Tag Archive: visceral games

An EA Canada job listing suggests that an open-world Star Wars game is in development at the studio, Kotaku reports.

One of the listings, specifically for an animation director position, mentions that they’re looking for someone “…to help define and deliver on the vision for a major new next-gen open world action game.”

This would make EA Canada the third EA studio to start work on a Star Wars title since EA and Disney agreed to a 10-year licensing deal a short while ago. The other two studios are DICE, which is currently working on a new next-gen Star Wars: Battlefront, and Visceral Studios, which is working on a yet unnamed project that was revealed back in May by their own job listings.

Two other recent listings for Star Wars executive producers, one for EA Canada and another for Visceral Games, are almost identical and could signify a joint venture between the studios. 

EA Canada is best known for its work in developing both the NHL and FIFA sports franchises. The extra hires would make sense for the studio, since it would surely need to bolster its staff to take on another franchise, let alone one such as this (or even to collaborate with another studio, especially with the prospect of this being an open-world action title).

It doesn’t matter, though, if EA Canada is working with someone or alone, Star Wars fans everywhere must be excited by the prospect of multiple next-gen adventures coming their way at some point. Here’s hoping the Force is stronger with this one than it was with Star Wars: 1313. 

Rise and shine

WARNING: This review contains spoilers in regards to Dead Space 3. If you haven’t finished Dead Space 3, you shouldn’t read this DLC review.

After destroying the Marker signal at the end of Dead Space 3, Isaac Clarke and Sgt. John Carver’s fates were unknown. All we knew was that, somehow, they’d survived after Isaac’s voice came across the radio calling out for Ellie conveniently after she rocketed off into slip space. Dead Space 3: Awakened is downloadable content intended to explain just what happened after the Necromoon fell from the sky and crashed back into Tau Volantis—and how Isaac’s still kicking around on that iceball.

The primary problem with Awakened is that it fails to explain anything, is full of loopholes, and asks players to suspend belief far too many times. The story begins with Isaac waking up in an ice cavern on Tau Volantis. When he and Carver realize they’re not dead, they try to figure out how they survived riding a moon into a planet like a cowboy straddling a bull at the rodeo. Isaac’s answer? Aliens. Something on Tau Volantis didn’t want them to die. Even Carver recoils at the idea and calls Isaac crazy, speaking for everyone who’ll play this mess of a tale.

Once our heroes come to their senses a bit, they realize that many of Danik’s men who were stationed on the planet at the end of Dead Space 3 are still around. So, Isaac and John decide if they can steal one of Danik’s ships, they can get back to Earth, and if they need spare parts, they can grab some from the ghost flotilla still orbiting Tau Volantis. Of course, at this point, I’m still trying to figure out how anything survived on the planet so perfectly AFTER A MOON DROPPED FROM ORBIT ONTO EVERYTHING. The ship graveyard, the men still stationed on the planet, all the ships—they should all have been wiped out. Maybe because the moon was made of flesh, it cushioned the blow? Maybe because Isaac is crazy, he’s still just floating in space on life support, and it’s all a dream? I don’t know the answer, because Awakened asks you to just take everything at face value with no explanation whatsoever.

The technical reason why nothing was destroyed is a lot more depressing than poor storytelling—it’s just plain laziness. Instead of creating new levels, the three chapters of Awakened simply reuse sites that Isaac and John have already visited, culminating back on the Terra Nova. At least the locations look a little different at certain points, especially the Terra Nova itself. Danik’s men who survived (but shouldn’t have) have a rift form in their ranks, which leads to some forming their own cultlike church aboard the Terra Nova and deforming their bodies to look like Necromorphs, even though they’re not quite dead—and causing Clarke and Carver all kinds of trouble.

Beyond the story, Awakened‘s other major flaw is that it’s short, even for DLC. If it takes you more than 90 minutes to beat this, hang up your headset because you have to admit you’re just not that good at games. Heck, the end credits are nearly as long as Awakened itself. For $10 (800 Microsoft Points), there’s just not enough value here for that inflated price tag.

Now, my review has been resoundingly negative thus far, but I’d be remiss if I failed to mention some aspects of Awakened that I thoroughly enjoyed once I ignored the flawed logic the story beat me over the head with. Unlike in Dead Space 3, there’s actually a lot of tension here. The hallucinations that plagued Isaac in the first two games return in full force; you’ll be walking along, when suddenly, the screen will flash red and enemies will appear out of nowhere, making the action far less predictable than in the main game.

