wasn’t a win-win situation all round.

      Long story short; the law says piracy is bad, publishers say piracy is bad, most of you say piracy is bad. I say it’s not black and white, it’s a whole spectrum of grey. I’ll not insult you by sitting here and saying piracy is right per se, but I don’t think you can simply slap a one-size-fits-all condemnation on it either. Ok, that’s my defence of my standpoint done, cue more ad hominem from the mob.

      The_B: I don’t think the weather is a big deal, yet I (arguably a bit pathetically) talk about it probably at least once on a daily basis.

      Muzman: You could be forgiven for thinking it was trolling… if it were a post to the tune of “lol, crap game, pirated it”. I’m not concerned about ‘saving myself’ either, I mean seriously, it’s an internet blog full of anonymous people going after the easiest target they can. It’s more along the lines of irritation at the high-and-mighty preachy arrogance of some of the internet warriors here. Like I said, disagreement is your right, but some people aren’t capable of that without being either trollish, patronising or simply insulting.

    • Dougal McFrugal says:

      I dont think pirating software is in any way a good thing – however it isnt theft; it’s copyright infringement.

      and that (despite what publishers and industry lobby groups would have us believe) is a different crime.

      Either way buy your games, if you cant afford them full price – wait for the sale

    • Torgen says:

      Poster child of the Entitlement Generation. You’re a failure for your parents.

    • Ravenger says:

      Zero day piracy (where games get pirated before release) definitely does have an adverse effect on sales. I have direct experience of this.

      However, that aside, the main reason for not pirating PC games is not to give publishers an excuse to saddle honest PC gamers with ever more restrictive DRM (even if said DRM is actuallty useless at preventing piracy).

      I’m fed up of effectively being slapped around the face by DRM schemes shouting ‘Don’t pirate!’ when I’ve paid good money for a game, all because someone thinks it’s clever to pirate a game, even when they’d probably not buy it anyway.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      The amount of cheap moralizing on this topic is pretty pathetic. 90% of the long time gamers (20+ years) I know of have pirated games or softwares at one point.

      So either a lot of people around here are actually full of shit, or I’m living in a pirate den. Pick the most plausible, you scurvy dogs.

      For what it’s worth Dark, you have my sympathy, weither I agree with you or not. And that’s mostly because: a – I don’t give a fuck about what you do or don’t; b – even if I did, I don’t see why in hell I’d qualify to judge you in any way.

      Oh also, it’s all about opinion debate on The Internet guys. As soon as you fall in the personal qualification trap, you lose any right to tell who’s part of the cool kids anymore. Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Fenix: I don’t think your references to piracy count as off-hand when you bring it up on the front page and the forum five or six times over the past week, and twice in this post. You’re looking for a fight, be honest. Can’t fathom why.

      Your justification of piracy has to be my favourite ever, though. “Murder is statistically irrelevant! THUS!”

      EDIT: “Incidentally, if I did shoplift a book as per your example then casually say so to my friends, they wouldn’t give a damn. Why should they? I pity you, since you’re apparently surrounded by such shallow and judgemental people. I know people who steal, I know people with serious drug problems, I know people who’ve done time for a few different things. I don’t approve, but I’m not going to be openly judgemental to them unless it directly affects me.”

      Are you serious? You only take issue with what people do when it directly affects you alone? You can’t seriously operate that way. That’s absurd.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      Time to look up stereotyping:

      “Stereotyping is dividing people into groups and arbitrarily making assumptions based on prejudices”.

      What assumptions have I made here? I didn’t say or assume you pirated all games, just asked where you drew the line. You said that piracy has no effect and is perfectly acceptable, therefore you must be prepared to pirate anything and everything depending on whether it takes your fancy. That isn’t an assumption, that’s logically following the facts as you present them.

      As for the old ‘I never would have bought all these other things if I hadn’t nicked this one’ line, whilst that may be true and their may have been an uplift to some of your taking things without paying (not theft agreed, but still true and much more appropriate than dressing it up as ‘infringement’) there is still that whole tricky right and wrong thing. Pirating games is illegal (almost everywhere) – you are taking something from someone to which you are not entitled and without permission. Even if you then go back and give them some money for something else, it doesn’t make your first act either right or acceptable.

