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Dead Space 2 Demo Gameplay Video and Impressions

Submitted by on Thursday, 23 December 20108 Comments

The first Dead Space was a brilliant game that brought fear and anxiety to another level. If the demo is any indication, the sequel is going to be just as good, if not better than the original. Were you expecting otherwise? Probably not.

If you haven’t had a chance to try the demo for yourself yet, we have a gameplay video that shows you just how exhilarating and terrifying Dead Space 2 truly is. Oh, and Isaac goes a bit crazy attacking babies. Hey! They came after him first!

At the start of the demo, we are given a brief recap of the story from the first game and what Isaac Clarke is up to now. It’s actually quite alarming. It seemed like there was more story in this cutscene than I remember Dead Space ever having in its entirety. That could just be the excitement playing tricks on me though seeing as I only wanted some hands-on time and not a story. I’ll save that for when the game actually comes out.

This demo appears to be similar to the one I saw at EA’s press conference at E3 in June. I knew exactly what to expect, yet everything was still so new and refreshing. The gameplay is identical to the original, although it seems like Isaac’s movement speed has been increased slightly. The button layout is also slightly different, you can reload simply by pressing the Square button now. In the previous game you had to hold L1 and press X. One notable addition is the ability to change the aiming from Classic to Center. I had no idea what this actually did at first, but I eventually figured it out.

The classic setting makes the aiming laser interact with the environment like it actually should. This was how it was in the original Dead Space and it worked wonderfully. The center setting keeps the laser beam static at all times no matter where you’re pointing at. The laser will always appear in the middle of the screen. The easiest way to tell the difference is to aim at a wall up close and then move backwards. I find that the classic setting is far more immersive and less distracting. It’s confusing why the center option even exists, but as long as it’s customizable there shouldn’t be any complaints.

Such beautiful hideousness

The developers at Visceral Games stayed as true to the original as possible in terms of gameplay and atmosphere. Enemies on the ground still reanimate as you walk up to them and you still have to dismember body parts. There are some new tools though, such as the improved kinesis launch which can be used to throw broken blades at enemies. The best one, by far, is the Javelin Gun. This weapon fires a spike into the enemy and sends them flying until they’re pinned to a wall. It’s such a satisfying weapon to abuse and it puts the necromorphs in hilarious situations.

At one point in the demo, you will be introduced to a simple hacking mini-game. Basically, all you need to do is rotate the analog stick until you hit the right spot and press the X button. In this particular sequence, you had to find the spot three times within the time limit or else you receive damage. It felt a bit unnecessary and out of place. My worry is that hacking will break the pacing of the game if overused. Completing the puzzle in the demo, however, did introduce an exciting new mechanic – full zero gravity movement. I was surprised at how simple the zero gravity controls were, you don’t have to relearn the game or anything. Just direct Isaac in the air as you would normally and that’s it.

While Dead Space never actually scared me, there were some somewhat scary situations. I always felt that there was never enough enemies on screen to truly pose a threat, and this is still somewhat true. Until, of course, I was ambushed by babies. They aren’t the toughest creatures to kill, but they are very freaky. From their movement, to the noises they make, it all reminded me of something from Silent Hill. Then there’s the fact that they rush at you in large numbers. It’s very easy to be overwhelmed. That feeling of not knowing what to (aside from running) is exactly what I was looking for in the original but never found. I’m very happy that Dead Space 2 provides me with that anxiety that I’ve longed for. With that said, I still feel that Dead Space is more of an action game in a creepy setting than anything else. They just doesn’t make Survival Horror games like they used to.


Based on what I played so far, I’m very excited for Dead Space 2. It’s simply Deadlier Space and that’s exactly what I wanted in the sequel. In just a short 15 minute demo, we already got to see some interesting enemy variations and new gameplay mechanics that, for the most part, enhance the experience. If you haven’t downloaded the demo yet, do yourself a favor and try it out. If you still haven’t played through the original, you might want to do that before the sequel releases on January 25th (or the 28th in Europe).

As an added bonus, here’s an ultra violent and brutal death scene from the Dead Space 2 demo.