- Drops right back into the
depressing Dead Space universe
- A lot less backtracking than the original! No turret
- Ability to respec weapon upgrades
- Puzzles are a lot better this time around
- Some really awesome "jump" moments
- Multiplayer: Necromorphs vs.
- Unrelenting gore and hopeless
atmosphere might make for some insomnia
notified of site updates. Sign-up for the Newsletter sent out
E-Mail Address Below:
Score: 9.0 / 10
There's an argument to be made that Dead
Space 2 is more than just dismembering nightmare creatures in a
never-ending splortchy march of exploding heads, impaled flesh, and
insanity, with some light engineering work.
Dead Space 2 is one long comment on how the desires to procreate (i.e.
sex) and extend the reach of humanity have a definite psychological
impact on the whole of humanity.
Case in point, the source of all the problems, the red Marker, is
entwined phallic tentacles. It's a product of humanity's attempt to
reverse engineer true alien
technology. Like so many of humanity's
attempt to control and replicate systems beyond understanding,
deconstructing then reconstructing this alien technology produced
unforeseen consequences. In Dead Space 2 it means necromorphs, beings
assembled from organic matter and bent on assimilating any and all
organic matter in easy reach. This faux Marker can also produce
insanity. It's a destructive
mix. The fact the trouble can be traced
back to a very obvious substitute penis speaks volumes for the deeper
themes associated with the game.
This commentary appears in more subtle ways as well. At one point,
protagonist Isaac Clarke plummets through a debris field, dodging
directly through a big conduit, then a hallway, and finishes by bouncing
through an access shaft. The act of penetration is completely
unambiguous, as is the suggestion that not even if one is doing such
penetration safely (i.e. wearing full, upgradeable space armor) there is
still danger of things going horribly wrong, like splattering into said
In the ultimate example of loss of innocence, Dead Space 2 features
exploding infants. These unfortunate souls explode on impact, and while
their appearance often affords a chance for some strategic necromorph
evisceration, it reminds one of the low value that society seems to
place on life. Life is disposable. Fragile and disposable. Ended with a
well-placed shot from the Javelin Gun revealing yet more sexual imagery.
The issues of politics and religion also play into the events that
propel Isaac through the story, on his own journey of psychological
healing, which just happens to be slathered in buckets of blood. These
issues and subtext are abandoned with Dead Space 2's multiplayer, which
isn't a throwaway feature by any means, there's just less meaning to be
found; it's less open to thematic interpretation.
Dead Space 2 is enjoyable. It's a great action title but it's the
deeper, complicated facets of the game that firmly puts it in the
running for Game of Year, even this early in 2011.