Dead Space 2 Multiplayer Hands-On

Finally, those creepy necromorph babies are playable.

by

One of Dead Space's defining characteristics always seemed to be the sense of isolation and the fear that came from wandering through a derelict ship infested with horrible creatures. Naturally, Dead Space 2 carries this theme into its single-player campaign, but a different sense of fear permeates its new multiplayer mode, which features two teams of four pitted against each other over five objective-based maps. But these aren't just ordinary teams--Dead Space 2's multiplayer specifically pits four members of the Sprawl security team (guys who look like Isaac on the space station built above the Saturn moon of Titan) against four vile necromorphs, and that new sense of fear stems directly from knowing that if you don't really work as a team on either side, you're dead.

We found this out for ourselves at a recent event that gave us an opportunity to get some hands-on time with Dead Space 2's multiplayer mode. But before we get into any of the action, we'll talk about the two teams. As you might imagine, playing on the Sprawl security team isn't all that different from playing as Isaac in Dead Space's single-player campaign. These members have similar weapons and can still use stasis to freeze necromorphs in their tracks for some precise dismembering action. They can also pick up and use health packs, as well as additional ammo dropped by fallen necromorphs. On top of that, having a persistent multiplayer profile means that you can earn points (and eventually gain a level) by killing enemies and completing objectives. Once you've earned enough points, you can unlock additional weapons, as well as new skins, for your member of the security team.

As you can imagine, the freaky necromorphs play quite a bit differently from each other because individual members of the team are highly specialized. The four different necromorphs at your disposal include a member of the pack, a spitter, a lurker, and finally a puker (which wasn't playable at the event). You might remember the lurker from the original Dead Space. This creepy-baby-octopus-tarantula-thing is capable of climbing walls and can fire a projectile. The pack is a similarly creepy-looking baby thing with horrid claws, and its jumping attack makes it particularly fun to play because it lets you latch onto members of the security team and mash the button as you claw at their flesh. The spitter is pretty much what it sounds like--a lanky beast that can spit some sort of horrible fluid from a great distance. It also has a melee attack (as do the other necromorphs), but its best strategy is to stay back and spit away.

The first multiplayer map we jumped into was called Titan Mines where the main objective for the Sprawl security team was to find three components of a bomb, bring them back to a central point, and then detonate the whole thing to escape the area. Of course, that was all easier said than done--the security team member who found the part couldn't run and seemed to move more slowly, making him perfect fodder for the necromorphs. This would be especially true if he had no teammates giving him cover, and even if that player did make it back in time, he still would need to defend the position for a brief period of time before making his way to the other parts.

Live together. Die alone.

Also, keep in mind that the way necromorphs respawn also makes this difficult. When you die as a necromorph, you can not only change the necromorph you're playing as, but you can also specify where you respawn by selecting one of numerous vents in the level. To prevent the whole necromorph team from instantly spawning in a single area, you'd have to wait until the previous necromorph had completely respawned and exited the vent before you could select it. Even then, there would be plenty of other areas to select from that would be within the vicinity of an unknowing security member.

The second map, called Escape, had a somewhat similar objective in that we were trying to ultimately get away from the necromorphs. But this time, we had to activate a series of switches that enabled the escape pods located in a different section of the station. Once the switches had all been activated, we had to make our way down to the escape pod area and get inside before we (and the rest of the Sprawl security team) could claim victory. Naturally, activating these switches required us to stay stationary for a few moments, which again, made us a prime target for necromorphs. But if you've managed to activate all the switches, the most fun from this particular multiplayer mode comes near the end--necromorph teams tend to hang out in the escape pod bay at that point, making the final moments and the path to the escape pods a gauntlet of death.

So far, what we've played of Dead Space 2's multiplayer mode seems to work pretty well. It doesn't have quite the same terrifying atmosphere of its single-player counterpart, but it does supply its own kind of tension through time-limited objectives. Dead Space 2 is currently scheduled for release in January 2011.

Discussion

208 comments
usule
usule

left 4 dead in space...well hope it works!

