Dead Space 2 is violently fun

The main protagonist of Dead Space 2, Isaac Clark, prepares to shoot a Necromorph.

Photo Courtesy of Electronic Arts.

The main protagonist of Dead Space 2, Isaac Clark, prepares to shoot a Necromorph.

“Dead Space 2” is a sequel to 2008’s award-winning “Dead Space,” and it continues its sci-fi horror-themed shooter action. It’s been three years since the first “Dead Space,” and while the core gameplay of fighting off murderous aliens in terrifyingly creepy environments is the same, many improvements have been made. The Necromorphs— the horrible, grotesque, fleshy aliens—are more interested than ever in tearing your head off.

The story takes place three years after the very end of the first “Dead Space.” While the first Dead Space was no slouch when it came to an interesting, engaging narrative, “Dead Space 2” trumps it entirely. There are more twists to the story within the first hour than most games have period. Not to spoil anything, but this time around, not every single side character tries to stab you in the back, so you can actually grow attached to some of them. It’s a nice change of pace, and by the end of the game, you want Issac to have as many friends as he can get.

The voice acting is some of the best I’ve ever heard in a video game, thanks in large part to the protagonist’s voice actor. Issac Clark, the protagonist in both games, is no longer a silent protagonist. Rather than remaining completely quiet as people shout at him to run and fix something, he actually has a sarcastic sense of humor and is constantly frustrated with his situation. He’s superbly acted, and it really brings you into the experience when he curses out a Necromorph as he stomps it to death.

The first “Dead Space” had extremely innovative shooting mechanics, and “Dead Space 2” takes these ideas and runs with them. The biggest problem with “Dead Space” was its lack of variety in environments. Past the middle of the game, a lot of the environments looked extremely similar. Everywhere was just a metallic, spaceship-themed corridor.

In “Dead Space 2,” the environments change dramatically. While the first game took place almost entirely on the giant spaceship Ishimura, “Dead Space 2” takes place on a sprawling space station. Issac travels through a variety of locations within the space station, all of them wildly different and engaging. This variety really made the game feel more exciting and engaging as the story progressed.

Dead Space 2 continues a long-running tradition of a video game sequel being considerably better than its original. Electronic Arts listened to a lot of the criticism that was levied against the first “Dead Space” and actually acted on them.