      Ah well – maybe we should all just listen to Great Wayne. If only I could work out what the fuck he was talking about.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Lilliput: To my memory I’ve discussed piracy twice on this site, uh, ever? Not that my memory is any good at all, but I’m pretty sure I’d remember the past week. The first I mentioned it on a thread about this very game, the second is a discussion caused by people jumping on my mention of it in what is a review of the game, not an intentional discussion of the matter.

      You’re comparing software piracy to murder? That’s actually pretty sick, particularly in the same sentence as placing judgement on my views on morality.

      “Are you serious? You only take issue with what people do when it directly affects you alone? You can’t seriously operate that way. That’s absurd.” I’ll operate that way with my friends because, y’know, that’s what friends do, they don’t take issue with everything that doesn’t fit their neat picture of a perfect world. If one of them goes and nicks a car, there are people out there who’ll judge them professionally for it, they don’t need me being an arse to them as well.

      Donkeyfumbler: The system isn’t perfect, it basically recognises software in a similar fashion to a physical commercial product, basically ignoring the differences (such as no try-before-you-buy usually, no discount/refund/don’t buy at all if the product is defective, etc). The law is currently in favour of the businesses, with little regard for the consumer (hardly surprising given that it’s basically businessmen who dictate these laws). I’m not especially keen on being trodden on by the big bad businessman. So, fight the system!

      PS. For the humour-impaired, that last sentence is a joke.

    • august says:

      I would also like an intricately constructed consumer-rights philosophy that, coincidentally culminates in me being justified (nay, exhorted!) into getting free shit.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “You’re comparing software piracy to murder? That’s actually pretty sick, particularly in the same sentence as placing judgement on my views on morality.”

      Obviously not. I haven’t even volunteered an opinion on piracy, let alone ‘placed judgement’. The point was that your argument was as applicable to murder as it was to piracy. It’s taken as given that murder is beyond the veil of acceptable behaviour, and thus, that your argument is absurd, as it justifies unacceptable behaviour.

      re: the friends thing: Fair enough. I didn’t realise you were literally only referring to your interaction with your friends, here. A comment section on a blog is a different environment. It makes sense for some things to be taboo here that wouldn’t be with your friends. People here are strangers. If you only took issue with what strangers do when it directly affects you you’d be pretty irresponsible.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      The problem is less about piracy and more about bragging about it. RPS get a lot of developers wandering through, and it’s something I personally like*. It’s simply impolite to brag about it in front of them., and makes the environment less friendly.

      It’s also an incitement to filling a thread with another 40 posts about the same old pro/anti-piracy stuff. Which is boring, and makes the site worse. I clicked on this 90-post thread hoping to see what people made of the game. Except I’m not getting that.

      I’d suggest people refrain from it.


      *Not least because it leads to better information in the comments thread, thus a better site.

    • Agrona says:

      Are you referring to the statistic that every software developer who has bothered to count (since about the 1990’s or so) has determined that the effective piracy rate is 80-90%, or perhaps some other statistic that shows it isn’t a big deal?

    • Premium User Badge

      Gassalasca says:

      Wow. I feel kind of disappointed in RPS readership right now.

      EDIT: Hm, those last few comments didn’t appear properly, so I’ve only noticed them now.

      @Kieron, you’re right about this sort of stuff happening in a Wot I think thread basically makes the site worse etc. However, I don’t agree about the bragging part. Were it not for the slew of comments that followed it would never have occurred to me to view it as bragging. To me it was an off-hand, matter-of-fact comment, not loaded in any way. I think it just shows that DarkFenix and some other posters come from different gaming cultures/communities, and live with different sets of basic assumptions.

    • impar says:

      How is it possible that this comment wasnt removed or edited by the staff?
      Does RPS staff condones PC piracy?

    • Premium User Badge

      Gassalasca says:

      And how would just deleting the comment, impar, in any way condemn piracy?

      Outright removal of any such comment would be nothing more than a fascist wank-move. And if anything, we know that our hosts are not fascist wankers.

    • Ian says:

      “I pity you, since you’re apparently surrounded by such shallow and judgemental people.”

      I pity you, since you’re apparently surrounded by people who’ll fall out with you if you say that you find a certain thing that they’ve done reprehensible.

