I love Dead Space 2! Oh, I have to write more? Well, unfortunately I haven’t had enough play time with Dead Space 2 to give you a worthwhile preview but I was fortunate enough to be invited to the launch event hosted by EA on Friday and had so much fun I thought I would share it all with you lovely people!
So there I was walking down the back streets of London trying to find the venue, a church of all places, for this grand event that showcased one of the most anticipated games of the year and I was getting royally lost. What I would’ve done for Isaac’s guiding device but Google maps would have to do. After walking around for a while, I finally saw a familiar face, Isaac! Yep, they had a guy welcoming you dressed in Isaac’s iconic suit and also wielding a replica Plasma Cutter, which was pretty darn cool. After snapping a few pictures with my space hero, I stepped inside a dim lit room where there were rows of Xbox 360s and Playstation 3s, a stand with iPhones and iPads and a table with piles of Blu-rays and books – I had no idea where to start!
As most of you have come to this article to find out anything you can about the game before its release, I thought I better begin by telling you my thoughts on Dead Space 2. The single player is pretty much the same as the original, which is no bad thing, and has you playing as Isaac once again. Not much is known about the story but all I am allowed to say is Isaac finds himself somewhere else in space where necromorphs seem to have turned up and it’s up to him to save the day and his sanity.
The game does a really good job of easing in new players to the series but at the same time refreshing the controls for those of you who haven’t touched the original in some time with a very immersive tutorial. Once the first chapter is complete, you are able to purchase different weapons, upgrades and other goodies and start getting back into the true gameplay that Dead Space was so revered for. The menu system is also the same as the original game but has been polished as have the character models, ships and space stations you will be visiting.
This time around Visceral Games decided to implement a multiplayer mode and although it has received mix views from the gaming community I can say I had a blast playing it with the folks at the launch event. For those of you who have played Left 4 Dead’s Versus Mode, this is essentially what Dead Space 2’s multiplayer mode is. On one side you have a team of soldiers who must complete a task such as, get a power generator back online, while a team of necromorphs tries to tear them to pieces by spawning from the ventilation shafts spread out around the map. The multiplayer felt really fresh and when playing the soldiers you still had that feeling of what could be lurking around each corner. The necromorphs seemed easier to play as you can choose from a variety of different species every time you respawn but if you have good team work you can quite easily win.
The iPhone/iPad Game
I know we don’t usually cover iPhone and iPad games but I have to put a small mention in because the Dead Space game is amazing. The graphics are the first thing I’d like to talk about because they are simply jaw dropping for a handheld device, and I couldn’t believe I was actually playing the game at times because it just looked so good, especially on the iPad, where at times the textures were on par with early Xbox 360 games. The controls are also very easy to get to grips with as you use your left thumb to move around and right thumb to look around with the camera. A simple tap with the right thumb brings up your weapon and then tapping again fires it. Any objects in the game such as doors, switches and things you can pick up can be interacted with by simply touching them which made the game really immersive.
I won’t say much more but if you own any of Apple’s handheld devices, I strongly suggest you pick this one up because you will not be disappointed!
The Novels, Films and Soundtrack
Also showcased at the event was the Dead Space novel by Brian Evenson, which delves into the lore of Dead Space and reveals some of the origins of The Marker and the events that led up to the tragic fate of The Ishimura. Next to the novel we got to see the graphic novel by Christopher Sly, which tells the story of the Magpies, a group of space pirates, and their discovery of the abandoned mining ship, The Ishimura. With a variety of different art works covering 100+ pages, Sly’s graphic novel tells a fantastic story and makes a great addition to the ever growing Dead Space universe. They were also showing off Dead Space Aftermath, which is a sequel to the first Dead Space animated film, Dead Space Downfall. At the event was Hollywood star Christopher Judge who is voicing one of the characters in the animated film and he said it was a pleasure to work on such a great project.
Well that’s about everything that shown at the event except a brilliant performance by Jason Graves, composer of the Dead Space 2 soundtrack, who conducted a piece with the help of four members of the Royal Philharmonia Orchestra. I had a really great time at the event and meeting all the people behind the Dead Space universe was a real treat. It’s hard to describe everything that happened in full detail but I hope the little bits of information I have given you in this article will help build the excitement for the release of Dead Space 2 when it’s released in the UK this Friday, January 28th.