The existence of Dead Space 2 is a bit of a Cinderella story. The only survivor of EA’s 2008 push for new intellectual property, the Dead Space franchise already sports four games, despite only moderate financial success. Dead Space struggles (much like the game’s hero) against a market filled with mindless multiplayer shooters – lumbering zombie games drained of their emotional impact, stamped out in cookie cutter yearly productions.
Thankfully, Dead Space 2 mostly resists the downfalls of a cash-in clone and advances the deeply personal story of protagonist Isaac Clarke as he and the world around him devolve into madness. Players familiar with the story of the original game (and/or its Wii prequel) will feel very much at home with this outing, but it still makes a good jump-in point for anyone who passed on Dead Space. The universe established in the previous games, animated movies and tie-in novels is expanded right away in Dead Space 2: Isaac awakens from delirium to discover himself committed to a medical facility on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.
Dead Space 2 wastes little time bringing you up to speed on the events of the past. From the moment the game begins, Isaac is moving to survive. I entered into the game expecting the usual build up of stress, or some triggering event that launched Isaac into this latest crisis, but the game surprised me by offering none of that.