Dead Space 2 Screenshot

I was quite surprised when a copy of [REDACTED] showed up at the office the other day. Totally unrequested and arriving out of the blue, it was a real treat to open the envelope and see what was inside… My excitement didn't last long, though.

Since the game is still under embargo, I can't share any specific info, but I will say that the way [REDACTED] turned out isn't really a surprise considering some of the comments made by people involved in its development.

Honestly, I put about an hour into it before booting it out of my 360 and calling it done. I won't be reviewing it, and I'm pretty glad about that. The thought of having to put more time in is not appealing at all.

I suppose most I can say about it is that it starts off on the wrong foot, the story is quickly shown to be an ignored afterthought, and the general design feels free of inspiration and totally by-the-numbers. If [REDACTED] had shown up two or three years ago, I probably would have been more impressed. As it stands (and based on the hour I played) it seems extremely late to the party.

After putting [REDACTED] aside, I moved on to Dead Space 2. It wasn't high on my list of things to play this year, but I've heard several people say that it was a serious contender as their Game of the Year, and several more say that it's going to be on their top ten of 2011. After getting through about a third of it, I can’t imagine why anyone would think so highly of it.

Of course, it's quite beautiful and very polished. Based on looks alone, it's certainly impressive. However, I've never been a critic that's been easily swayed by graphics. Once the pretty is pulled away, it's basically a predictable corridor shooter that relies heavily on jump scares and back-attacks to get the best of players.

If you read my Dead Space review, then you'll know that I wasn't too high on the first game. However, in comparing the two, I'd have to say that I think I actually prefer the first one over the sequel. Dead Space 2 (so far, anyway) feels like a retread that's heavier on the combat and doesn't significantly change or improve anything.

Like I said, I've only seen about a third of the game so my opinion may change as I get further in, but… I kind of doubt it.


Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been playing games since arcades were a thing and Atari was the new hotness. He's been at GameCritics since 2000. Currently, he's juggling editing duties, being a homeschooling dad, a devoted husband, and he does try to play a game once in a while.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody's looking, and his favorite game of all time is a toss-up between the first Mass Effect and The Witcher 3. You can catch his written work here at GameCritics and you can hear him weekly on the @SoVideogames Podcast. Follow Brad on Twitter and Instagram at @BradGallaway, or contact him via email:

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Mike Bracken
Mike Bracken
8 years ago

I didn’t hate DS2 (well, except at the end — the last level is stupid and plopping you into the final boss fight with shit weapons — which can happen quite easily — is terrible design), but I’m surprised people are talking top 10 and GOTY.

The game has some decent atmosphere, but other than that I’ve mostly forgotten everything (except the annoying things mentioned above) about it.

I don’t suspect the rest of the game is going to sway your opinion any.

Adam
Adam
8 years ago

Dead Space 2 won’t be getting any better if you’re not having any fun so early in the game. In fact, it’ll get worse. But yeah, DS2 doesn’t do anything new, it’s more of an action game to it’s predecessor and it hasn’t learned a damned thing from the first game.Characters are still dull and lifeless while monsters still spawn every two seconds so atmosphere and tension are never given a chance to build. When they make a third game, Visceral absolutely needs to learn to stop spawning monsters every time they enter a room just to try “yet another… Read more »

J.P.
J.P.
8 years ago

[quote=Anonymous]How mysterious!!! I want to know what [REDACTED] is, this embargo is outRAGEous!
[/quote]

I don’t think RAGE is a game that should be judged on the first hour of play (in fact few games should, except maybe sequels or remakes).

I would be surprised indeed if Brad did – let’s wait and see.

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

How mysterious!!! I want to know what [REDACTED] is, this embargo is outRAGEous!

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

For a place that, occassionally, respects others opinions… This blog just doesn’t sound right.

If you didn’t like the first Dead Space (for whatever reason) then would you have expected to like the sequel?

People really enjoy both the games, yet you seem confused as to why. If that’s the case, don’t come out and just spit in the face of the people that did enjoy it. Also, ever heard of a thing called atmosphere??? That is the main reason many love the games, because its very well done in that regard.