Stasiss13
Stasiss13

As much as I hope the multi-player is done good, yeah I really hope they concentrate on the actual campaign. The first Dead Space was such a great 1-player game. One of my favorites from the past few years. I can't wait to get this one.

JamesCodelius
JamesCodelius

As great as the multiplayer does sound, I still want the people making the game to focus on the story, because the first Dead Space sucked me in.

donofmy16
donofmy16

omg i was hoping they would do something like this

009Nightshade
009Nightshade

i dont think they should make it co-op story. it will kinda ruin the horror for me. but i have the beta and i love it. they did a really good job

stellamcclurg
stellamcclurg

I'm so stoked they are branching out to different thing's..... but i really hope they get the multiplayer right... too many games are good but lack in multiplayer

ollism
ollism

Loved the 1st one... got me my first platinum trophy. Will be purchasing this puppy the day it comes out :)

spastikman
spastikman

While I'm down with a special co-op story, I will never ever touch multiplayer l4d style. Thats just a pile racist, prepubescent, rage quitting, smack talking children. Its like getting to play with people that make YouTube comments.

Deugar
Deugar

I'm a bit skeptical about this... It seems very much like L4D, which kinda got old after a while and suffered heavily due to rage-quitting. This needs to have some awesome support, and if Valve are struggling with it, I don't see how Visceral Games can pull it off... Hopefully I'm wrong about this though.

Dasteret
Dasteret

This Should definatly have a horde mode type of multi

Sergeant_
Sergeant_

The multiplayer looks fairly interesting, I wonder if there will be hordes that are uncontrollable by players. This would bring back a lot of creepiness from the campaign we all know and love into a section of play where we can all pee out pants with our friends. Because if its 4 v 4 or 5 v 5 with no random enemies to shoot at, it seems the only thing keeping it intense is the unique atmosphere that Dead Space always delivers. Either way, random swarms or not it will definitely be on my Must-buy-list.

bowlingotter
bowlingotter

@NoremaC-_- Co-op single player would kill so much of what makes the single player game so unnerving and frightening. No thanks.

NoremaC-_-
NoremaC-_-

co-op story and then the game is perfect

Crassos_8
Crassos_8

A solid campaign and an awesome multiplayer, what more could u ask for !

Crassos_8
Crassos_8

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Hunterjuggz
Hunterjuggz

This sounds GREAT!! Can't wait to dive neck deep into this, loved the first one! So intense on the hardest difficulty, was truly proud to have that in the few games that I've totally completed.

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

I can'i wait, played the first on and I had a blast playing it it was what RE 5 was missing, this might ba a great Idea for the series. We'll wait to see.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

@maybock3000 - I have to say, I disagree with adding co-op. I like co-op games, but Dead Space is definitely not a co-op game. I personally don't think any horror game should be co-op. Imo, RE5 was hurt really bad by it (even though it wasn't even scary at all) and I don't want this series to do the same. However, I definitely agree with you that it wasn't necessary in the first place :D

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

Like everyone is saying, this is probably going to be a lot like L4D (nothing wrong with that by the way). However, the multiplayer is not needed. Hopefully it won't take away from the storyline (developers have tried to do this in the past and spent so much time in the multiplayer and not much in the single-player...MW2). I hope the game is really scary (scarier than the first would be awesome...and near suicidal for players) and I hope this multiplayer is really cool. This isn't the reason I'm going to buy the game, but it would be a great addition/pass-time if they do it right :D! @gdw0908 - Yeah, my thoughts exactly while reading this :)

neil_2468
neil_2468

Everybody just PLEASE stop comparing this negatively to L4D... Sure the mp has a similar concept, but this ISN'T L4D! Besides, this game isn't only gonna be about mp, it's just there because it can be done. L4D and RE5 needed at least a 2nd player, but Dead Space 2's single player will be great either way, no question about it.

kangaox
kangaox

Visceral Games, what will they rip off next...? They have ripped of Resi4 and God of War... an RPG Final Fantasy rip off I wonder?

joet1973
joet1973

This is what RE5 should have done. A great scary single player experience with an action-oriented multiplayer as a bonus.