    • impar says:


      What would be fascist about the removal of a comment bragging about being a pirate and the following comments defending PC piracy?

      He is just another parasite of the established system of developer/publisher/consumer, contributing nothing for it and harming the sustainability of it.

    • Landon Aaron says:

      To who ever said piracy is not a big deal statistically I would like to ask them what statistics they are referring to? Cuz check out these stats presented from a very in depth look into the issue brought to us by none other than the man behind Tweak Guides you know that lovely site where you can go to figure out how to get any number of game looking completely awesome. I would guess at least 2/3 of the posters here are familiar with his work, and know just how thorough he is. He checks his facts and he uses primary sources (he does not regurgitate what he read somewhere else, he gets his data straight from the source) His findings? PC piracy is changing the industry, it is pushing publishers more toward casual gaming and MMO’s, and is pushing developers away from the platform altogether. Look Crytek, they use to make PC Exclusives then after the massive pirating of Crysis they said fuck it we will make console game and Crysis 2 will get a port to the PC if we get around to it, because they feel they should get paid for their work. Imagine that. So if you pirate games read this and be ashamed for what you are doing. And if you are too dumb and morally bankrupt just die. link to tweakguides.com

  10. woodsey says:

    “As an aside, I noticed that one of the Dead Space 2 devs was saying that games need better stories, and he’s right.”

    The amount of times I’ve heard this, then played the game and asked myself why they couldn’t follow their own advice…

    • Zenicetus says:

      Writing a good story, especially in a genre like sci-fi that’s already seen so many classic tropes, is much harder than programming code or doing 3D art. Hence the empty promises…. “oh yeah, we’ll do a better story next time.”

      I don’t know if this is the case or not, but it sure seems like the smaller game companies don’t really hire “writers” in the usual sense. They hire people who do a little writing on the side, along with art or code. Or worse, the lead game designer writes the story, even though they’re not qualified (see “Elemental War of Magic” for the classic bad example). God forbid they should spend the bucks to hire an actual sci-fi writer like Alastair Reynolds to write the story.

    • Calabi says:

      @ Zenicetus

      Its not hard, working down a mineshaft is hard. There is a whole website devoted to fictional tropes. For a start they could try avoiding those or at least subverting some.

      Then they could try doing what people dont expect, people whom have grown up with a ton of movie fiction. You know write it like they think, we think, they think, we think, haha we got you or didnt, etc.

      Or they could write the game for itself give it some proper purpose, and not just riffing off someone elses story.

    • Bret says:

      One of the things worse than going into cliche is obnoxiously avoiding them. Tropes become well known for a reason, and consciously and continually doing the opposite gets grating.

    • Tarqon says:

      It’s not that simple. There’s having someone write you a good story, and then there’s a story that you can actually manage to tell through/around gameplay. Especially when it comes to action titles the problem is the storytelling mechanisms are very different from those in traditional media.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      There’s a reason Wrath of Khan was the best Star Trek movie*. It was written by someone who wasn’t a fan. Just like we’ve seen with Monkey Island, people too invested in something are unwilling to take risks. So yeah, hiring a science fiction writer who wasn’t on the team for the first one would’ve been terrific.

      *Until the newest one, but it still holds a place in my heart. And in pop culture!

  11. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    I like manual checkpoint systems in horror games. I derive a fairly strong feeling of safety from being able to save often, so taking that away adds to the tension.

    Whats that you say? Maybe games shouldn’t be designed around my lack of self control? Well fie on you!

    • Zenicetus says:

      The problem I have with manual checkpoint saves (although it sounds like there are auto-saves in between now), is that it forces an artificial pacing of tension in the game. Right after a manual save, I feel cocky and will take more risks, because there won’t be much to repeat if I blow it. When I’ve covered a lot of ground since the last save, I get increasingly more cautious as I near the next save point.

      That pacing is totally artificial; it has nothing to do with the actual risks in the environment. It’s easily manipulated by the game designers to make you feel more safe, or less safe, depending on arbitrary distance from a checkpoint. The degree of safety should always be left up to the player, in how often he chooses to use a quicksave, or archive a save at an interesting point in the game that may warrant a revisit later. YMMV, and I can see the argument for buying into the designer’s idea of how safe you should feel, at any given moment. I just don’t like it myself.