The red tint may signify that the enemies are only hallucinations—but to Isaac, they’re all too real, so you have to fight them as you would actual enemies, consuming ammo and losing health along the way. Of course, if they’re not real in the physical plane, they shouldn’t drop ammo, health, and items! But the idea that Isaac’s mind is being torn through like wet toilet paper is a theme that the main game sorely lacked, and it’s a welcome addition.

For its faults, Dead Space 3 was certainly a polished experience, and that’s also the case with Awakened. The non-story-related banter between Clarke and Carver is witty and entertaining, and the idea of a crazed space cult onboard a dead ship gives the game an old-school Dead Space feel that most fans of the series have missed—and will appreciate seeing again. I loved the boss battles, new enemies, and the general feeling of not knowing what was around every corner. If Visceral could’ve somehow combined the gameplay found here with the story of Dead Space 3, I think a vast majority of fans would’ve been a lot more satisfied with the final product.

Developer: Visceral Games • Publisher: Electronic Arts • ESRB: M – Mature • Release Date: 03.12.2013
6.5 Dead Space 3 would have been well served to include some of the thrilling gameplay featured here, but Awakened‘s convoluted narrative has far too many absurd plot holes—and is far too short—to be worth anything to anyone but the most die-hard Dead Space fans.
The Good Provides the kind of psychological horror we expected from the main game.
The Bad Very short; backtracking through old levels; too many plot holes.
The Ugly Trying to play with a solid grip on science and logic.
Dead Space 3: Awakened is available on PS3 (PSN), Xbox 360 (XBLA), and PC. Primary version reviewed was for XBLA.

Chills but no thrills

When the original Dead Space broke onto the scene, it was one of the most horrifying new IPs to come out in a long time. Its isolation of protagonist Isaac Clarke aboard the lifeless, planet-cracking spacecraft that was the Ishimura left a lasting impression on gamers as much as the Marker left aboard Clarke’s broken psyche. Not to mention the hallucinations that Clarke experienced blurred the lines of what you were experiencing to the point that you were questioning yourself as you turned every corner.

This terror was quickly ingrained in the DNA of the franchise as it provided some of the most legitimately fear-inducing moments we’ve had in games in quite some time. Then we moved onto Dead Space 2, and although Isaac’s isolation had been diminished and the action aspects ramped up, his hallucinations were stronger than ever and some of the most haunting instances of the series, surpassing even the best of the first game, were had in the nursery and during the sequence where Isaac returned to the Ishimura’s husk.

Now we have Dead Space 3. When this game had been announced, many were thrilled at the idea of what new depths Isaac might fall to. But, then we were informed that the versus multiplayer had been scrapped and in its place was a co-op campaign. The removal of versus multiplayer was not a huge loss, but gamers everywhere were filled with a new and very palpable fear by this news as the terror aspects of Dead Space could be a thing of the past due to the inclusion of a friend serving as a ground to reality in co-op.

Well, the good news is that the co-op was worked in seamlessly to the campaign so that John Carver fits right in with Isaac and the two have the making of a classic duo as they played off each other magnificently. His own unique story only helps flesh out the Dead Space universe and having a buddy there does not ruin any of the game’s major moments. Visceral could not have incorporated the co-op into the main experience any better and kudos to them for not making it a separate mode. The only real problem he may pose is for completionists with no friends out there as you need to play the game through co-op at least once to get one hundred percent. And no, he does not destroy the terror potential of the game as he has his own demons to deal with.

The bad news, however, is that Carver couldn’t destroy the horror of Dead Space 3 because there is no horror there for him to destroy. Yes, it seems that fans of the series’ worst nightmare has come true and they didn’t need to come into contact with an alien artifact for it to happen. Dead Space 3 completely abandons the idea of survival horror and immerses itself in action sci-fi. Only a few cheap scare tactics remain, like Necromorphs randomly popping out of the snow, and a continuing obsession with the thought that a bunch of tentacles makes something terrifying (only scary if you’re a girl in an anime).

Part of the diluted fear factor I felt came from the human cult enemies you sometimes must fight against. Not only do your tactics change as you are now going after more traditional headshots, but you are forced into trying to use cover with one of the most busted cover systems I’ve ever seen because cover functions are added to buttons that already have very specific purposes and it’s hard to tell if you’re close enough to a box to take cover or if you’re going to recharge your stasis by accident. This frustration during these moments took away from any of the frantic feel the game may have been going for. The only good that comes from the human enemies is their leader who gives off a classic Gary Oldman villain vibe that I was really able to get behind the more I saw him.

