Dead Space 2
The game plays well, with the linear gameplay giving you a few chances to explore (to find items that can be used later in the game to upgrade) but essentially discouraging you from hanging around looking at stuff – due to the ever cnstant danger of the Necros – and keeping you on the mission at hand, forcing you along a pre-determined path through the scariest haunted house you’re ever likely to experience.
The pace never really lets up, and the set pieces – stages along the levels where you can’t continue until you’ve fought off the onslaught of these demonic entities are well timed and add enough variety to keep everything fresh.
But thankfully Dead Space 2 is more than just dispensing a seemingly unending supply of the un-dead. The main protagonist – Isaac Clarke – has apparently been through a similar experience in the first game and is – if we’re being polite – mentally challenged. His internal conversations and hallucinations are like the icing on a cake – they add that extra layer that gives Dead Space 2 a depth rarely found in games.
Add to this the ability to upgrade your weapons and utalise objects – even limbs from your recent victims – as weapons, and you have not only one of the most scary games in recent history, but one that’s an absolute blast to play.
But Dead Space 2 isn’t finished yet – it also has a very well crafted online multiplayer component, which whilst loosing a great deal of it’s freak-me-out nature works well as a team based game with both teams taking turns being humans and being Necros.
It’s easy to call Dead Space 2 the best game of the year so far, because it’s so damned early in the year, but it’s certainly a game that will take a lot of beating and will probably adorn many Top Ten lists at the end of 2011