A Nightmare on Space Street.

They’re in the vents. The sound of their claws scurrying across the alloy and metal echo throughout the darkened corridor. The primary and secondary power have been cut, and all that’s left are the emergency lights. You wouldn’t be able to see your own hands in front of your face if it wasn’t for the flashlight attached to the top of your weapon. Your sense of sound is heightened by the lack of visibility, as everything you hear raises questions regarding what made the noise.

Suddenly, orange lights begin to flash as an automated voice begins to repeat, “Quarantine in progress.” Shadows dance around the room as they follow the circular motion of the lights of the quarantine, while reenforced steel gates begin to seal off all the exits. The lights flicker slightly, before the room suddenly becomes pitch black. An unfamiliar sound screeches in the room, as you point your weapon in front of you. A warm, rancid breath hits the back of your neck as you slowly turn around…

I have always had a vivid imagination, so when I watch movies or even play video games I have a tendency to imagine myself in that particular scenario. Dead Space 2 has definitely been a challenge for me, though. In the first game, I had the luxury of watching someone play-thru the entire game before attempting it myself. In this case, I don’t. Even after the demo came out, I had my friend Kara play through as much as she could before giving it a shot myself (BLOG).

After the official release and obtaining a copy of the Dead Space 2 Collector’s Edition, I broke it in, and was only able to make it to Chapter 3 before taking an “extended break”. I definitely have to admit that it was a challenge. In my own personal opinion, the very first sequence in the game, the ambient noises, the lighting, and the overall freak-factors where the necromorphs jump out of doors and/or sneak up behind you were terrifying.

Today, slowly-but-surely, I was able to make it up to Chapter 5 in Survivalist mode. There were actually several parts where I had to pause the game just to prepare myself for what might have been around the corner. In some cases there was nothing waiting around the corner, while in other cases the threat wasn’t around the corner, but was on the ceiling, behind me or inside a vent I failed to see.

Having to go through the Unitologist church was definitely not what I expected it to be. Although there were plenty of scenes that made me freak out (including the introduction of “The Stalker” necromorphs) was crazy.

I think one of my favorite changes to Dead Space is the integration of the chapters. In Dead Space 1, the chapter would be complete after you returned to the Tram (a train system that transported you throughout the entire ship). This game, however, seems to be aeons ahead of its predecessor when it comes to the fear factor. It feels like, although I can try to prepare myself for what will happen as I enter a new area, it will never be exactly as I would have expected it to turn out. In this game, it’s also evident that Isaac is suffering from some pretty bad hallucinations, so that manages to play a role in causing fear as well. I couldn’t help, but do some research online, and it seems to be unanimous that one of the chapters is significantly more terrifying than any others. Although I can’t pinpoint the reason why, I have a feeling that it probably has something to do with Isaac’s hallucinations (just a guess).

Aside from all of these factors, I’m looking forward to finally being able to beat this game. I love this franchise for it’s ability to tell an incredible story, while offering smooth gameplay, a sense of fear, and a legitimate challenge. And from what I hear, I have 15 more chapters to go. Here’s hoping I can knock them all out in a timely manner.