Contrary to how it may sound, however, Dead Space 3 isn’t a bad game. Not by any means. My desire to be scared half to death and to shoot only undead masses aside; Dead Space 3 is actually probably the most impressive game of the series from a technical standpoint. From the look of the characters and environments to the smoothness of the previously mentioned co-op, Dead Space 3 is an accomplishment in terms of what this game puts on your TV screen. And there is a lot to put on your screen.

One of several major additions to the game this go around is side missions. This removes a lot of the linearity of the first two Dead Space games by allowing Isaac and John to freely explore several of the facilities on Tau Volantis and other places you’ll end up, and easily add another five or six hours to the game should you choose to do them all. Unfortunately, after the first couple, you’ll start to realize that the side missions, unlike the rest of the game, were very cookie-cutter in their design. You enter a new offshoot of a facility, fend off a few waves of Necromorphs, and get a loot chest full of ammo, medicine, stasis refills, and new items to put together at the Bench (more on that in a bit).

So, the action during the side missions may be somewhat one dimensional but at least one other reward you get besides loot is the side missions help expand on the story. More so than the previous two games combined, Dead Space 3 explains so much more about not only the areas you’ll explore in the game, as each main and side mission have their own special story behind them, but also of the universe that Isaac and John occupy. In fact, you learn so much that Dead Space 3 actually could serve as a fine entry point for newcomers to the series, should they be so inclined.

Another great wrinkle in the story and game play this go around is how there is a clear focus on Isaac’s engineering background. It is still lost during most action sequences when he is mowing down Necromorphs, but at least now with the larger array of puzzles and obstacles put before him, Isaac puts his engineering skills to use to come up with solutions that make sense for his character.

We also see the engineer in Isaac come out with probably my favorite new addition to the game, the Bench. Whenever Isaac comes across a workbench, he can take tools and parts he finds scattered about the world to make new or improve existing weapons. Like some mad scientist, you can create hundreds of different combinations that range from just your standard plasma cutter to a flamethrower with an acid tipped rocket launcher attached. You can also craft medicine, stasis refills, and other consumable items at Benches should you have enough raw materials that can also be found throughout the game.

Of course, you can also buy the materials you need for certain weapons through a micro-transaction system if you really need more or are too lazy to scavenge. Although I personally don’t enjoy the precedent that sets considering you’re already dropping $60 on the game to begin with, that becomes an issue of personal preference of how a player plays and I’m not going to knock the game for it being there because I’m sure someone out there will take that shortcut, no matter the costs.

As much as I love the Bench, though, it also created some problems in regards to your inventory system and how much you hold onto at one time. To solve this, Isaac can no longer carry as many weapons as he wants. He is constantly limited to two on his person at any given moment. Weapon specific ammo has also been replaced with universal ammo clips for all your weapons in the game. This is a double-edged sword as it makes sense since you will more than likely create such a hodgepodge of weaponry that it might be harder to find and carry specific ammo for each one. On the other hand, part of the fun of the first two games I felt was managing your inventory and keeping track of everything so you didn’t end up with nothing but a handful of bullets left while surrounded by Necromorphs. It feels like a cheap solution to something that might not have been thought all the way through when created.

When all is said and done, Dead Space 3 is a very highly polished game and there are many great things here to applaud. The storytelling, character development, co-op, graphics, and game play variety are top notch. Several new features like the side missions and the Bench all add unique nuances to the game play not seen in the series before, but also create their own set of problems that don’t seem to have been fully thought through. Dead Space 3’s biggest flaw though is that if you were looking for a good scare, this game will not provide it for you. Whether or not this is a trend the series will follow, we will have to wait and see. But for this particular title for sure, you won’t even have to turn the lights on.

SUMMARY: An enjoyable, highly polished experience that will fill in a lot of the story gaps for returning fans, but if you’re looking to be scared, Dead Space 3 is anything but survival horror.

  • THE GOOD: Expands on the lore of the Dead Space universe more than the previous two games combined
  • THE BAD: Doesn’t even try to be scary anymore
  • THE UGLY: Micro-transactions introduced via the new Bench feature

SCORE: 7.5

Dead Space 3 is available on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Primary version reviewed was for the Xbox 360.

