Dead Space 2 Impressions

[UPDATE] EA offers up a peek of its next horror title at the publisher's E3 2010 press conference and finishes off the demo in Sony's press conference.

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EA wasted little time answering the show's biggest question at it E3 2010 press conference today. That question being: Can a man survive being attacked by a vicious swarm of toddler space zombies? As it turns out, the answer is yes--but only if you're Dead Space 2 protagonist Isaac Clarke.

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Viewers were treated to a short but action-packed demo of Dead Space 2 at today's press conference courtesy of executive producer Steve Papoutsis. The demo kicked off with a tour through a Unitology church, the cultlike organization that played a role in the original game's zombie-alien outbreak on the USG Ishimura mining vessel. Now, however, the game takes place on The Sprawl, an infected metropolis on one of Saturn's moons. In the demo, Isaac walked through an ornate and highly decorative church with red carpeted floors and colorful glass windows. Though it wasn't quite the art deco majesty of BioShock, this environment certainly contrasted with the gray and brown spaceship corridors of the original game.

Isaac managed to survive an encounter with a swarm of necromorphs, including giant spiderlike creatures, those aforementioned toddler zombies, and a few of the standard blade-armed baddies from the original game. One of the highlights of the combat was one of the new pieces of weaponry called the javelin gun, a tool that fires a spear at your enemy and pins it to the wall for an instant and especially gruesome kill.

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After dealing with these alien beasts, Isaac walked up to a window, which gave a stunning view of The Sprawl skyline, a burst of orange horizon colliding with a patchwork of crumbling buildings. However, what appeared to be some sort of ship quickly approached and shot out the window, sucking Isaac toward the vacuum of space. After frantically scratching at the ground for a bit, Isaac managed to pull open a hatch and tumble through a darkened chute down to a blood-stained room below. And, of course, that's when the giant necromorph boss showed up. This cliffhanger was finished up with two bits of information: the conclusion of the battle will be shown at tomorrow's Sony press conference and the game now has an official January 25, 2011, release date. Expect more from the show during the next couple of days.

UPDATE

As promised, Electronic Arts finished their demonstration of one boss fight from Dead Space 2 at Sony's press conference. Isaac found himself in a window-lined room when a hovering ship flooded the screen with lights. A vacuum began to suck him into the space abyss, and Isaac clutched helplessly at the floor to keep from being thrust into the oxygen-free ether. At the last moment, he grabbed onto a trap door and hurled himself to the floor below before being apprehended by the mysterious ship.

Once in the interior of the building, a new nemesis presented itself. This one was far more organic and aggressive than the sucking ship: a mutated monster. This grotesque beast flailed its many limbs trying to kill Isaac, tearing down pillars, floors, and ceilings with its formidable strength. At one point, he grabbed hold of Isaac's foot and dangled him above the ground like a rag doll. He slammed him once into a pillar before Isaac had the wherewithal to shoot the glowing appendage.

After blowing the creature's arm clean off, Isaac was dropped onto the floor again. Not wanting to mess with the hideous monstrosity, he bolted down a dark hallways as fast as he could. But once again, when he reached the dead end, a window-lined room greeted him with a hovering ship anxious to start the battle once more. The vacuum once again initiated, Isaac's attempt to grab onto the ground was in vain. He broke through the glass into the dead space, and with his new environment came a muted sound that made the explosions sound like dull thumps.

The battle ended there, but it was certainly a thrilling way to tease players anxious to play through this impressive-looking sequel. Keep your eyes on GameSpot for futher updates to this survival horror game.

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