Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Issac . . . Where Are You Going?

So I just got my first taste of Sprawl.

The “Dead Space 2” demo has been released on Xbox Live and after closing the curtains, shutting off the lights and strapping on an adult diaper I summoned up my courage and dove in.

Oh man – let me tell you what.

The first thing I noticed about the controls were that they were exactly the same as the first game. Not that I expected them to be any different but it was really nice sliding right back into that control scheme. Anything that can help give you a sense of control in the world of “Dead Space” is a big bonus. There were some slight visual changes such as the electronic “bread crumbs” taking on a more curvy appearance in lieu of a rigid line and, of course, changes to Isaac’s RIG.

The second thing I noticed was how much more responsive the melee attacks were. In the previous game, Isaac’s punch and leg stomp seemed really sluggish and not very satisfying. That is not the case in “Dead Space 2” - the attacks are violent and precise with brutal results. Enemies even drop items now after you stomp on them, not after simply dying.

My favorite new gun is by far the spear gun that impales enemies and sends them sticking to a concrete surface behind them. It works seamlessly and can even aid in setting up traps. For instance, I had a lot of fun pinning those Necomorphs with the exploding arm sacks to the wall and then blowing them up as others approached.

Very, very, very satisfying.

The new levitation mechanic is crazy fun and very simple to use. By clicking the left stick you can easily push Isaac upwards, steer him with the right stick and then gently bring him back down with another click of the left. That is going to be great fun to use although I suspect it will get me lost more than a few times.

But what of the big question: is “Dead Space 2” scary?

Well folks, if I could share my sweaty palms and sore throat with you I would but go ahead and download the demo for yourself. Just . . . put a towel under you. The only thing that bothered me was that every time I got frightened in the game it was the result of a jump scare. However, it is only a demo and hopefully the atmosphere of the actual game will be more varied.

Regardless, I'm excited.

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