Just the two of us

The first time we had seen Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, we had played an over the top sequence ending with a helicopter crash that would put many action movies to shame. It was also the first time many of us met Alpha and Bravo and saw the Overkill ability in action where, when triggered, it granted our heroes the ability to turn their surroundings to Swiss cheese with gunfire, courtesy of the power of the Frostbite 2 engine of course.

Recently, we got to go hands-on again with Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, and although this slice of game play was promised to be more in line with most of the game’s tone and pacing and not the adrenaline fueled sequence we had played earlier, it still provided us with an interesting look at Alpha and Bravo and how they don’t always have to work together to be effective.

When we started, Alpha and Bravo were making their way through a Mexican cartel stronghold, but events transpired that had separated the two. Bravo was then trapped, downed and bleeding out inside an open courtyard and was fending off enemies left and right. I was playing as Alpha, and had to work my through the stronghold as quickly as possible, for not only was I facing off against other gun wielding maniacs, but was racing the clock to get to Bravo as quickly as possible before he bled out completely. And yes, Bravo can die at this moment forcing you to restart the checkpoint so you had better have your running shoes on.

This sequence was interesting because it showed some role variety for each character, while the Overkill meter also reminded us that these two guys are inexorably linked as each kill either one of us did helped fill the meter for our partners. And a full Overkill meter is always useful when taking on hordes of guys out to kill you. Once I actually got to Bravo and revived him, we then took cover in a fountain and had to clear out the remaining gaggle of hired guns before moving on to a container yard.

In the container yard, a flood of cartel members had us in their sights so we triggered the Overkill ability to turn the crates and other cover many of the bad guys were using into confetti and mow them down with the greatest of ease. We quickly wished we hadn’t been so quick to trigger the Overkill however as after clearing the yard, another helicopter soon appeared over the horizon to makes things difficult for our duo.

The game didn’t penalize us too badly here though as they gave us some cannon fodder enemies with the chopper to rebuild our Overkill. After a few dozen clips into the metal hull of the whirly-bird and she crashed down, again in epic action movie fashion, bringing down a clock tower and a ton of brick red rubble with it.

This wrapped up our time with this new sequence with Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel and in terms of action the game definitely looks to deliver on all levels if this sequence was what most of the game is meant to be like. The game, again powered by Frostbite 2, also looked fantastic, especially when you start using Overkill to destroy objects in the environment. If you’re a fan of co-op and a fan of third-person shooters, then Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel looks like it might a game you’d want to keep an eye out for when it releases at the end of March 2013.

Double Trouble

As frightening as the new Dead Space 3 may hope to be, the thing that most gamers feared from it was the new drop-in/drop-out co-op feature. Many were worried about what having a second person next to them would do for the survival horror aspects of the title. We had a chance to test out this new feature recently, however, and I can attest to the fact that if you thought Isaac Clarke was messed up in the head, just wait until you meet EarthGov Sergeant John Carver.

I was allowed to play as John while another journalist grabbed the reigns of Isaac and we went off trudging through the snow in an unspecified section of the game. The first, and most obvious, major advantage of having a partner popped up almost immediately as we were swarmed by some necromorphs and with two weapons unloading at the same time, we made short work of the twisted creatures. Once we moved inside and out of the cold though, the differences in our experiences started to come forward.

It seems that John Carver has some demons haunting him, much like Isaac, since as we entered the base the walls were adorned with Nutcracker inspired toy soldiers. At this time we were told to look at our partner’s screens and both myself and the person I was playing with were shocked that only my screen had the toy soldiers. A shared play experience with singular hallucinations was definitely an interesting twist as players who communicate well with one another could actually freak the other person out depending on what other surprises the Visceral team had in store for us. And indeed the toy soldiers were not the end of our different game play experiences.

After dispatching maybe a dozen more necromorphs who had crawled out of the vents, we approached a door that only Carver could open. As I laid my hands on the door though, Carver was transported to a world within his mind with children taunting him and shadows clawing at him from all directions, doing monumental amounts of damage. Meanwhile, my partner simply saw my character suddenly spasm and start freaking out as the Carver on his screen was screaming in agony with his hands over his temples. And necromophs love nothing more than screams of torture and torment as a swarm of them came out of the walls.

