Thrills and chills in second “Dead Space” installment

Thrills and chills in second

Unlucky space-age engineer Isaac Clark fights off hundreds of Necromorphs (aliens) with his trusty plasma cutter.

Sam Mogenson, Staff Writer

Visceral Games brings back the same quality of gameplay that the first installment of “Dead Space” had produced so flawlessly. Engineer Isaac Clark is back and as unlucky as ever in “Dead Space 2” when he wakes up on the spacestation named the Sprawl as the entire ship is being terrorized by reanimated and mutated corpses called Necromorphs.

The action literally starts right when the player picks up the controller. I am not even ashamed to admit that I died in the first 20 seconds of the game because dying multiple times is a natural part of the progression. “Dead Space 2” perfects the balance between action and suspense. As Isaac navigates through the Sprawl, he faces off against more than enough Necromorphs to keep the player interested, and experiences just enough suspenseful moments to keep the gamer consistently freaked out.

Isaac Clark is trapped on the Sprawl, motivated to stay alive by a mysterious woman offering him the cure to his dementia. The player controls Isaac and his trusty Plasma Cutter on his mission to survive. The fighting itself in “Dead Space 2,” unique to the survival-horror genre, involves players strategically dismembering each Necromorph with various weapons and Isaac’s telekinetic powers instead of just shooting every enemy in the head.

The single-player campaign is so exceptional because Visceral Games actually takes the time to develop some character depth in Isaac and his counterparts. This makes easier to connect with each character, adding to the suspense and horror when that person finds himself under duress.

“Dead Space 2” also boasts a brand new multiplayer experience hosted on Xbox Live or the Play Station Network. Each player chooses to control either the humans or the Necromorphs; the humans are assigned an objective to complete and the Necromorphs try to stop them. While fun in theory, the assigned objectives take away from the most fun part of the multiplayer: killing each other.

Visceral Games once again dominates the survival-horror market with the second installment of “Dead Space,” and for good reasons. The quality of the single player campaign remains unmatched by any other game, and the addition of a multiplayer mode just adds on to the hours of violent fun that each player will undoubtedly experience.