Dead Space 2 is more of what you loved in the first game: More dismembering bodies, more freakishly frightening creatures, more zero-G.
Most importantly, it looks like it will still walk a fine line between disturbing horror survival and the action of a third-person shooter.
Dead Space 2 takes place in the expansive mining town of The Sprawl, located on one of the moons of Saturn. Much of what I saw of the game had the now slightly deranged Issac Clarke, working his way through the metal hallways of the space station in a fancy new set of armour.
This time around Issac has a bunch of new weapons and attacks including a Javelin Gun that can be used to pin enemies to walls with large metal spikes and the ability to use his Kinesis ability to turn enemy body parts into weapons.
There are also a whole new host of necromorphs, including a Puker, which can spew vomit at Issac. As with the original Dead Space, dismemberment still plays an important part of the game.
In one memorable encounter, Issac slowed the vomit mid-air with a stasis field and then pulled off the creatures head with a melee attack, but it didn’t kill the Puker.
While the most graphic moments of the demo I saw involved combat, there is still quite a bit of puzzle solving in the game. Better still, developers Visceral Games have really amped up how zero gravity works this time around.
The original game’s zero gravity and vacuum settings were limited experiences that involved a bit of floating and the use of magnetic boots. But in Dead Space 2, Issac’s new suit seems to have little thrusters and flaps built into it, allowing him to manoeuvre through the larger zero gravity areas that seem to be in the sequel.
The demo I watched wrapped up with Issac battling a giant, grotesque spider-like woman that attacked him by shooting tentacles out of its mouth.
The short battle showed off the graphical prowess of the game and the developer’s ability to still create the sort of creatures that are as abhorrent as they are oddly compelling. It also showed just how grisly Issac’s death can be in the hands of a player not up to the challenge.
In this case Issac did not go quietly, first dismembered, then decapitated and finally, eviscerated.
It wasn’t pleasant.
The original Dead Space was released in October 2008. Dead Space 2 will be released on January 25, 2011 on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.