I pre-ordered Dead Space 2 because the PS3 ‘Limited Edition’ included a free copy of Dead Space Extraction and I was lead to believe that supply of ‘Limited Edition’ versions would be ‘Limited’. According to Wikipedia launch date was January 25th, 2011 so I’ve been sitting on this game for over 5 years. The current price on eBay for the ‘Limited’ version is between 5-10 dollars, or roughly a 92% discount. Since performing this calculation I’ve been wondering what kinds of things my 2011 self would have done with that money if I’d waited to buy the game until I was ready to play it. I think the honest answer is that I would have blown it all on some random junk on eBay and my life wouldn’t be any different than it is now but I suppose we’ll never know for sure.
Unfortunately the release of the Dead Space games coincided with the arrival of children in the family so I’ve been unable to play Mature games with any regularity for many years now. I played Dead Space 2 in short spurts for over 5 months sneaking time whenever my wife went to bed early or the kids happened to be elsewhere. Most sessions were about an hour long which was usually enough to complete a chapter (of which there are 15) although some chapters took longer.
I don’t play many games that are especially gory so I was a bit shocked at first when I started the game. When your main character dies the animation is as horrifying as possible. Rarely if ever was my head still attached to my body after an encounter with necromorphs (Space Zombies). Some of the evil space zombies cause you to vomit yourself to death, detonate your body into half-a-dozen pieces or simply impale you multiple times just for the fun of it. I was a bit uncomfortable with the level of gore at first but eventually I became desensitized and began to find the extended death scenes more irritating that horrifying. I died A LOT and some of the death animations are quite long. If I suspected that I was on a collision course with a lengthy death animation scene I would often find a way to kill myself quickly so I wouldn’t be forced to see myself slowly mutilated.
I was constantly out of ammo and health through the entire game. In one memorable scene I had 4 bullets to kill six enemies and no way to restore an earlier save point. Getting through this section alone may have doubled my total play time. After slogging through about half the game I resorted to using a walkthrough so I could find all of the hidden diamond semi-conductors ($$$) and buy some ammo.
Dead Space 2’s gameplay isn’t particularly unique or mind blowing but it is fun. What I’ve always enjoyed most about this series is how your character appears to be going slowly insane while plowing through a story full of wacky cultists and space zombies. Dead Space 2 builds on the story of the first game in a very satisfying way and while I don’t consider this to be one of my ‘go-to’ genres I really enjoyed the game.
The last thing I want to mention is that I think I triggered a bug in the final shootout and somehow managed to beat the game when I should have died. I replayed that last battle many, many times because I rushed the last chapter and didn’t have enough health or ammo left at the end of it to make a decent go of it. I decided one more try and then I’d give up for the night and re-load my previous save and then something weird happened and suddenly the credits were rolling. It may not be the normal way to beat the game, but I’ll take it!
Is it fun: Yes
Length: 18 hours
System: Playstation 3
Genre: Third-Person Shooter