Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dead Space 2


While I was flicking through the various videogames I've yet to play, I apprehensively tugged Dead Space out of its sleeve, wondering how much I was going to regret a decision that was sure to convince me that I was a very girly coward.

I haven't been frightened by many media arts. A few movies, and one videogame series has done the trick: Fatal Frame.  Silent Hill was a little spooky, but only Fatal Frame, for reasons unknown, has actually spooked me enough to where I couldn't play it alone in the dark... at least not without turning on a cheat where I couldn't die. (I find it strange that it helps)

I have heard that this game is somewhat terrifying. KT told me that she so far hasn't been able to play it alone. Of course, she also struggled with Bioshock, so I wasn't sure about counting her as a credible fear source ;). However, I was still worried that the game's reputation might prove correct, and I would soon be in an embarrassing situation involving Jason finding me curled in the corner of the couch, all the lights in the apartment on, jumping at small noises and grumpily rambling about being such a sissy.

Turns out I am.. so far.. not a sissy.
The game is quite spooky, but not in the way that gets to me.

I've played about an hour and a half of it now, and I am very pleased with it. The gore is fun, and the creatures are terrifying. I'm hooked by the story, and the gameplay has so far not caused me any discontent.

The overall gameplay is, for the most part, generic third-person shooter style.
However, everything else isn't generic. They took innovative strides to make the HUD very integrated into the game. No fullscreen menus, no disembodied displays.. everything is generated within the world. Your health and action bars are on the player character's back, the menus are a holographic display coming off his wrist.  It is very immersive and aesthetically attractive.

They also try to immerse everything from weapon creation to stores. Most everything makes an attempt to not break your immersion in the story, which is very appreciated.

The art is very pretty... If you can call writhing human bodies vomitting blood and bile everywhere while pulsating monsters rip through their flesh, only wriggle into their skin and wear them as puppets pretty... which I can.

The lighting is used very well to create a spooky aura. In several cases, all of the lights are taken away from a scene, and you're left with only your flashlight to find your way. In other cases, dramatic stationary lights are used in a strategic manner to throw specific spooky shadows: giving you a terrifying warning that something is sneaking up on you. Its very reminiscent of Bioshock, which is another game that did a spectacular job setting up lighting for their advantage.

I will write more on it later on in the game, I just have a headache and thought I'd take a break to try and let it wear off. Unfortunately, this isn't helping, so I'm just going to watch Bones until it ebbs.

[TLDR] So far, so good.


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