>Dead Space 2

>I feel the need to apologize to Dead Space 2.  It’s supposed to be a scary game, but I was never, ever scared.  But I think that’s my fault, not the game’s.  I think.

See, I played it on the easiest difficulty setting.  As I never finished the first game, I was more concerned about making sure I actually finished the game and saw the end of the story than anything else; but I think that because I removed a great deal of the challenge, the stakes were never all that high.  I finished the game in a little over 8 hours and aside from a few jump-scares, I never really felt any dread

The thing is, now that I’ve finished the game, I suppose I could go back and play it again on a higher difficulty setting; but what’s the point?  I explored the hell out of the game on my first go-round, so it’s not like I would see anything different.  I’d simply have less ammo, less health, and tougher monsters; that elicits a big fat “meh” from me. 

Indeed, the more I think about it, the less impressed I am with the game than I was when I was actually playing it.  The game is atmospheric as hell, and is certainly a lot more colorful than the original – there were a few sections that reminded me a bit of Bioshock, actually, and I mean that as a compliment.  But when I think about it now, I realize that there’s a great deal of backtracking, and most of the city environments aren’t really all that interesting, and the story never really did anything for me. 

But, of course, I never finished the first game, so a lot of what DS2’s story beats focus on didn’t necessarily resonate with me.  It’s too soon in the game’s life to start dissecting the story without totally spoiling it, so I’ll just say that the main character’s frequent hallucinations (not a spoiler) and primary motivations didn’t really mean anything to me. 

Ultimately, though, regardless of the difficulty, a game needs more than just monsters spawning behind you in order to be scary.  DS2 does a lot of things right, but it’s missing something vital.

Author: Jeremy Voss

Musician, wanna-be writer, suburban husband and father. I'll occasionally tweet from @couchshouts. You can find me on XBL, PSN and Steam as JervoNYC.

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