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My copy of Game Informer came in yesterday and man what a treat.

Some key points that got me excited from the article.
  1. Issac is back and gonna be leading people
  2. Issac mentally unstable
  3. Issac is gonna have personality and have some dialogue
  4. You won't be errand boy and can send NPC to do menial tasks
  5. Balanced pacing instead of constant pressure of fear
  6. Smoother controls and greater accessibility
  7. Actual control in zero gravity movement instead of just jumping from point to point
  8. Plasma Cutter won't be nerfed, other guns will be more awesome
  9. Online is totally gonna be included
  10. Horde mode and possible L4D versus mode?
  11. Release date, sometime 2010
  12. i excite
I don't know if I like the idea of Isaac being the main character again. It almost feels like a "Bioshock 2" kind of move where its like "yeah i fucking want a sequel BAD... but not like this."

Isaac just doesn't seem like the type to be "taking the fight to the necromorphs," in DS1 he was kind of established as this underdog type character, low self esteem, pining for his GF, etc etc. Even things like his posture and body language lent heavily to how his character came across. Now they're placing him in this General Washington badass "finish the fight" role? Doesn't make sense to me.

And how is NOT having constant pressure and fear a good thing for a horror game? You should be in "turtle poking his head out" fear mode AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

That said, I'm digging the improvements in Zero-G mode, and as long as the multiplayer is a horde/competitive thing and not co-op through the main story, I'm down.
Take it easy there Debbie downer. Don't you think it's a bit presumptuous to judge Issac's characters on things such as body posture and a need to be with the women he loves? Those seem a bit too ambiguous if you ask me. Besides, he was the only one to survive the incident. The only one who could get sht done. While everyone else was panicking, going crazy, getting mutilated, or betraying you, you where the only one who was getting shit done and even the "bad guys" had to rely on you in some ways. I mean it's got to speak volumes on the the minerals Issac is made out of. Of course he didn't escape the incident unharmed as we learned by the end of the game with his mind being twisted and that, is what intrigues me the most. I'm looking forward to them doing some kind of FEAR or maybe Batman Arkham Asylum psychotropic trips. Also, I like their comparison of Issac to Ripley in the Alien films. In the first one they're both kinda at the wrong place at the wrong time, where is in the 2nd one since they where more knowledgeable on what they where dealing with, and took a much more proactive role in surviving which was taking the fight to them.

As for the game not having constant pressure, it makes me happy cause the game definitely made me too scared to keep playing it for stints longer then 30 mins an hour. haha

Looks fucking awesome buttrock.gif

I still think Isaac looks like too much of a badass now, but the game looks great.

Multiplayer Reveal
So I finally beat the game today first play through on Zealot. Overall it was definitely a GG. I thought the single player was lacking something in it's exposition. A certain je ne sais quoi if you will. Since DS2 really has great pacing, and the environment is really huge with some great new weapon additions and new enemies. It seems to do a lot of things right but Something about the story just feels weak to me.

Multiplayer seems all right. Seems kinda like a cluster fuck when all the action is going on and maybe like a good distraction for the weekend but doesn't seem too impressive. I only played like one game though so my experience is very limited.

So what did the rest of you dodes think about the game?
I am in loooooove with this game. I'm on chapter 13 right now on Survivalist, just got the Advanced suit, and i have my Plasma Cutter and Line gun fully upgraded, and my assault rifle well on its way.

Any fears I had about Issac's character being too "bad ass" have been allayed, his descent into dementia through the course of the game is an awesome angle. At first he didn't seem "downtrodden" enough for my taste, but by this point in the game I'm totally feeling it.

You're right about the pacing, its fantastic. Every moment, encounter, and setpiece of the game just flow so smoothly, its hard to find a spot to "take a break". Since there's no discrete chapter breaks this time (like with the train rides on DS1) I find myself just playing for a few hours until its time to go to bed. beigelaugh.gif

The environments are amazing, I love the scale of the space station and the full-3D Zero-G areas, although for some reason its less fear-inducing than the prequel. Maybe its because the enemy is a "known quantity" this time around, so I know what to expect.

I haven't touched the multiplayer yet, but I think I'll be finishing the single player tonight and then diving into a New Game+ on Zealot afterwards.

First GOTY candidate for 2011 for sure though, Visceral has redeemed themselves from Dante's Inferno with this masterpiece.
Yeah I was waiting to beat it to say something. But, yeah this game is freakin awesome. I'm playing on PC because I like to crank the graphics up.

The experience, to me, playing through this game feels like a Universal Studios ride. But, if Universal Studios did a haunted house. The pacing, the sets, the lighting, how each area establishes a certain mood to influence your emotions. Certain parts feel like an action game, where you just mow through enemies. Then others are there to try and jump scare you. And you have the moment that are there just to creep you out. I love it.

