Monday, May 16

Dead Space 2 wrapup

Finished Dead Space 2 last night. I played the game on hard (survivalist in the game language) and it's the first time I've done that in a long time. I'd read the game was a bit too easy on normal though and since I'd bought the game I had no reason to go through it hurriedly so I played on hard.

I'm not sure I'm going to play through on hard again. Even with the FAQ guidance (which I was using to make sure I didn't miss any Gold Nodes-the critical components for upgrading your weapons and armor) that game would fucking stress me out.

So I found myself in a hurry to finish the game because I was looking forward to the anxiety being over. If I play it again, it'll be at an easier difficulty level but I may take a crack at other games on hard, because accomplishment is a reward that's nice to have. But the frustration level was, occasionally, a little too high.

That said, reflecting upon the experience; it was only frustrating when I went in without a strategy-or when the strategy would just barely miss. Everything had to be very, very precise at certain points and I tend to be a little sloppy when I play videogames.

It brings me to two points though: First, the end boss.

I felt as though I had very few metrics for whether or not I was actually doing damage and no metric for how effective the damage I was doing was. I realize that health bars are gauche now but I needed something to tell me how effective I was being aside from gruesome death scenes.

Second; at one point in the game you come across a regenerating baddie who chases you through rooms. It ceases to chase you after you...take an elevator.

Really? You couldn't have some kind of system or laser defense or something? This thing survives being sawed into tiny pieces and crawls through ductwork like a snake but the harsh environs of an elevator defeat it?

Aside from that, I rather enjoyed most of it, though it plays more like a bloody horror game than a creepy event that really sucks. Granted, for 15 hours that's a lot of atmosphere to try and keep up on. The occasional splatter is advised-and probably necessary if you want to put giant monsters in the game. When Dead Space 2 is creepy, it's seriously creepy-that those moments are few and far between is alright.

What I really needed was some proper audio. The mindfuck moments have a character-a fairly crucial one-not always properly audible and that's pretty relevant to sustaining the kind of dread that the game wants to put in.

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