Dead Space 2 Update - Zero Gravity and HALO Jumps

Isaac Clarke has a date with outer space here at GamesCom 2010.

As we sat and watched the Dead Space 2 press demo that EA has brought to GamesCom 2010, we couldn't help but think about the name itself. Dead Space. The first game sure did focus a lot on the "Dead" part, what with its mutated alien zombies and the ever-present fear of being torn limb from limb that these enemies tended to instill in the player. But aside from the generally sci-fi setting and a few sequences in which you navigated the ravaged exterior of the USG Ishimura, the game kept you fairly safe from the boundless void of true outer space. In Dead Space 2, you're not quite so safe.

Let's start with some context. In an effort to restore power to The Sprawl, the decaying metropolis on a Saturn moon called Titan, Isaac Clarke has to leave the lunar surface and travel up to a solar array whose panels have become misaligned and are no longer giving energy back to the city. The demo begins with Isaac up on this solar array, complete with an impressive view of Titan far below as well as the vast nothingness of space. It's an ominous view made slightly more terrifying by the fact that Isaac has to jump out into that zero-gravity void to realign the solar panels.

The zero-gravity sequences in the original game were a relatively simple matter of jumping from one surface to the other with nothing to keep you from going from wall to ceiling to floor and back again. In Dead Space 2, it's a much more free-floating experience in which Isaac's new suit--equipped with flaps that act as miniature boosters--lets him maneuver in any direction. The takeaway is that now you can go zero-gravity out in free space, which is precisely what happened in the demo.

Isaac has to float through empty space to fix those solar array panels. This requires zipping around and using telekinesis to get the panels reflecting the sun. The challenge arrives a moment later when it's revealed that a giant, bulbous tentacle-like beast called "The Nest" has formed on the exterior of the solar array station, launching small little explosive projectiles at Isaac. But whether you're calmly floating around or taking on this parasitic monster, the expansive backdrop and muffled audio seem to drive home the sensation of being out in the true void of space.

Even a simple engineer appreciates a good stargazing.

After fixing the station, Isaac jumps into an ejector pod to launch himself back toward The Sprawl. But the vessel soon breaks apart, sending you into a HALO jump of epic proportions. You're literally free-falling through the Titan's atmosphere, dodging the stray chunks of debris that litter this moon's sky. The onscreen effect is pretty impressive, with a truly remarkable sense of speed as you dangerously plummet down to the surface. We won't spoil how the jump turns out, but suffice it to say that Isaac somehow snatches victory from the jaws of being squashed into a human pancake.

The demo wrapped up with a fight against a swarm of necromorph enemies down in a ravaged transportation hub. We've covered most of the notable changes to the controls and combat before, but this fight gave us a chance to spy one of the newer tweaks: how developer Visceral Games is handling loot drops. If you'll recall from Dead Space, nearly every enemy dropped something valuable when you killed it, ranging from credits to ammo and other goodies. Nothing is set in stone just yet, but this latest build of Dead Space 2 required the player to walk up to an enemy and give it a big old boot stomp to get its loot.

Looking at it from two ways, this change could either get very tedious or offer a more rewarding way to collect goods while reducing the gamey look of an enemy bursting with goodies like a pinata the second it dies. Either way, this little tweak seems to be just one of many that show how Visceral is intent on reexamining a lot of the mechanics from the first game to see if they hold up today. Another example: the team is toying with the idea of letting you take an upgraded weapon or suit and reset those upgrades (or "respec," if you want to use proper jargon) in order to explore different weapons that you might not have used before.

Altogether, Dead Space 2 is every bit as impressive as when we saw it at E3 back in June. That demo was filled with an up-and-down pacing that kept us on edge, and it's hard to say the HALO jump here didn't do the same. One of the big questions left is to see how it plays. We're hoping to get some hands-on impressions of the game before it's released on January 25 of next year, so keep checking back for more.

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153 comments
BlackwingRU
BlackwingRU

When people will actually consider leaving the name of the music used in movies in the credits as a part of netiquette? Same music is used in another gamespot interview. I've been looking for the name for several months, damnit, but there is no info in the comments on YT, yahoo, numerouns -tubes and gamespot. The only person that mentioned that he was related to making those videos (TylerW) is ignoring my PMs. FFFFFUUUUU... What's the name of the goddamn song?!

OrNiGhTZ
OrNiGhTZ

Oh gosh.that clarke and his madness of a curosity returns to space again..why doesn't he repell that ship he's on into the sun or a black hole...theres more infestations in that hull..are you trying to get a heart attack .

aaron324
aaron324

@wigman2, I'll agree with that, much scarier by yourself.

KoRniTo
KoRniTo

As long as they keep this franchise as a SINGLEPLAYER experience, I will be playing DS2, DS3, DS69, etc :D

thejunglegod
thejunglegod

this vid shd've had a big SPOILER tag on it....experiencing something like that freefall whilst in game wud've been so kick-ass.......still doesnt ruin anything though.....big big fan of Isaac and so looking forward to this....btw did i see a child mutant at 2:28????

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

First one was an amazing game...and reading this makes me want to go back and play it some more right now! I'm really interested to see how the ending from the first one plays into getting this one going. Bring on some slicing and dicing!

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

?!?!? what a bad trailer ... or what ever it want to be.

CamRaiD
CamRaiD

Dead Space is sic in 3D, i so hope they make DS2 just as good !!

