Dead Space 2 Is Looking…Lively?

Those of you who are addicted to freaking yourself out via your games console will no doubt all have played the original Dead Space (when Visceral Games were called Redwood Shores) and a certain percentage of you would have picked it up second hand in passing. You heard it was supposed to be the scariest OTS survival horror ever spawned onto a disc, if you were like me, you very much doubted it would even tickle the back of your neck and then 30 minutes into it would have sweat literally pooling at your feet.

Visceral managed to hit a very dark, yet very appealing sweet spot with the first Dead Space. The team have since spoken about how they would very carefully co-ordinate the lighting effects, those horrible horribly spine tingling sounds that echo through the dimly lit and claustrophobic corridors, the placement of objectives, to completely maximise the dread. They seemed to just know what would make me s*** myself, perhaps they all read a lot of Gothic novels ..? I know Dead Space is futuristic, stop complaining.

So when Dead Space 2 was given an official confirmation, and teaser trailers started pumping into the internet and sneaking into this year’s various games conventions, a lot of people flicked their heads round…and a few of them who suffered particularly badly on the first Dead Space, may have spontaneously wet themselves. Messy.

Details on the campaign were the first things to manifest, and it all seems very exciting and spooky, just as we want it. You still play Isaac Clarke from the original outing, but this time he has new weapons, abilities, and a totally pimped up suit. Set on a giant new ship called ‘The Sprawl’ somewhere near Saturn, you will explore the deserted city sized space station and slice up a worrying number of Necromorphs.

From the footage and walkthroughs we’ve watched so far, the campaign is looking to meet the fans expectations with the same blood curling core gameplay and add new features and refine the pieces that needed a bit of adjustment (such as Isaac can now talk…).

Then while we were getting ourselves all worked up and excited about it they dropped an unexpected bombshell: Dead Space 2 will have multiplayer. Yep, if you didn’t already know then head over to YouTube now and check out some of the beta footage. EA and Visceral opened up special access beta a little while ago on the PS3 and Xbox 360 to allow “true fans” to experience this game changing (see what I did there?) feature.

I thought it was going to be a straight up co-op spin off from the campaign, with a smaller pocket sized gauntlet to parallel the single player experience, or even the same levels just with two of you. That would’ve been amazing, I can just imagine sitting in the dark with the surround on, whispering to my buddy to shine his light down that vent… but so far it hasn’t happened. What we’ve got instead is a bizarre 4 vs 4 objective based multiplayer across 5 tiny maps where take turns to be Necromorphs and Engineers. Right….in a horror game you’re letting us be the monsters? Obviously this could work out if they tread carefully, but unfortunately from what I can tell the multiplayer loses all the atmosphere and terror and replaces it clumsily with a gory death pit of respawns and button mashing.

Many of the ‘lucky’ people who got in to the beta shared similar thoughts and we must hope that Visceral are having a good old think about how they can fix this so it doesn’t turn into a bad joke. Some fans reported they enjoyed the multiplayer but at the moment I’m sitting on the fence until more news unfolds. It’s set to release on the 25th of January so there is still plenty of time for them to reveal that dream co-op mode, after all, no one was expecting Dead Space deathmatches.

Are you sold on what you’ve seen so far? Do you completely disagree with me and think that the multiplayer is/was as solid as the regular single player? Do you think it is a complimentary game mode, or a derogatory add-on that should stay out of range of Isaac’s Plasma Cutter?

It’s a big topic so have your say over at our forums or leave a comment below.