While I was fighting (mostly running) from John’s demons, Isaac had to make sure neither of our actual bodies got torn to shreds. If I escaped from my moment of insanity, I could help Isaac clear out the necromorphs, but should I have succumbed to my demons, the game would be over and we’d have to start a checkpoint just before my craziness started. I know this, because I did succumb several times before realizing it’s better to run from the demons than fight them.

After finishing our short hands-on time, I can say that the personalized hallucinations and detailed back-story that John begins to exhibit have definitely renewed my faith in the co-op mode for Dead Space 3. The fact that Visceral took the time to fully develop and craft a story for this character lets us know that there is a lot more going on with John Carver than what we’ve seen and what kind of a survival horror game would it be without a few surprises? Knowing that you can play a role possibly in scaring the other player just as much as the environment or enemies around you is a great idea and one that will make me want to play the game through a second time for sure. I only wonder now what special moments may be in store for Isaac that leave John wondering just what is going on inside his partner’s head.

Psychosis Never Felt So Good

Originally Published: February 26, 2011, on my StrongProtector account on GiantBomb.com

They may not be able to hear you scream in space, but I need to start this review by apologizing to my neighbors, because here on Earth I think most of my apartment complex heard my piercing wails of fright while playing Dead Space 2. And although not the longest single player campaign, my gameplay experience was spread across several more days than usual for me because I could only make any significant progress while the sun was up.

Now that I’ve thoroughly embarrassed myself and admitted how much of a wuss I am, let’s look at the next chapter of a series that, if it hasn’t already knocked Resident Evil off its “king of survival horror” perch, it surely has with this masterpiece.

Dead Space 2, developed by Visceral Games and published by EA, takes place three years after the end of the first game and Issac Clarke, our unlikely engineer protagonist from Dead Space 1, finds himself aboard the Sprawl, a space metropolis built into a large shard of what’s left of Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. Of course, we as the player know where Issac is, but he’s as confused as can be because when the game opens up he is strapped down to a gurney and in a straightjacket. Only amidst the chaos caused by some very familiar looking creatures can our hero free himself and start to make sense of the situation he currently finds himself in. A situation in which Issac will find that he must not only confront the horrors of a new Necromorph threat, but also the deep scars left on his psyche from the Ishimura incident of the first game.

From the opening cut scene and sequence, which may be the most intense first 15 minutes ever in a game, to Issac muttering swears under his breath as he curb stomps fallen Necromorphs, Dead Space 2 is one of the most engrossing gaming experiences you can find. This game simply reeks of atmosphere and the painstaking detail that went into each level and experience you come across is evidence of that. From the distorted shadows thrown against the cold steel walls by flickering lights that make your heart feel like its going to jump out of your chest to the sound of dragging claws and inhuman screams in the ventilation ducts that make your skin crawl, there wasn’t a moment in this game that didn’t have my pulse pounding. And to complete the full immersion into the game, Dead Space 2 has some chilling mood setting music and great voice acting from everyone involved, whether Issac himself or the dozens of audio logs you find scattered across the Sprawl that help fill in the details of what has transpired over the past three years.

These details are really where the horror comes from. Man’s most base fears come from what he can’t understand and the unknown, and you become so immersed in Dead Space 2 due to the tremendous detail in this game that, even though it’s done in the third-person perspective, you feel like you’re in Issac’s shoes as you round every corner and explore each nook and cranny of the now desolate and abandoned metropolis you find yourself navigating.

But atmosphere and looks alone do not a great game make. No, what puts Dead Space 2 into an elite class is that it combines that great storytelling and atmosphere with creative gameplay, tight controls, awesome weapons, and some unreal monsters. Not only do a lot of the standard Necromorphs from Dead Space 1 return like your tri-tentacled babies and razorfist regulars, but since this is a sequel and you have to follow the unwritten rule of going bigger and better and now there are monstrous brutes, pre-pubescent packs of marauders, and my personal new favorite, the Stalkers. The Stalkers look and act like the raptors from Jurassic Park as they always attack in packs and use bait and run tactics. The only other thing you would need when they appear is Bob Peck whispering “clever girl” whenever they decide to pounce.

New enemies though mean new weapons to help dispatch them as well. You have some old favorites returning like the Line Gun, the Flamethrower, and the Ripper that simply mow down all who come in their path, but now you also have new goodies like the Javelin Gun. The Javelin Gun is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a gun that shoots spears and is a testament to the physics system of Dead Space 2 as you can send Necromorphs flying across rooms and impale them against the wall like frogs from your high school biology class.

