Dead Space 2 Demo Impressions

Merry Christmas Eve Eve, Riddlethosians.

I know “Christmas Eve Eve” isn’t a thing in reality, but I’m making it a thing now. Take note.

Also take note of the fact that I’m actually addressing you now, not my dark and private memoirs. Don’t know how that thing got on the site, but I blame Ethos. Somehow.

That aside. Ignoring the irony of the fact that I’m writing more on Christmas Break week than I have the last two weeks, I’m here to talk about the Dead Space 2 demo, which is available on PSN and Xbox Live right now.  To download the thing, I had to rig a fantastically impractical setup, in which the cords connecting my modem, PS3, and TV are stretched across the room.

A pain, yes, but I really wanted this demo. And the Mass Effect 2 PS3 demo, just for the hell of it. And Warrior Within HD.

But the Dead Space 2 demo was highest on my priority list. It’s my most anticipated game at the moment, and I couldn’t wait to get a look at the sequel. After playing through the demo once, my initial reactions are – unsurprisingly – quite positive.

It’s certainly Dead Space as we know it. The controls, menus, aesthetics, and overall feel of the demo invoke the original Dead Space – but I don’t view this as a bad thing at all. I was amazed at how immersed I became in a half-hour demo.

First of all, the game is still creepy. Sure, it’s familiar, but the atmosphere is still masterfully constructed, just as it was in the original game. Isaac’s voice is very rarely heard – you’re still in dead silence most of the time. And, for the record, Isaac’s voice is hardly offensive when it is heard. Judging from this demo, it seems that Visceral has struck a good balance.

After the atmosphere, the game’s most striking feature is its graphics. Simply put, they are phenomenal. I suppose I haven’t played the original Dead Space in some time, but there seems to be a noticeable jump in quality. Everything shines with a detailed polish I haven’t seen since God of War III  – environments, the hideous necromorphs, and especially Isaac’s Iron Man-esque suit.

Speaking of environments, there seems to be some interesting variation in the locales this time around. The first part of the demo sees Isaac tramping through the same sort of metallic, blood-stained hallways that we’re all used to – but, at one point, you encounter rooms decorated like a religious temple. The demo only gives scraps of dialog and story exposition, so I wasn’t able to piece together the context. Needless to say, I’m anxious for the full game so I can do just that.

Most of the mechanics were familiar to me, but the demo also briefly introduced the new zero-gravity hoversuit segments. It was a painfully short section, and it left me wanting to play around with it more. You might recall, the original Dead Space only allowed you to launch from one surface to another in Zero Gravity rooms. Not so any longer – with the fancy new Jetpack, Isaac can freely maneuver through zero gravity. It’s a lot of fun, and it creates some extremely cinematic camera angles for the action.

The demo is decent in length, but ended far too soon for my liking. Dead Space 2 looks to be covering some familiar ground, yes, but regardless it looks to be another tightly-controlled, atmospheric, and cinematic sci-fi experience. My Christmas is coming a month late this year; Dead Space 2 releases on January 25.

Check out the video below for a refresher course on the Dead Space story. It’s the opening video for the demo, and it’s pretty sweet. Beware of srs Dead Space 1 spoilers, though. I WARNED YOU.

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7 Responses to “Dead Space 2 Demo Impressions”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    PROTIP: Memoirs aren’t private if you post them online.

  2. 7thCircle says:

    When I was a kid I always called the day before Christmas Eve, “Christmas Adam.” Because Adam comes before Eve.


    It seemed funnier when I was 10.

  3. SiliconNooB says:

    A very good point Glenn, Man should always come before Woman.

  4. SiliconNooB says:

    … And frequently they do!

  5. SiliconNooB says:

    What has become of my last two posts? Your spam filter has just snaffled them up!

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