Syvarth
Syvarth

Dead Space 2 is going to be amazing. Dead Space is by far one of my favorite games

Mekkino
Mekkino

@JMCDS45 i did that also, its really satisfying getting the tier 3 engineer achievement

JMCDS45
JMCDS45

I want to Dead Space 2 so bad! I beated the first game 3 times, and the third time I beated it I used only the Plasma Cutter from start to finnish on the Impossible difficulty. It was awesome.

tobelight
tobelight

@benatrix i wouldnt rush , id step back and start chopping legs and heads off. Jus didnt like the no oxygen parts of the game I had to rush through. No problem tho used a cheat code so I didnt have to worry with carrying oxygen made Dead Space better and amazing to me. Hope if oxygen in the 2nd I get me another oxygen cheat

Rasputin2011
Rasputin2011

I shake my head from time to time thinking of the gamers who have yet to experience the first Dead Space.. Absolute "Gem" of a game that is scary and pulse pounding... I am super stoked for Dead Space 2!!

benatrix
benatrix

@tobelight well to be honest if you're surrounded by necromorphs i don't think you'd be standing around taking your time. i'd be rushing.

severe_009
severe_009

The new suit of Isaac looks bad-ass not any more the bulky engineer type...

GOGOGOGURT
GOGOGOGURT

Oops, wrong page. The only reason why I clicked on this is because I saw the word HALO.

cboyuno
cboyuno

after resident evil 4, the combat of dead space felt lacking which is why I never played more than the demo. I still think its a good game, its just not my thing.

xYamatox
xYamatox

@nyte_btye Dead Space 1 is considered one of the best games released this gen. You're issues with the game are seriously your own, considering MANY people had no issue playing it (myself included).

tobelight
tobelight

I played DS on PS3 and it played perfect. Only thing i didnt like was having to carry oxygen. Small gripe hope DS2 keeps the horror feel and if they took out the oxygen it would be perfect for me. Dont like to feel like I have to rush.

trotromiel
trotromiel

@nyte_byte .... pc gamer right? the console version did not have any control issue or frame rate tearing....

nyte_byte
nyte_byte

After experiencing the original Dead Space and the jerky frame rates, sloppy and unbearably crappy controls, neither of which were ever fixed, my hopes are not high.

oajlu
oajlu

i wonder how is its multiplayer going to be like

shadow-crow
shadow-crow

i hope the second coming of Jesus is as a necromorph

melving
melving

Ahhhh....that's what a Halo jump means. Thanks for the clarification silver_wing.

euphoric666
euphoric666

look`s like steve doesn`t like interviews, or just don`t like talk at all. Anyway, game of my life, steve is the man, he should run for president!

Fusco1980
Fusco1980

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

dipak_singh
dipak_singh

The Halo jump is so cool. Just looks like Hollywood style visual effect. I have played Dead Space and it is best horror/survival game ever made, I am expecting Dead Space 2 to break new grounds in this genre. I just cannot wait to play Dead Space 2.

Atombomb1981
Atombomb1981

The Halo jumps looks kind of similar to Kurt Hectic's jumps from MDK & MDK2. It's nice to know such good ideas are not forgotten.

itchyflop
itchyflop

This is a good series i really hope they continue it, its very refreshing to see such a "different" game from the norm!!! good concept and a great developer. A film maybe to accompany the game??

silver_wing
silver_wing

@melving. a HALO jump stands for High Altitude-Low Opening. its a military term for a form of free fall insertion where the parachute is opened at a low altitude

melving
melving

Halo Jump!!?? WOW....even the Dead Space Team has respect for Xbox's Halo. I'm looking forword to DS2!!!

Jackc8
Jackc8

Looking awesome. I just hope they don't shortchange the horror aspect in order to make it more action oriented.

piyush18
piyush18

greaaaattt ..... i want this now/.... yhe halo jump is so cool...

dimis_
dimis_

I'm hoping they do not try to make it more commercial by making it more action-focused, thus less creepy. Something like Resident Evil 5. And also that they do come up with some original promotional materials for a limited edition!

HaRiZ420
HaRiZ420

I cannot wait, the first one was a masterpiece and this one will blow me away. I hope they have for the pc, controls setup like in resident evil 5 for the pc, its fun to plug in my ps2 controller into my pc and play it just like a ps3 game, the last game had crappy controller configuration, i really hope they improve in that area. The game looks great so far and Its prolly going to be the best sci fi game of 2011.

eht
eht

looks cool- i hope not real short- the first game- i did not want to play after i got the silly white suit- it looked so girl like- what soldier would ware white in battle other than in star wars- makes sense in the snow or something.. dead space was 1 of my first 3rd person view games- of the few ive tried- it worked right- no bugs i finished the game- mass effect was glitchy- i didnt finish it.... ds was cool- cant jump up sucks- my fav genre is fps or rps.. ds2 looks good with all the anti grav stuff. might have to get it when the price drops..

wenisman
wenisman

wonder if they will release a demo for this game soon then? it looks better than the first... i just hope we finally get to chop up the cheating girlfriend!

chaos269
chaos269

looks very good i really enjoyed the first one, hope this one is a blast

zymbo
zymbo

Wow..this game is shaping up to be quite good. Previous updates have stated how they are focusing on character and story development. With this update revealing a few new game play mechanics I am quite excited. It seems like the total package.

HellsKing
HellsKing

The ending of the last game made my heart pound so hard, can't wait to see what this offers! :D

maverick_76
maverick_76

This game is looking more and more impressive, I can't wait to play it!

rcignoni
rcignoni

Looks like it'll disappoint after the first.

mrcoleman1991
mrcoleman1991

thats the last dead space 2 vid im watching till release, i wanna have the same wtf factor that i had with the first dead space =)