    • Dominic White says:

      Any element in a game about fear and tension that allows the developers to more accurately cause fear and tension is a GOOD thing. Everything in videogames is ‘artificial’. And there has never been a game that stays tense for more than a few seconds when you can immediately undo mistakes with a one-button quickload.

    • DarkFenix says:

      I recommend you look into the ‘hardcore’ difficulty on DS2 if this is what you’re after. The difficulty is equivalent to the second hardest mode, but you can’t start off a new game +, when you die you revert to the last save point and you can only save 3 times in the whole game. How’s that for tense?

    • Zenicetus says:

      @Dominic — The trouble with having developer to set the “fear pacing” with checkpoints, is that it assumes a generic player, when we’re all different. Some people like to blast their way through a game like this, running and shooting everything as quickly as possible. Others might take more time exploring the environment at a more cautious pace. If there is a quicksave function, I can always choose not to stab that key every 30 seconds. It’s up to me, how careful or reckless I want to be. It also allows for the unexpected IRL interruptions, where you might have to bail out before a checkpoint is reached.

      One more thing that bugs me about checkpoints is the way they often telegraph in advance that something big is about to happen, instead of letting you discover it in a more seamless way. Oops, the game just did a checkpoint save…. better make sure I have a full clip. That’s immersion-breaking.

    • Menthol says:

      The whole point is to take away the option of a quicksave to create more tension, but then they put in auto-saving checkpoints and negated all that. Might as well have a quicksave option in the non-Hardcore difficulties if that’s how it’s going to be.

  12. Dominic White says:

    I beat it last night on Hard (Survivalist) difficulty. Absolutely rock solid game with fantastic production values, but the horror evaporates pretty steadily and leaves you with a really fun (and quite refined) splatter-action game. The entire final quarter of the game, I largely spent laughing, because I had upgraded my Javelin gun enough to gain its special feature.

    That feature? In addition to impaling, then electrocuting enemies, it also causes the spears to VIOLENTLY EXPLODE. This is also the gun with the cheapest ammo in the game.

    So, yeah, the last few chapters were spent charging headlong into danger, cackling maniacally and shouting ‘I AM ZEUS, CASTER OF THUNDERBOLTS AND RUINER OF YOUR DAY’ as chunks of monster rained down around me.

    • Qjuad says:

      Once you fully kit out some of the weapons by the end you really start to pity your enemy – the Javalin gun in particular, which is one of the most satisfying weapons I’ve used in a game in a looong time.

      For extra hilarity, look up “hand cannon Dead Space 2” on youtube for some laughs. Its totally worth it.

    • Dominic White says:

      The Javelin gun really wouldn’t be out of place in Painkiller. A gun that shoots bloody great metal stakes that also electrocute and (after upgrades) explode the enemy too? Total, comical overkill. The whole ‘pursuit’ part in the final stretch was more comical than tense, because nothing stood behind me for more than about two seconds before turning into a cloud of flying limbs.

      Also, you can prematurely detonate upgraded spears by stopping aiming once you’ve activated the altfire.

    • DarkFenix says:

      I would kill to see a weapon like the javelin gun in more games. I mean, seriously, the guy(s) who came up with that deserves a medal. Perhaps it was a bit of office competition to see just how far over the top they could go with a single weapon. Harpoon gun that nails enemies to walls? Not good enough, make it electrocute them too, satisfied? Nope, still small-time, after it’s done electrocuting them, make it blow them to pieces.

      One of these times I’m going to do a run-through of the game, using only the javelin gun. Y’know, because I can.

    • Dominic White says:

      A one-gun run using it seems completely viable, too, as ammo for it is dirt cheap, it’s accurate and can deal equally well with single, hardened targets and swarms.

      It’s seriously just too good.

    • Lord_Mordja says:

      For me it was the contact beam. Its special upgrade allows the secondary fire to stasis the enemies. And it’s secondary fire is basically a 360 AOE blast that goes out from Isaac. In other word, I could slow an entire horde of jumping necromorphs to a crawl, calmly stroll away and begin taking pockshots.

      It helps that its primary one-shots just about anything,

    • Dominic White says:

      The contact beam has the rarest, most expensive ammo in the game, though. The javelin gun has the cheapest and second-most common, and when upgraded, rivals the contact beam in terms of single-target power.