A big upgrade between Dead Space 1 and 2 is the larger variety of experiences you encounter, especially in terms of the zero gravity situations. Whereas in the first Dead Space, there were a lot of zero gravity rooms that you would traverse by aiming and leaping from surface to surface, now your suit has thrusters attached to it which gives you the feel of actual 360 degree zero gravity combat as you move around aiming at Necromorphs who just love launching themselves at you like undead missiles. There are also new environmental hazard situations to maneuver through as well as full level segments in deep space as you work your way through various areas in and around the Sprawl.

The biggest addition to this chapter of Dead Space though is of course the inclusion of a multiplayer that seems to be heavily inspired by the Left 4 Dead series. Lacking a traditional versus or deathmatch mode, the multiplayer consists of two teams of four players each, one team comprised of a variety of Necromorphs and the other a team of humans. The humans are tasked with completing a series of objectives as quickly as possible while the Necromorphs must work together and take advantage of their ability to utilize their surroundings like crawling in ventilation ducts to prevent the humans from finishing their objectives. As you continue to play, there is a leveling up system that comes into effect that will allow you to purchase new weapons and their secondary fire abilities. Unfortunately, the lack of mode variety and small teams means that this multiplayer is nowhere near as dynamic as it needs to be and feels as if it was a late add-on to an absolutely stellar single player campaign.

Of course the more things change, the more they stay the same. Dead Space 2 has the same controls as the first game and is one of the smoothest third-person shooting experiences you’ll find. The static camera glued to Issac’s hip might take some getting used to, but is necessary due to the return of your HUD being displayed on your back showing your stasis, health, and oxygen levels as you travel around the Sprawl and face off against the Necromorph threat. You can still carry four weapons at a time and can upgrade only the items you’re carrying at benches scattered about the Sprawl as you put Issac’s engineering skills to the test. The game is also very linear and this may turn off some fans, but considering how much this game will make you jump, it is probably better for those out there with heart conditions that there aren’t more dark corners to explore. There are also five difficulty modes, with the Hardcore mode only being unlocked after beating the game the first time, ensuring that you completionists and achievement whores out there will need at least two playthroughs to get everything in this game.

When all is said and done, Dead Space 2 is everything you want in a sequel. Bigger and better weapons and enemies, it brilliantly forwards a compelling story arc started in the first game, and pulls you into the experience to the point that you feel as if you’re in the main character’s shoes. The only person I would not recommend this game to is someone who hasn’t played the first game due to it being referenced on many occasions and so to them I say go buy both Dead Space 1 and 2 right now.

Ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best.

Graphics: 9.5: A few minor glitches here and there with dead Necromorph bodies is really the only problem I could see with the look of the game, otherwise this is simply brilliant looking.

Audio: 10.0: What makes Dead Space 2 so creepy is the fact that you may not see enemies for long stretches of levels. But you can always hear them. Everywhere. And this combined with some great voice acting by all involved makes the audio simply top notch.

Gameplay: 8.5: Some would say the gameplay gets a little repetitive by the time you work your way through the game’s 15 chapters, but there were always enough thrills to keep my mind off that. My only real complaint about the gameplay is that I wish it was longer since you’ll probably blow through your first playthrough of the game in a dozen or so hours and with so many new and great experiences added to this sequel, it was sad to see it end so quickly.

Plot/Plot Development: 10.0: A perfect combination of forwarding the story from the first game while also spinning a uniquely entertaining and thrilling tale of it’s own, Dead Space 2 is the epitome of what you’re looking for in a sequel’s plot.

Replay Value: 7.0: The new multiplayer system was really disappointing with only eight players allowed at once and only one mode of play. It seemed cobbled together at the last minute and although does work on many levels, isn’t entertaining enough to bring you back for more when other AAA titles hit the market. At least for all the fellow achievement and trophy whores out there, the game will require at least two playthroughs for you to get everything if you’re insane enough to take a go at Hardcore mode.

Overall (not an average): 9.0: You want every sequel to be bigger and better than the previous and on every level Dead Space 2 delivers that. The multiplayer seemed unnecessary after seeing how it was implemented and I’d have rather of had two or three more story chapters. Despite this, Dead Space 2 is a must have for any third-person shooter fans out there, although I recommend playing the first game in order to truly appreciate just how great this game is.