There was always going to be a sequel to Dead Space, one of the scariest and most addictive shooter/survival horrors in years, and the good news is that it’s just as good as the original. Once again, you play the role of Isaac Clarke, a humble engineer thrust into the role of warrior against hordes of butt-ugly aliens, except this time you’re suffering from a form of dementia which means that you’re plagued by horrific visions of extra-terrestrial violence, as well as frequent visits from your ex-girlfriend, who happens to be dead.
Beginning the game in a strait-jacket, it soon becomes clear that Isaac has spent quite a bit of time in a medical research facility, only to be woken up from a coma when things get really hairy, and you’re soon running for your life. Indeed, it’s half-way through the first chapter before Isaac gets released from the strait-jacket and is finally able to hack away at those hideous necromorphs. Indeed, the variety of enemies is outstanding – our own personal favourite being the particularly nasty creatures whose projectile vomit causes a rapid depletion of health. Thankfully, Isaac has a wealth of weapons at his disposal, including the satisfying javelin gun and the ability to pick up severed necromorph limbs and hurl them at enemies. All weapons can be upgraded with power nodes as you progress through the lengthy single player mode.
Dismemberment really is the name of the game, and if anything, it’s even gorier than its predecessor, with a variety of grisly ends, both for the aliens and for our hero – save points are vital, and it’s advisable to return to them as often as you can to avoid replaying large swathes of the game.
The sound and graphics are stunning, with beautifully created environments, which are more varied than the first game, and some truly breath-taking set-pieces, including a memorable sequence on a speeding train pretty early on. In short, Dead Space 2 improves on its predecessor without losing the edginess and action that made it so good in the first place, with jumps galore as you step into the breach with legions of things that go slash and bump in the night.