    • Menthol says:

      DarkFenix says:
      February 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      “I would kill to see a weapon like the javelin gun in more games. I mean, seriously, the guy(s) who came up with that deserves a medal.”

      I’m sure they’d be happy enough if you just bought a copy of the game. :)

    • Sam says:

      I chose the Javelin gun as my first weapon as well. Once fully upgraded I think I one shot a tank (stasis, shoot javelin into weak spot, explode). Did kind of make the last few levels trivial, and hugely fun :D

    • ezekiel2517 says:

      I never even tried the Javelin gun or the Beam one. I stuck to my refurbished plasma cutter and my loved Line gun. The Plasma cutter didn’t do so well like in the first game, where it was handy all the way to the very end.

      The sniper rifle sort of gun was rather useless too and it was probably silly of me to expect something else in such a corridor shooter.

      This gives me another reason to replay.

  13. The_B says:

    Maybe slightly spoilers here but – did anyone else dislike the final boss fight compared to the first game? I don’t know if I just really don’t like having to try and fight while overwhelmed by the smaller yet deadly in packs enemy, but the fact that Issac goes through a stumble animation every time he gets hit made said fight more frustrating than it needed to be for me. More than once I stepped into the insta-kill animation of said boss (who’s identity I’m refraining from naming for aforementioned spoilers) because I was pushed into it by the constant attacks.

    • Dominic White says:

      I generally lament the lack of boss battles in DS2. There are more ‘Oh god hojillions of monsters’ events, but no real knock-down, drag-out brawls like in the original.

      A lot of folks seem to hate the very concept of big, dramatic bosses these days, but they’re a place where a great developer can really shine and mix up the gameplay in cool new ways.. or drive everything headlong into the ground.

      Really, anyone considering making a boss in any game should play everything by Treasure, Clover, Platinum and a lot of Konami’s stuff, especially the Contra series. That’s like an experts guide to making awesome big enemies.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I didn’t like the lack of boss fights in Borderlands (there were two, and they both basically sucked) and the lack here made me sad too.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Haven’t gotten to the final boss in Dead Space 2, but the final boss in DS1 was well, lame. And entirely boring to fight. Do you mean this one is worse?

  14. Thants says:

    Looking forward to playing this. The first one is seriously underrated, apparently because people were playing it on easy with the sound turned off and cheerful music playing. At least, that’s the only way I can understand people saying that it wasn’t scary.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Do any of you people who claim not to be scared by the Dead Space games play them with a good set of headphones? I do, and Gods be damned I find it stressful.

      I guess if I ever find myself in a situation like that in Dead Space, I’d like you guys by my side :)

    • Urael says:

      I don’t see how headphones would make much difference, tbh. I have simple stereo speakers, 2.1, and I crapped myself several times playing Amnesia but found Dead Space formulaic, predictable and somewhat un-scary. As happened with Doom 3’s limited repertoire of shocks and sudden starts, you quickly get a sense of when the game is going to throw a monster at you, by ‘reading’ the level design or the objective within it. In my view, It’s that ability of gamers to anticipate what’s coming that lessens the impact of whatever OMG-MONSTER!!! moments the game delivers, not the sound design. Feel free to disagree, though.

    • MadMatty says:

      @ Urael

      Exactly- its like watching a cheesy horror movie somtimes- you can hear 15 seconds before anything happens, by the sound of the music, that somethings going to spring on the guy in the scene (or a false build up as theyve done in newer cheesy b-movies).
      Havent played Amnesia, but i did play Penumbra, which was atleast the Creepiest game ive played until now.
      Shock scares work tho, until you see to many shock scares… Because they work, is also why theyre being overused. Something safe to fall back on.

  15. Dominic White says:

    By the way…
    “Gone are the wonky bugs from the first game (such as the v-sync weirdness)”

    That’s inaccurate. The bugs for the most part ARE fixed. But not the Vsync one, which unless disabled (and ideally forced back on externally) reduces you from 60+ FPS to somewhere around the 25~ mark, and causes control lag.

    It’s easily worked around (literally 30 seconds, just do it), but yeah, Vsync is still fucked.

