Thanks to EA we were given access to their multiplayer beta a few months back and I feel it’s safe to say that while it’s certainly not perfect, the soldiers versus Necromorphs multiplayer is far more than a last minute add-on. TJ was left with a “hmm, eh, well alright” feeling while I left with a surprisingly strong love for what I was able to see in the limited beta.
You should know, assuming you don’t already, that the demo for Dead Space 2 is out now and it shows off a bit of the game’s single-player side. You should also know my Xbox 360 measured it at a solid 1.23 GB so if your internet is as slow as mine I recommend clearing some time on your undoubtedly busy schedule to slap that thing on your hard drive. Go ahead and do that now, don’t worry about me, I can wait. Done? Well that was quick, now let’s talk about it. Let me paint the scene for those of you who haven’t had the chance to get your anxious hands on it yet. After a cinematic that gets you caught up on all the goings on in the first game you’re immediately thrust back in the capable shoes of Isaac Clarke. You then have the chance to explore what looks like a series of long-term sleep chambers, frozen in a thick coat of ice. We only get a quick tease of one of the more exciting additions to the game, but it’s enough to have me psyched to see what they do with it in the full release.
You see, after the events in the first game Isaac’s understandably a little traumatized, and this has led to some psychological issues that include (but hopefully aren’t limited to) hallucinations. Isaac’s deteriorating mental state is something I’m very interested in seeing more of and specifically how they implement it in the game to make the scares more unpredictable.
One of the major improvements this demo showcases over the original is the better variety in the locations you’ll be exploring. One minute you’re in a frozen room with hidden nasties waiting to pounce out of the supposedly empty tubes ordaining every wall and the next second you’re in a massive chapel with ornate walls, floors and large stained glass windows. It’s a major improvement over the broken down hallways the original offers.
From the short amount of time I’ve spent with the multiplayer and now the single-player, Visceral Games looks to have inspected every aspect in the game and changed it for the better. One of my many gripes with Dead Space was the tank-like controls, and I’m glad to say these are no more. No longer do you have to wait between performing stomps, which can now be strung together so you can unleash a succession of floor kickassery. Not enough for ya? You can also execute melee attacks in a far quicker fashion, and more importantly, they actually do something now. Oh, and the strafing speed has seen a slight increase as well, so that’s good.
Near the middle of the demo (it lasts about 15-20 minutes) you are given the chance to try out the game’s new and improved Zero-G exploration. Now Isaac can maneuver himself with his snazzy new suit, which I’m guessing can be upgraded to grant him that incredibly cool ability to fly faster than a speeding bullet, but alas, the demo only lets you experience basic Zero-G piloting.
Throughout the demo you’ll be introduced to a handful of the Necromorphs you’ll be encountering in the final game, some we’ve seen, many we haven’t (unless you’ve been keeping up to date with all the news that is). You also have a brief encounter with a boss who must be dispatched in a similar way that one of the recurring enemies in the first game required. Without giving too much away, the demo ends with a rather terrifying encounter with a loud creature at the end of what looks like an incredibly painful fall.
In the end, the Dead Space 2 demo is everything a good demo should be, it shows off many exciting features the final product will have and successfully gets us amped up for the game its advertising. The demo is a sampler platter, if you will, and a mighty tasty one at that.