I’m pretty sure this was the game where they had a bunch of moms come in to marvel at the grody horror that was Dead Space 2’s various death cinematics and twisted Necromorphs. It was a stupid idea, seeing as selling a game based on blood and gore alone implies weak characters, plot, etc. However, that’s not even true about Dead Space 2. Is it painfully bloody? Visceral Games made the freakin thing, so I would imagine so. But it’s far from simplistic. Let me break things down, help you digest the game.
Isaac Clark is insane. He himself appears a little less insane than he did in the last game, or so I hear, but what would I know? I haven’t played the first game. I’m not pleading innocent to gamer faux pas, I’m just sayin’. He’s crazy because he’s had contact with the alien artifact known as the Marker.
The Marker is an iconic twisted tower statue made of an unknown material. In fact, a lot about the Marker is unknown, aside from the fact that it assimilates biological beings into twisted nasty homicidal walking horror shows known as Necromorphs. They’re fond of long walks on the beach, turning people’s innards to outards, cleaving flesh from bone… You get the picture. You see a lot of them, anyway, but they’re only part of the main focus because of their large presence throughout the game.
The constant focus in the game is Isaac’s dead girlfriend, Nicole Brennan. He claims responsibility for her death after pressuring her to be stationed as a medical officer on the Ishimura ship. Unfortunately, that was the nexus of the first Necromorph outbreak, inevitably resulting in Nicole’s suicide to avoid being assimilated. In Dead Space 2, Nicole returns as a part of Isaac’s growing dementia, a violent hallucination that torments him with guilt and loss.
With all that under your belt, here’s what goes down in Dead Space 2. A second Necromorph outbreak occurs due to humanity creating an artificial Marker from the minds of Isaac Clarke and another medical patient, Nolan Stross. This more volatile, destructive Marker desires to expand and destroy as opposed to the Red Marker which simply wanted to be left alone. Hans Tiedmann, the director of the second Marker’s construction, isn’t planning on letting Isaac’s plan come into fruition. You know, seeing as Isaac really wants to utterly destroying the Marker. Point being, Tiedmann tries to kill Isaac more times than Necromorphs look at you funny, so get ready to think of him as an annoying asshole.
That’s the physical plot, anyway. The ever-present mental plot, provided by Isaac, revolves around him trying to come to terms with Nicole’s death. It’s not the easiest thing, since the Marker is violently assaulting his brain every step of the way with twisted images of Nicole, taunting him with the truth of his guilt. You could look at it as sweet, seeing as he really did and still does love her to death. No pun intended. … Tee hee.
Shit, I didn’t even get to the gameplay mechanics, and we’re near the bloody end. I’ll give you the abridged version, super abridged: Isaac uses a bunch of engineering and mining tools as weapons, like flamethrowers and fusion cutters. Collect energy nodes to upgrade your weapons at Benches, which provides damage, reload, rate of fire, and other benefits. Your life is represented by a vitality readout on the back of your suit, colors ranging from blue to green to yellow to red to dead. You’ll see a lot of the red to dead. Horror over-the-shoulder shooters are fricken good at making you jump and spaz your reticule. All I’m sayin’ here.
It’s a great, great horror game. Get it, play it with all the lights out, feel good every time you jump. Or feel bad when you die horribly when you jump. I mean, horror games are all about the thrill, and Dead Space 2 is far from lacking in that area.