Yep. It’s Awesome

This title already sums it up. Kind of. Dead Space 2 is easily among the most fascinating single player experiences, games ever offered and although 2011 is still rather new, I dare to say it’s certainly one of the best games of this year. There is little else in this genre to compare it with, that is this satisfying. Dead Space 1 was already very good, the difference is, that 2 emphasizes the involvement of the player to a higher degree. Even scenes that could be fully automatic sequences, often expect the player to contribute (though there’s the slight problem that it’s not always immediately obvious).
DS2 is really a pure sequel at heart. Except for some definitive improvements and minor additions everything is the same (which, in this instance, is fantastic). They took DS and went ahead without changing anything that was good (I got even accustomed to stomping on the defeated enemies, because it made me more aware of my surroundings).
I disagree on some statements that the action would be rather nonstop – though it is intense at times (yay!), there are now even new scenes, in which nothing happens (really!) and there can be no thrill, when the player knows for sure no attack is coming (I therefore interpret these stages as a clear method to give the player some time to relax). The scenes I’m talking of are basically a Sci-Fi classic theme – I’m referring to the crawling through tight vents. Isaac can draw no weapon during these moments and having the player fend off attacks while unarmed, is something even Dead Space won’t do (I don’t count scenes which were designed to have Isaac run away for story purposes). Also, like Mass Effect 2 or Dragon Age 2 […] – Dead Space 2 (:D) has now a CASUAL mode, where the game is (very) EASY, but it’s called different. I don’t know why they all do that nowadays, I think it’s quite silly. Actually I believe the DS2 guys played ME2 at some point, because even the new hacking game reminds me of some of the mini-games found in BioWare’s latest ME installment. This is not meant as a negative statement. Still concerning the difficulty, I would also describe another change, the stasis module now recharges on its own, although there are still stasis stations everywhere, like in the prequel. Gameplay was eased by removing the map and enhancing the beacon for all eventualities (now leads to mission goals/shops/upgrade benches).
The game has two plasmacutters now, which only differ in design. I therefore selected the one from DS and left the new model in the shop, I was still used to “the original”.
Part 2 introduces some new weapons, like the Javelin gun, it fires spikes, that can then electrify targets that were hit. Though the idea is good, I put the gun back in the store and stuck with the classics (cutter+pulse rifle). The upgrade options are limited as always and as they should be – therefore it makes sense to carefully select, which weapons are kept throughout the game. Still, they defused this situation a bit, because other than in DS, installed power nodes can be removed/are no longer permanent spent, so different weapons can be tested.
The chapters now just switch, it’s fluent, without a big bang, there are no loading screens anymore. Only a simple text tells this (and chapters don’t have names anymore) and vanishes fast.
The dynamic with text and audio logs was somewhat remixed. There are now less audio logs lying around (and less monsters jump expectably through windows!), but as a remedy, more things are interactive. Museums play audio and even some things are done in video (the explanation how to throw spikes at necromorphs with telekinesis).
btw: Who is still falling for seemingly dead Necromorphs, that just happen to lie in the players’ path? :D BOOM!
The suits are now more diverse, they look different and appear to be made for different purposes, they also grant certain feats (e.g. more firepower for pulse rifles while wearing security suit), so it’s a new suit with every upgrade, instead just the next level.

I LOVED the ending! Couldn’t have hit my taste more. It even rewards people who remember part 1 very well (or well enough). Nice twist and successful inside joke!

(Why does Nicole look different in 2? Different hair, different face… Compare 1 and 2, it’s not the same woman… It’s a weird decision at least, Isaac looks the same…)

PS: This draft was started originally 2011/02/01, I don’t know why I waited months to click “publish”. Undeserved, I hope.

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