Dead Space 2 Updated Multiplayer Hands-On

We take a look at the human-versus-necromorph multiplayer action in Dead Space 2's Solar Array map.

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As outlined in our September preview, Dead Space 2's multiplayer pits the humans of the Sprawl security force against the fleshy, nightmarish necromorphs in asymmetric four-versus-four matches. In these, the human team has a set of story-driven objectives to complete, while the necromorphs need only destroy the opposition, with the sides alternated between matches. Visceral Games introduced us to a new map, Solar Array, for our hands-on demonstration: a network of classically creepy sci-fi corridors and chambers leading toward a solar weapon, for which the humans must obtain and deliver the firing codes.

Solar Array, like the four other locations that will be available for multiplayer in the finished game, is set in a Sprawl location unique to multiplayer. Though the fictional backdrop of the multiplayer challenges fits into the fiction of the main game, these aren't repurposed single-player maps. The humans are armed with the expected plasma cutter weapons, designed for Dead Space's trademark "strategic dismemberment" and equipped with alternate fire modes. The necromorphs, on the other hand, come in four flavours: the wall-walking, lunging Lurker; the clawing, infantlike Pack; the Puker with its charged short-range acid vomit; and the Spitter, with a longer-range acid attack. Sound familiar?

Much is reminiscent of Left 4 Dead's competitive multiplayer, beside the similarities between necromorph species and special infected varieties. Necromorph players can also choose their spawn point from within a free-roaming ghost cam view, though they are restricted to glowing air vents and floor hatches. In the action itself, they can see humans through walls as translucent, glowing blood vessel networks. Unlike in Left 4 Dead, though, the combat is kept up close and personal (and all the gorier for it) in the closed-in industrial spaces of the Solar Array complex. When assigned to the necro side, players can also select which species to spawn in as.

Necromorphs are able to trigger paired attacks: Execution moves that immobilize human foes, leaving them vulnerable to further attacks. A Pack necromorph, for example, leaps onto a human victim and affixes itself to his or her head and chest while the human player hammers X (in the PlayStation 3 version) to free and save him or herself. At the same time, the necromorph player must tap the same button faster for a successful execution. For humans, the level-up system involves unlocking secondary fire attacks for their weapons, such as the stasis freezing effect. Human characters receive points toward leveling for actions beside killing necros, including healing (using a health item heals friendlies who are nearby), rescuing (shooting a necromorph in mid-execution attack), and kill assists.

They're coming outta the goddamn walls.

On the necromorph side, the necros get upgraded abilities--a stronger melee attack for the Pack demon baby, for instance. Health items and ammo packs drop from defeated necromorphs. Although humans also respawn after death, it feels as though the necromorphs are meant to be the more disposable characters, chosen and deployed strategically according to which abilities are most useful at that point in play. In a nice touch of presentation, the necro interface is cosmetically different from the human heads-up display: The necromorph's objective arrow is alien- and organic-looking, with their overlay text font appearing as spiky, scrabbled handwriting as opposed to the human's obligatory sci-fi font.

For many, a multiplayer mode was an unexpected addition for a sequel to Dead Space--a horror game powered by the isolation and vulnerability of playing as a lone human. Visceral will be aiming to convince players its multiplayer offering is more than a tacked-on extra when its game launches in January 2011. Keep an eye on the site for more on the single- and multiplayer between now and then.

Discussion

132 comments
Khatjal
Khatjal

@SBDB Co-op campaign in Deadspace? No thank you! The whole point is survival by yourself in-the-middle-of-no-where... Playing with another person defeats that.

sbdb
sbdb

Again a game with no coop campaign....when do they ever learn....sigh

benboz
benboz

This actually sounds mad.

Agent-M
Agent-M

I can't wait to get to get scared late nights playing this game. I also can't wait to scare people in multiplayer. If only you could see a live video of the actual person your scaring. Priceless!

rockford417
rockford417

I hope the single player experience in not diluted. The solitary horror of DS made is so appealing. Similar to the experience in Demon Souls although Demon Souls is the best most challenging game I have ever played. DS has to be the second most favorite of mine so I have high hopes as I do for Project Dark which is suspected of being the Demons Souls sequel. I just can't wait.

FentonDead
FentonDead

I did play the MP Beta and it's excellent. It's competitive teamplay. That means if one of your team members is screwing around or looking for his/her hand to be held than they will get their butts kicked around. I was kicking around those type of players with my team. It's not an L4D ripoff it's more original and if you didn't play the MP and/or if you did play and just farted around you have nothing to say about it until retail version is out.

ShambyIzaZK
ShambyIzaZK

i think the multiplayer looks interesting bc i loved the versus mode in left 4 dead so i think i mite like this

DIssy15
DIssy15

She's too hot to be interviewing, scared the poor guy pantsless

FrostBox
FrostBox

Cant wait. Deadspace is becoming legend as one of the scariest games out there. I had hoped for a coop 2 player campaign option to make it fun playing late nights with a friend but i guess i cant get everything. Multiplayer seems like a fun idea. Can't wait to be a Squid Baby!

shansss123
shansss123

totally loved deadspace and expecting the same brilliance from this one

Succumbus
Succumbus

It does sound kinda cool. Although DS is supposed to be a sole single player game :/ just like Bioshock. I hope them making a multiplayer hasn't watered down the single player experience.