  16. Lord_Mordja says:

    Spoiler ahead!

    No mention of the Ishimura level? I though that was a bit of genius and I was on the edge of my seat for the first half of it. The fakeout with decontamination chamber was a nice touch.

    • Qjuad says:


      Totally agree Lord, that was a great surprise when you got to revisit her.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Agreed, that part of the game did have me continuously expecting trouble where there wasn’t any, then about half a room after I expected it (ie. where it popped out in DS1), it would actually pop out.

      They did something similar with the ending too, playing on people’s memories of DS1’s ending. That gave me a chuckle.

  17. Robin says:

    I’d be interested to know how DS2 compares to good action/adventure games, rather than its dismal predecessor. RE4 kicked Dead Space 1’s face in, and cribbing extensively from Metroid Prime, System Shock and Doom 3 didn’t prevent it from being infinitely less memorable than any of them.

    • Lilliput King says:

      If you didn’t like the first, you won’t like the second.

  18. 1stGear says:

    Really felt this game fell apart in the last third. It becomes a long combat slog through repetitive environments and the story goes from “bland” to “completely retarded retcons”.

    That said, the rest of the game was very enjoyable and I don’t feel cheated out of my money. Even the lackluster finale has its own high point in the form of an…interesting mini-game.

  19. UncleLou says:

    “Except shoplifting is what’s known as ‘stealing’. It’s when you take something without paying and the original owner no longer has it. Software piracy is what’s known as ‘copyright infringement’ and is simply making an unauthorised copy of software, taking nothing from the owner”

    In this day and age, shoplifting a mass market product and pirating it is more or less the same, they’re closer related from pretty much every point of view than shoplifting a mass market product and stealing something unique is, even if the latter two are both called “theft”.

    Mass market products like a game on a DVD are more or less infinitely reproducible, and have a negligible material value. What you steal when you shoplift a game, what makes it worth something, is the content. Which is exactly the same thing you download illegally.

    It’s just that shoplifting would actually be the better alternative for everyone involved, and certainly for the developers and publishers. Just a shame that pirates are too chicken-hearted to actually do this.

    Anyway – is piracy theft? No, strictly speaking not, but then the term “theft” comes from a totally different age and today comprises crimes that are so wide apart that pedantry when it comes to the closely related copyright infringement is bordering on being pathetic. But as long as it makes you feel better…

  20. Casimir's Blake says:

    Oh god, not more light-weight pseudo-mainstream sci-fi gore-porn in over-dark linear corridors with a generic bad-ass ™ space marine type guy.

    I managed to watch 4 minutes of a let’s play of the first one. By the fifth minute I had forced myself to reach for my mouse and creep towards the stop button as I felt my IQ slipping away. I suspect this will be just as depressingly unremarkable.

    Why post, you ask? Because I really want some sci-fi action in my PC gaming! Gaming that is not generic, simplistic, linear or panders entirely to the “move forward is all I know Xbox-gamer” crowd (no, not all of them are, but surely many have to be if so many modern games have this anti-Doom-we-can-only-design-corridors shit going on).

    Heads back to Freelancer, in disgust.

    • Dominic White says:

      You leave that enormous, fuming rant about dumbing down, then go back to Freelancer? Diablo In Spaceships? Hold LMB to kill, mash button to loot? Seriously?


    • Vinraith says:


      Err, is that a joke? Freelancer is easily one of the hardest games I’ve ever played, frustratingly so in fact.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Look, one of you is wrong, and there’s only one way to settle this.

      INSTAGIB! Vinraith is the challenger so he gets to pick the arena.

    • MrMud says:

      And both of you denigrated Diablo so I might have to kill you all.

  21. Fathom says:

    Ok, so I made both of these. This is for Dead Space 1: link to youtube.com

    Dead Space 2: link to youtube.com

    They are both quite spoilery, but should be enjoyed by anyone who’s beaten the games.

  22. DOLBYdigital says:

    No comments about the multiplayer (except for 1). Man it must be really bad, boring or empty. Either way, it sounds like I’ll be waiting for the steam sale. I don’t see any reason to get it now since I’ve got plenty of other games to play. Thanks everyone for your impressions

  23. fleimur says:

    The short & sweet: Game is enjoyable, buy it

  24. AndrewC says:

    link to eurogamer.net

    This means a Mirror’s Edge sequel. Doesn’t it. Doesn’t it. Doesn’t it.