Game599
Game599

@ebooknerd1 Mass Effect 2. Although yeah, the first one wasn't an EA game. And I know what you're getting at. Let's just hope the dev team wasn't under pressure to sacrifice the single player campaign for multiplayer.

teethofthesea
teethofthesea

@ the video editor: The background music is too loud compared to the interview! turn down the music a little.

AceOfSpades801
AceOfSpades801

I've never played Dead Space, but with this multi-player feature this has GOTY potential written all over it. But not like it was lacking GOTY potential already.

freddy692000
freddy692000

OMG its will be like L4D but more scary this is a BUY!!!

JMCDS45
JMCDS45

I don't want Dead Space 2 for multiplayer.

jodyben
jodyben

The class system sounds like Left 4 Dead multiplayer.

Rocker6
Rocker6

This is an example of unnecessary multiplayer.

IKillowatt
IKillowatt

Now why couldn't they do this with zombie games? Where you can be a friggin zombie and eat people!! Hopefully this game will start a trend now yeah?

Kalliokoski
Kalliokoski

@crazyjoefound Left 4 dead sucked and the second one was the same f*cking game... get over that crap

gdw0908
gdw0908

I'll allow it... and as long as it doesn't take away from the SP experience I'm down for whatever. This feels like Uncharted 2's experience... just something to pass the time after you play the great SP campaign.

erceze
erceze

I will defidently give multiplayer a chance when I get this game. It looks promising. Loved the first and cant wait for this sequel! Looks awesome

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

@Thatguythatuno Dude I understand you being mad at my comment. But I digress please find me one EA game that the sequel has been as good as the first or even close. It would probably have to be 5 years ago for that one. They are not in the practice of making good sequles. Just shovel-ware. Even if they are taking an epic game like Dead Space. I think this game looks great but I am just going off of EA's record. I have hope for them!! really I do!!

pathaze
pathaze

I'm really excited for this game. I cant wait, it just feels like games these days place multiplayer as a sales safety net. There will be those who play for the story (which will be most) & there is the crowd who truly enjoys multiplayer. If they do it right, this game will be the total package.

maybock3000
maybock3000

I can't wait for this game. Dead Space was amazing, it was like Metroid meets Doom. I don't understand why they felt it needed multiplayer though. Co-op makes sense, but some games just need to remain story-focused.

veritasistdios
veritasistdios

@master_shakexxx If you don't like the idea of playing with other people..... don't. just stick to the single player which is the same creepy horrifying claustrophobic lonesome adventure as before. And don't whine about something being ruined when its not even out yet. How you know?

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

@Master_ShakeXXX - it doesnt destroy anything...only until its confirmed that SP suffered because of the introduction of a weak multiplayer...thats when it may have been destroyed. until then, they very could have done both things properly

Rasputin2011
Rasputin2011

Dead Space is an absolute GEM in my opinion so i'm automatically pumped for the sequel.. I am kinda stuck scratching my head over the addition of Multiplayer to the franchise BUT am not going to bash it until I have tried it out for myself.

Sutton
Sutton

@ Hugo Fahkov : I agree with ya there. HowEVER... Not too many children have probably played Dead Space, unless their parents are mass murderers.

Shinkada
Shinkada

This just sounds like a potentially-cooler version of L4D. If they pull this off well it could be ****ing amazing. I was a bit apathetic about this game as a lazy followup, but this sounds pretty damn sweet.

Master_ShakeXXX
Master_ShakeXXX

I figured it wouldn't take long for EA to ruin Dead Space. Hell, only took until the first sequel as a matter of fact. I don't give a crap if Dead Space 2 ends up having the greatest multiplayer of all time. Dead Space is SUPPOSED to be all about the fear of seclusion, the true horrific feeling of being alone. Adding muliplayer destroys EVERYTHING that the original Dead Space stood for in terms of what it wanted to achieve. It was entirely unique and now it saddens me to see a series with so much potential just devolve into another crappy generic shooter franchise. Dead Space 3 will take place in a jungle and have massive 200 player death matches - OH MY!