LilRoss2k3
LilRoss2k3

i'm so ready to play as a necromorph

Korny_boy
Korny_boy

Can't wait for this in the UK, gonna kick some alien butt hole from behind my sofa!

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

@Paladin_of_FIRE well it's like if Jesus copied a dead raccoon.... Jesus is still better ;)

Octopii
Octopii

Even though this game is mostly single player, I'm actually VERY excited to try out the MP. It looks really good.

BombayNugz
BombayNugz

@RaIn285 huh... i didnt think of that man.. if lag is a problem in the MP its gonna suck complete ass than lol

bbdieseal111
bbdieseal111

I like how he calls out games that just rip muit-player from the levels and then close the doors.

Master_cheat001
Master_cheat001

I think Dead Space is an excellent game. But I just love its Single Player. Multi? I don't hold much hope!

vietstyles21x
vietstyles21x

hahaha the way she brought the"connective tissue" comment back made me laugh

RaIn285
RaIn285

Imagine walking trough the dark coridor with a friend.And then a necromorth that was 2 miles away gets lagged and spawns near you all of a sudden lol

santinegrete
santinegrete

Did some fans of the first Dead Space game really asked for this? EA people said so in videos, but I wanna hear any opinnion.

2chase
2chase

space L4D 2 whoa whoa relax, i love dead space.

riou7
riou7 moderator moderator

Looking great :D

NColdhardt
NColdhardt

She has a lovely accent. Dude, shut up! Let her talk more!

Jajathinx
Jajathinx

this guy wasn't a good choice to interview... hahaha he just kept saying "well.....I know people out there would be saying......BUT our game is going to offer......."

luna_chanfui
luna_chanfui

We are born to develop and play games. Chicks wanna join, so they play reporter roles.

xSilentStormx
xSilentStormx

It looks pretty good to me. Dead Space was an automatic favourite of mine ever since I first tried the demo. It was worth every penny when I bought it and I was happy even with no multi-player; the single-player kicks so much ass, there was no need for multi-player. It looks like they know what they're doing... so I'll hold my criticisms 'til I get my hands on this game.

butteman12
butteman12

the girl interviewer is FINE. that is all.

lilflex1
lilflex1

@Sirbobislost do i think i care? it dont matter alot of games fed off of previous 1's do u think i cared about the feedback? no

deadblood2
deadblood2

@DethDrome123 actually they put it in because the community wanted it which means that the majority of the people that sent suggestions wanted multiplayer

GTAPeople
GTAPeople

I'm very disappoint for no show game footage, this show picture only, but I'm not very disappoint to see Jane Douglas as hot video game reporter. Good or Bad I cant see the differences XD. I think Jane Douglas won

Slyster1181
Slyster1181

The MP part of this game reminds me of the old Aliens Online game. Course there are differences but its the vibe I get.

Murder422
Murder422

I think a game that is totally multiplay would be cool...Not exactly a mmorpg...but like in this case what if they just made a huge space station. They then could allow you to play as either side and give the whole online community a variety of huge and difficult missions. Like bring 1 million cases of "insert a word here" to the goal etc. If more people chose the necro's side and the million cases don't get delivered in time then the game evolves down that path. The next set of missions could be delivered via DLC and would reflect humanity's mounting losses like Halo Reach.

Dragonknight0
Dragonknight0

crap i piss my pants again.... dam* you Mr.smith

Pacman_Toad
Pacman_Toad

My life is complete i finally will be able to make other kids crap their pants by performing a necromorph assassination!

DethDrome123
DethDrome123

i dont understand why games need multiplayer all of the sudden. They don't. All they are trying to do is stop ather people from buying other games so that their competitors will fail while the will win

SpacePirate6
SpacePirate6

I really couldn't care less about Dead Space multiplayer. I care a lot about Dead Space's single player, though. Dead Space 1 is one of the relatively few games I've paid full price for since 2008 and felt like I got my money's worth in conclusion. Honestly, the first one was astonishing. It was one of the most tense (and intense) games I've ever played, and the immersion factor was off the charts. If multiplayer doesn't take away from their focus on creating a wonderful game that pays first and foremost attention to giving players a story driven horror thrill ride, power to them. If they make a short/lame campaign and expect the multiplayer to support the entire package, then I'll be very dissapointed. However, I don't think that will be the case :) I predict Dead Space 2 will be an awesome addition to the series :D

shooters125
shooters125

This multiplayer actually sounds like a scary left 4 dead.

XxNaruto77xX
XxNaruto77xX

is it me or does Jane doesn't know anything about the game. Not only that, it seems like she memorizes the questions she needs to ask.. on topic, multi-player is a sauce of the game but single player is the meat of the game.

tasmwill
tasmwill

Gosh, I'm love with Jane. She's so beautiful... I didn't pay attention on the video at all.