It’s been a surprisingly excruciating two days as I waited for the game to unlock on Steam while listening with no small amount of envy to the our North American brethren gushing endlessly about how fucking awesome Dead Space 2 is.
Well, I leapt off the bed this morning (having discretely scheduled all other arrangements so I get the whole day off) and… sat through 30 minutes of decryption and installations and registrations. But it’s here now! And so far? Awesome with a capital F.
(PS: Okay, this is the last time I’m using Office to resize pictures, ’cause they look like absolute crap now.)
The greater focus on combat is something I’m enjoying immensely. Unlike, say, the player-characters of the Silent Hill series, Isaac multi-classed Soldier quite well back in Dead Space, and his leveling up also provides one amusing exchange. A support character informs you that the Necromorphs must be dismembered, and which Isaac sardonically replies, “I know. I’ve had a lot of experience,” which boosted my appreciation of his new-found voice.
The animation work is as wonderfully fluid as ever, flowing from one action to another with very little notable hiccups or gaps, matching the more frantic pace of combat and Isaac’s increased mobility. The gameplay is broken up by lots of interesting little set-pieces; my favourite so far is the part where Isaac’s foot is caught as he falls and you have to ward off a half-dozen Necromorphs as you dangle upside-down.
The zero-gravity mechanic has been revamped and Isaac can now puff-jet anywhere he wants, to much fun and bewilderment as I figure out how to get to the objective and plant my feet back on the right ‘floor’. Also, the Stasis Module can now slowly recharges over time, meaning you can save quite a bit of ammo by loitering in safe areas waiting for the recharge, then using Kinesis to damage or immobilise enemies.
But so far, it’s all been very minor issues that are swallowed by the glorious bloodstained murky mess that is Dead Space 2. I’m loving it.