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Dead Space 2 Second Opinions

What do the other editors think of the return of the Necromorphs?

January 28, 2011


One week ago, IGN gave you its official take on Dead Space 2, a third-person adventure about Isaac Clarke's crappy life, and it was penned by me, the Internet's Greg Miller. Well, believe it or not, I work with a bunch of people who love to play video games. Rather than take my word for how awesome Dead Space 2 is, they actually went and played it for themselves.



Crazy, I know.



Anyway, with their opinions simmering in their brains, I cooked up a Dead Space 2 questionnaire to get to the bottom of what they thought of developer Visceral Games' latest work. Grab your number two pencil, and let's find out their thoughts...





1) Dead Space 2 is ___________.



A) a survival horror game.



B) an action game.



C) a blend of genres.



D) an awesome game. Screw categorizing it.



IGN Editor in Chief Hilary Goldstein: A.



Yeah, it has a lot of action in it, but this is what survival horror is all about. It's moody and creepy and you struggle to survive.



IGN Senior Editor Daemon Hatfield: A.



First of all, every game has action so "action game" is meaningless. It's definitely a struggle to survive in Dead Space 2 and you have to be very careful with how you spend your ammo – especially towards the end.



IGN FAQs Editor Stephen Ng: C.



It's not all survival horror thanks to its variable difficulty and inheritance feature, and it's not pure action. Some of the puzzles were pretty nebulous if you hadn't played the previous game.



IGN Video Editor Patrick Coughlin: C.



It goes from creeping through bloody corridors trying to conserve every piece of ammo to blasting wave after wave of shrieking horrors without missing a beat.



IGN Video Planner Caleb Lawson: D.



Why does that matter? You should play it because it's a great game, not because of how many elements of a certain genre it does or doesn't incorporate. It's a focused, thrilling, brutally gory ride.






2) Dead Space 2 is so scary I ___________.



A) had multiple breakdowns.



B) was fairly creeped out.



C) jumped. Once.



D) didn't even bat an eyelash. The game isn't scary.



Hilary Goldstein: B.



It's more creepy than anything else. I'll never look at babies the same way again.



Daemon Hatfield: C.



It didn't keep me up at night, but there were one or two times when a Necromorph surprise got the better of me.



Stephen Ng: C.



Dead Space 2's encounters were like the ones in Run Like Hell (not a compliment); if there's an empty room, there's either an ambush or it's a prep-zone for an enemy ambush. And since encounters don't change, playing the game on subsequent rounds becomes more of a speed-run than an experience.



Patrick Coughlin: C.



Or maybe twice. The environments can be pretty creepy, but by the tenth time a monster jumps out of a closet at you it loses its shock value.



Caleb Lawson: C.



The biggest area where Dead Space 2 falls short of its predecessor is in its lack of scares. While it maintains the atmosphere quite well, it's too scripted to be poop-your-pants scary.






3) Comparing this sequel to the original, I think ___________.



A) Dead Space is a better game.



B) Dead Space 2 is a better game.



C) they're both awesome and I couldn't pick a favorite.



D) Dead Space 2 was a disappointment.



Hilary Goldstein: B.



Faster, more streamlined, looks better, cooler weapons, a more personal story. Kind of an easy pick.



Daemon Hatfield: D.



Slight disappointment. I still loved it, but not quite as much as the original (even though it may indeed be the better game, from a playability standpoint).



Stephen Ng: B.



Dead Space 2 is a better game. The response times were tightened up, weapons were tweaked, and the meteorite shooting sequences were replaced by something easier -- like the free-fall stuff.

Patrick Coughlin: A.



I liked the Sprawl in 2, but I loved exploring the Ishimura more. I also felt the pacing was better in the original. I liked having very specific goals that needed to be accomplished in each section of the ship before I had to move on. The sequel was more "You are at Point A. Get to Point B. Go."



Caleb Lawson: A.



Although aspects of the gameplay (specifically the combat) have been improved for the sequel, I still prefer the first Dead Space. It does a better job of creating a horrific atmosphere that becomes more bleak and oppressive as the game goes on. Furthermore, Isaac is brilliant as the ever-suffering, silent protagonist. His exhaustion and terror is palpable.




Sweet moonpie!




4) People who haven't played the original will ___________.



A) be lost in Dead Space 2.



B) miss some stuff in Dead Space 2 but be OK.



C) be able to enjoy Dead Space 2 without a problem.



D) be called stupid for missing a great game.



Hilary Goldstein: A.



Sure, you can go around and just kill stuff. Hey, it's a game -- wheeee!!!!! But there's no context for what you're doing and the things affecting Isaac will have no weight to them. Even the starting gameplay is more for a Dead Space veteran than a rookie.



Daemon Hatfield: D.



It's one of the best games of this generation. What the hell is wrong with you?



Stephen Ng: B.



This is what that movie "What happened in Dead Space 1" is for on the main menu.



Patrick Coughlin: C.



But should still be called stupid for missing a great game.



Caleb Lawson: C.



EA has done an impressive job fleshing out the back story and universe of Dead Space in the original game, movies, and comics. However, none of this is really necessary to enjoy the game.






5) My recommendation is to ___________.



A) buy Dead Space 2.



B) rent Dead Space 2.



C) wait and buy Dead Space 2 used.



D) skip Dead Space 2.



Hilary Goldstein: A.



It's a good way to start the year. Still no sexromorphs in the game, but plenty of Necromorphs to cut to pieces. Fun, pretty, and worthy of multiple playthroughs.



Daemon Hatfield: A.



Dismembering Necromorphs never gets old.



Stephen Ng: C.



Buy Dead Space 2 used. As great as the game is, It's still a take-it or leave-it game. You can finish it in 10 to 15 hours.



Patrick Coughlin: A.



It's not as good as the original but it's still a solid action-horror game. Plus dismembering crazy zombie-aliens and then stabbing them with their own arms really never gets old.



Caleb Lawson: A.



The first Dead Space was scary, polished, and very, very good. Expectations for Dead Space 2 have been set high, and it mostly delivers. It ups the action, and tones down the scares, while still providing a fantastic gameplay experience. It has great graphics, some of the best sound design in video games, and is a ton of fun to play. Oh, also, if you can stack up enough corpses in one place, you can literally paint walls with blood by repeatedly stomping on the pile. So, yeah, there's that too.






Eager to have a say in the matter? Answer the questions in the comments below and let the world know what you think.

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