Surviving The Sprawl: Dead Space 2 Demo - First Impressions
December 21st saw the necromorph outbreak begin on Xbox and PS3 as the long awaited Dead Space 2 (EA and Visceral Games) single player demo went, if you'll pardon the pun, "live".
How is it?
WELL ... It's got its REALLY good points and some kinda low points.
If you've never played Dead Space or Dead Space: Extraction, don't panic. Dead Space 2's opening scene gives you all the information you need to know in the form of a really well told, well illustrated backstory.
After that, it's 'game on'.
The tutorial menu is kind of a pain as you can't just run through the entire menu at one go before really getting into the demo, meaning you have to keep going BACK into the menu after you do ONE tutorial action. Boo. The "locator" function is great, though you'll use it a LOT...as there is no "map".
There are some really fun things you get to do during the demo, like stomping on necromorph corpses in order to loot them. There's a ground-shaking "WHOMP", a burst of blood splatter and body parts, then voila! Money, ammo, or health packs are yours. The sound effects are BANANAS and the demo has quite a few jumpworthy moments that will make you either involuntarily scream "AHHH!" or your fave curse word.
What I love about this demo is that even though you KNOW where something's gonna pop out, it's even worse because you know what it is and how BIG/how many will pop out, and all the terrible, high pitch screeching roars from the necromorphs make your adrenaline pump and your heart race. I actually heard myself saying "I wanna go home, dude; I don't wanna be on The Sprawl anymore!" while laughing and swearing every time I was surprised by a creature or a stupid hissing steam pipe.
"Normal" is the only difficulty available in the demo so if you've never played Dead Space before and are easily frustrated, be prepared to say your favorite swear word around 300 times (mine is, of course, "fuck") during the amount of time it takes you to get through the demo. Average time from start to finish seems to sit right around 20-25 minutes.
My only other real complaint is I wish they would be a little more thorough on instructions or give better hints. This will be your biggest pain in the ass the entire demo.
You get a single instruction but are not really told what to do with it or that the "puzzle" has a time constraint, and the fact that you have to aim at it with your weapon (without actually USING it) in order to do the task is a little frustrating. But the trade off here is that you get to battle a boss in the demo and get a sneaky peek at another ... I'm cool with that. Not to mention how much really cool shit there is to look at and there's one certain checkpoint that'll make you stay there for a bit just to look around.
So if you view the entire demo as a tutorial itself and just keep playing it over and over - you'll be ready for anything when the game drops next month (January 25, 2011) for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
The demo is available for download now on Xbox and PSN, but sorry, PC darlings ... there will be no demo love for you; and while I think that kinda blows, think about all the modding and stuff y'all will be able to do that we console kids can't!
Final verdict: visually stunning, scary as fuck, and WELL worth your time.
For more info about Dead Space 2, hit up the official Dead Space website.
Hey, good lookin! I'll be back for YOU later! See you in January, Mr. Clarke.
- Crix Lee
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