8th November 2010 - Dead Space - the original - could be argued as the best survival horror game of this generation, and I would be one to side with it over the more action oriented likes of Silent Hill: Homecoming and Resident Evil 5. It seems to be one of the only genre titles which isn’t trying, and thus failing, to be something its not. Its pure unadulterated horror action, and I love it!
Times a changing however, and things are a changing with it. So to keep up with the high demand of new and cool technologies, Dead Space 2 is retuning with a few surprises under its belt. Still focusing on the horror aspect of the title, yet branching to new heights, the game is bringing with it more sleepless nights and an all-new, crowd-shocking multiplayer mode, and we at All Age Gaming are bringing all the info you need to know to prepare yourselves for some fright-filled late ones with more than a few jumps and stutters!
Scare tacticians Visceral Games seem to be in the know on this subject, really fleshing out the new multiplayer portion of the game as more than just a sale-booster. How? By putting time and effort into creating a great 8-player multiplayer mode rather than siding with just the usual deathmatch-type game modes.
The game comes with a form of unique objective-based maps, 5 of which, to be exact. The play throws 4 gamers into a creepy scenario in which they must follow a series of map-sensitive unique objectives to obtain victory. The 4 human players are given engineers, very similar to the main games Isaac, including his more awesome abilities and weapons.
But with 4 players controlling the humans of the map, I bet your thinking just where do the other 4 players come into play? Good question! The answer of course, comes in the form of a rather devious comparison to genre busting Left 4 Dead; like that series’ trademark infected, Dead Spaces’ multiplayer mode see’s the humans opposing team select from a range of devilish monsters out to make surviving all the much harder for the innocent humans.
What makes this stand out from Left 4 Dead though, is that while that popular zombie-fest is focused on some pure arcade enjoyment, Dead Space 2 keeps the main games doomy and gloomy atmosphere in play, resulting in a high amount of genuine frights if played well and some overwhelmingly distressing environments - all part of the games charm and one of the more captivating features here.
Necromorphs? WHAT NECROMORPHS!?
Its not going too far to give some hefty comparisons to the Left 4 Dead series, is it? Of course not, not when so much is borrowed. But borrowing something is not always bad, no. And if ever in search for a good example, Dead Space 2 gives you that and more! The humans opposing team must choose from 4 special types of Necromorphs (for those not in the know, that’s what the game’s hideous mutant creature-things are called) in which they must use their unique abilities to flank, distract, scare and ultimately bring down the pitiful meat-bags. Allow me to walk you through what’s on offer here;
With a stupid name like that you have to expect the worst right? Well depending on how you look at it, that’s definitely what you get. Perhaps the most basic of the 4, The Pack are the small baby-like Necro’s encountered in the previous game and are some of the most freaky little creatures ever seen in a video game. They can be used to - much like L4D’s Hunter - pounce from shadows and pin opponents as they slowly but surely earn themselves a kill. One notable difference however, is that whereas you couldn’t personally help yourself in L4D, Dead Space 2 allows you to fend off the creepy little things with some rapid button-mashing. Who is the button mashing master? The kill point will reveal all!
These buggers are wall-climbing Necro’s capable of firing a health-depleting shot from practically anywhere they can find foot holdings - and that’s not hard! These guys are quick, nimble and will be able to stalk and launch surprise attacks more effectively than most other breeds. You’ll probably need a good head on your shoulders to make exceptional use of their wall-climbing and jumping abilities - much like the Xeno’s in this years AvP title, but there is no doubt that in a masters hand, these guys are deadly team players.
As the name suggests, our third Necro on the list is capable of doing an act most horrid - spitting. I don’t know what their mothers would say if they seen the way they treat humans, but if they are anywhere near as disgusting as these thing, my guess is they wouldn’t give a damn. These guys are openly similar to L4D’s Spitter class, and not much distinguishes them. That’s okay though, because given the dark atmosphere of the games levels, their ability to charge up a loogie and let’er rip is much more horrifying than a bikini-clad New Orleans lady. Throw in some team-work and these things just became public enemy number 1 for helpless long-range humans.
Now, I wish I could report on this guy, but it seems that Visceral are keeping him under the layers of depth going into this multiplayer experience till a later date. From the name alone, I would needlessly guess some similarities to the unmentionable Boomer from you-know-what, but only time will tell just what lurks beneath a name almost as frightening as its brethren’s fashion sense.
A Risk Worth Taking
So what can very easily be compared to the Left 4 Dead series, as I so bluntly demonstrated, is something which can only be given justice by distancing itself from it. The reason behind this is because while it may be similar, there is so much more going on under the hood that its an entirely different monster. That’s not to say its better or worse - its to say that its different. Dead Space 2 is taking risks including Multiplayer, but with the excellent design of the maps and modes, manages to keep what the series is known for; dark hallways, creepy environments and some very nasty no good Necro’s just aching to be dismembered, chewed up and spat out. Just make sure you use a dental dam, because they’re full of ewy, gooey stuff I personally wouldn’t want within a hundred yards of me.
Dead Space 2 is set to be released worldwide January 25th, 2011.
Preview Written By John Elliott