An Improved Sequel but Still Leaves You Unsatisfied
Dementium: The Ward is hailed as one of the best looking games for the Nintendo DS but it does has its misses. Dementium II attempts to correct all the mistakes by listening to all the feedbacks from press and fans alike and put them all together into the game. Taking place after the events of Dementium: The Ward, you once again assume the role of William Redmoor, the main protagonist from the first game who was unnamed and somehow managed to survive the madness from his past experience. He is recovering from a brain surgery operation and is being sent to the Bright Dawn Treatment Center for the murder of his wife and daughter- Elizabeth and Amanda. As he makes his way to his prison cell, all hell breaks loose, giving William an open space to escape and fight his way out of the insane asylum from the hideous monsters that inhabit the facility.
The first Dementium was well received but it was criticized for being a short experience with no save points and low replay value. Dementium II corrects all that by cranking up the gameplay a whole lot more. Save points are everywhere and the game itself is a lot more fun. Players can now hold two items at the same time with the combination of the flashlight and a light weapon. This makes the flow of combat a lot easier since you don't have to switch between the flashlight and a gun back and forth. While the choice of weapons have not changed all that much, the coolest addition is the shank, which is a hand-made blade used effectively for melee attacks. This adds a whole new experience to the game as it's fun to hack and slash the enemy on close range. However, the problem with the shank is that it's too powerful making you rely too much on it that you neglect using other weapons most of the time. The ability to jump and crouch have also been integrated giving Dementium II a serious case of claustrophobic occurrence.
The enemies have been upgraded as well with different sorts of baddies to kill. They come in all shapes and sizes and will do anything to stop you from progressing. Some of the enemies are pretty scary with its haunting appearances and eerie cries. The ones that really made me tingle are the black-shadowy figure with multiple orange eyes and that annoying banshee from the first game. As William Redmoor advance to sanity, the world will constantly change around him making him fight enemies from the real world and the "insane" world. It resembles a lot of like the Silent Hill series where darkness comes in and the surroundings look more vicious and scary.As much as the gameplay is improved, the game itself is surprisingly a lot shorter than the first Dementium even though it was advertised to be much longer. It takes roughly about five hours to complete and once you're done, it leaves you uncertainty whether to play it again or let it collect dust. It's a shame that Dementium II doesn't take its time to elaborate more about William's relationship with his family, his connection with the insane doctor and the surreal truth behind the facility he's in. We don't even get to see his face. Neither the game nor the manual reveal his face in any kind. I know that the game tries to make it as mysterious and cryptic as possible but if you have any idea what the hero looks like, that's just stupid. Even games like Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake have the main character's faces at the bottom of the screen.
The ending is once again very weak and convoluted to comprehend. It doesn't have that satisfying feel to it and if you think that the first Dementium has a lousy ending, well take a look at this one. What a letdown. Another disappointing aspect is the lack of multiplayer when Renegade Kid clearly promised that Dementium II will have one. Instead it has a Survival Mode where you must a stay alive and fight as many enemies as you can. It's a clever concept but it gets old real fast.
Dementium II is an impressive game but not a great successor to the original Dementium. With a game that has solid gameplay and sounds but a ridiculously powerful knife and a poor ending, it's hard to say if the game is worth the wait. It is highly recommendable to fans of the first game and players who want a good Survival Horror game on the go but just don't expect too much from it.
Gameplay: 1 Star
Graphics: 1 Star
Sounds: 1 Star
Replay Value: 1.5 Star
Overall: 1.5 Star
Total: 4 out of 5 Stars