This sequel pretty much fixed what I did not like about the first one. In the first one the combat and action felt stiff (bad PC port?), while also feeling secondary to the objective seeking, puzzling completion, and backtracking (which I can no longer stand in these types of games). This one strikes a nice balance, while virtually eliminating backtracking. This game is less scarier than the first, but I think that has to how each area sets the mood. After a while you can tell what they will throw at you just based on the mood of the environment, and sometimes music. Like, all those elevators and being teased with the power being cut, you know sooner or later a necromorph will fall from the ceiling while you are riding one. Day care area, you know just going to get something weird, nothing really jumping out at you (did anyone else feel like they were in Rapture when you get to the multipurpose room?). Long Space Elevator ride with convenient windows as another example. I like the variety here, instead of the game just trying to make me poop my pants.

Graphics are excellent. Though I wish Anti-Aliasing worked through the graphic card control panel. Jaggies stick out like a sore thumb in some parts. These Xbox 360/PS3 multi-platform ports never seem to have it because on the consoles they sometimes can't afford good Anti-Aliasing while still able to maintain a decent framerate and be cross-platform at the same time. The consoles tend to have a blurring effect so you don't notice the jaggies too much. The PC has this "blurring" effect stated as "Anti-Aliasing" option in the settings. But, it just makes edges looked like they are smeared with a thin layer of Vaseline. Which looks like like crap, much like how most of these multi-platform games look like when you playing them in 1080p on consoles compared to PC. I recommend turning this off until driver support/patches offers a real Anti-Aliasing solution. Textures were blurry as expected of a console port, however cranking up anisotropic filtering to x16 in control panel fixed that. Textures are so detailed, and look fantastic at AF x16 compared to default and high settings in the in game options. With the "Anti-Aliasing blurring" crap off, the lightning effects and shadows cranked to max the game looks pretty damn crisp.

While you get better graphics on PC version if you have a decent system, there are some bugs/oversights present. For instance, you cannot get the new game+ goodies. EA acknowledged this on release and is suppose to be patching it soon. We coming up on two weeks now though. Hardcore mode can be cheesed, since a bug allows your save count to reset every time you exit the game.

Also, as of now PC will not be getting the DLC. I don't get why they would alienate the PC user base like that. But, we will see. The PS3 version comes with Extraction. So it seems like the best deal if you are putting down $59.99. I opted for PC because like I said above I prefer cracking up the graphics. I also prefer Mouse + Keyboard controls for these types of games.

Anyway, very good game to start the year off with. This year is looking just great as last year for games.
So I finished the game up yesterday, like I thought I would.

The last boss, while great from a story perspective, was definitely lacking compared to DS1's. There wasn't even a "second form" phase of the fight. I fucking lost my shit on DS1 when the last boss grabbed you and held you upside down and the controls were all backwards and shit, daaaaaaaamn. No such moment in DS2.

I will say the ride from chapter 13-15 is some of the most intense shit I've had thrown at me in a while. Just when you think the game is going to let up, it sends more and more and MORE of the most difficult enemies at you simultaneously, then throws in few guys that are immortal! Definitely puts your dismemberment skills to the test.

The marker construction setpiece at the end was awesome. I actually said "HOLY SHIT THEY DID IT" out loud when I saw they were building a new one. I guess I'm a little more invested in the Dead Space mythology than I had thought beigelaugh.gif . Guess I should watch those animated movies. Also, that part where you have to drill into your own fucking eyeball had me yelling at the TV "OH MAN!", I love when a game can send me over the edge like that. Bravo, Visceral.

Overall, DS2 is a fantastic sequel that doesn't completely invalidate the first game. If anything, it further cements the my opinion that Dead Space is now what Resident Evil wishes it were. Praise be to the new king of survival-horror-action!

EDIT: One more thing I forgot to mention. The lack of "no oxygen" parts in the game, and the fact that the few parts there WERE had absolutely no tension because of a massive amount of free O2 stations hanging around. In Dead Space 1 the O2 parts were tense races against the clock, in this game they're just a minor annoyance. Very little O2-free combat, and usually it was just those stationary spore-pod things. I never felt the need to upgrade my suits O2 at all, and the lowest I ever got on the clock was like 40 seconds. Come on!
So I've been mulling over Dead Space 2 and why I'm not exactly proclaiming it GOTY already and I realized what it is. It's the godamn JJ Abrams create more questions then answers story telling. Not even in the animated films do they ever provide any kind of explanation. Only scenarios and people dealing with it. I didn't mind too much that the original dead Space left a lot of things unanswered cause I realized EA was trying to make this into a franchise and that eventually some point or another there would be ample opportunities to answer some. Also because the series was new they where leaving things vague so that they could come back and touch on it whenever the creative and financial urges felt like it. But what I don't like is them raising far more questions then ever get answered. which is all dead Space 2 does. In fact I don't think any of the mysteries from the first game where ever even touched on in DS2.

Also after spending more time on DS2 multiplayer I come of the opinion that the best way to describe it is as a Left 4 Dead light and express.
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