  25. batfink says:

    Im loving the game so far, intense in places! Is anyone having issues with Anti-Aliasing on ATI? Currently running 2×6970’s and there is none, if i force it through CCC i loose most shadow textures, and still no AA!

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      because it’s a deffered renderer you can’t use conventional Anti Aliasing, the in game aa is a software approach which isn’t perfect, you might try setting anti aliasing to edge detect in the CCC but this will have trade offs.

    • batfink says:

      ahh ok that makes sense, will do some testing.

      I found that with the new MAA option in CCC i get massive micro stutter and framerates <10 lol!! in all games. Putting this down to poor drivers for the 6900 series.

      No AA i can live with as running 6046×1080 so not a massive impact, just hate jaggies (who doesnt)

  26. My2CENTS says:

    Brilliant game, not a horror for me, but anyway i don’t like horrors at all. I can’t say that it was better than the first, simply because the first one was big and had occasional boss-fights. This time they took a different approach and made it linear from begging to the end. No boss-fights, puzzles became quite different (they are not lame, but not satisfying either), i like how it was introduced the new Brit-accent (soon-to-Mrs.Clark) character, also on some places it was unnecessary brutal (i mean yes brutality gets most of the people scared, but come on this was just pathetic).Card down – good game, enjoyed, if Issac and Ellie don’t shag in DS3 i might have to reconsider buying it.

  27. Sunjammer says:

    I’ve played both games on consoles, so I can’t really speak to the PC experience. I can say that Dead Space was my favorite sci-fi horror game since System Shock 2, and that I finished Dead Space 2 in one 14 hour sitting and came away wanting to play it again. I have, twice.

    It really bothers me that people can continuously bring up movies like Commando and Predator like they’re timeless classics, and then slam something like Dead Space for being “more of the same but executed well”. That qualifier is the CORE of what makes a good b-movie experience, and I think it’s about time a whole heaping lot of us get off our high horses and accept that all games don’t need lofty goals to be worthy of your time. This is Aliens to Dead Space 1’s Alien (or attempt at Alien). It’s men shouting while things explode and people get murdered in gnarly ways.

    I personally think Dead Space 2, at least in the PS3 context, is the most solid third person action game I’ve played in a very long time. It’s certainly not very scary (the first was much tenser), and it’s disappointingly light on story for all its pretensions about upping the ante since the last game, but it offers constantly awesome audiovisual sci-fi treats, and a combat system that more often than not devolves into desperate struggles of stomping and shooting and shouting and swearing while gore sprays everywhere: It’s intense and dirty, and I loved every single moment of shootybang.

    I dunno how it feels on the PC with a mouse and keyboard, but with dual analog sticks the zero-g movement felt fantastically light and subtle. I don’t think I’ve seen weightlessness done better.

    • batfink says:

      Hear Hear!

      As for the PC version, ok its not a great port, but what do we expect these days, I have played far worse ports than this!

      The game itself is great imo, great atmosphere, great lighting (for DX9) good sequences. No problems with the pc version for me that affect gameplay anway. M&Kb respond great, great framerate (140 in eyefinity).

      Playing this in eyefinity makes it 100 times better, with the lights off, real atmospheric, goosepimple inducing.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Dead Space is John Carpenter’s The Thing… in space. Really, The Thing is a classic.

  28. Premium User Badge

    MikeBBetts says:

    I really don’t know why no one thinks the game is scary, and yet it’s giving me nightmares and is too intense to play for more than an hour in one sitting. Guess I’m a wimp!

    • MadMatty says:

      You need to be hardened boy!
      Go rent these movies: Bad Taste, Braindead and Army of Darkness

  29. MadMatty says:

    After the talk of re-use of material, i thought, wouldn´t it be cool if this game had procedural generation of the stations, slotting the rooms and corridoors together in a semi-random manner, like a roguelike?
    Its not as if you need to be a complete genius to write basic Procedural Generation – hell if you made it throught Vectors and algebra in college, i think you might even find it easy going!

  30. Joannes says:

    My two cents are over yonder: link to playthroughline.com