I picked up Dead Space 2 about a week and half ago and currently I am on my third play-through. And that’s not for achievements (trophies for me) or story. Though the game does have a great narrative with great visuals and a fiction that makes you want to read video game novels, it’s that good.
No, the reason I’ve been digging Dead Space 2 is the combat. The original was a third person shooter with horror elements and lots dismemberment of the enemies. Dead Space 2 refines everything you played in the first one and makes its really fun.
In any combat scenario your given three types of ways to deal with an enemy. These three types are not just specific styles but more of a rock, paper, scissor system that you implement. Your choice is based on the enemy you encounter, the number of enemies and the variety of enemies.
Type 1: Guns or SHOOT IT!- Your given a variety of weapons. The ever reliable plasma cutter, the basic pistol type weapon. The line gun that sends a wide horizontal line of energy that takes the feet right under the enemy (it also drops mines). The contact beam that messes enemies up like a high powered sniper rifle with a secondary fire is a good crowd clearer if you’re surrounded. Then there’s the Force gun, the closest thing to a shotgun that clears rooms with a wave of energy. Super effective.
There are many other guns but these are the ones I found the most versatile. Should be noted that four is the max amount of weapons you can carry.
Type 2: Kinesis or Throw Shit at it!- The first game allowed you to move things with the help of the Kinesis module, much like Sylar from Heroes.
This ability felt slow and plodding and was only useful for puzzle solving. By severing one of their claws and tossing it right back at them or knocking them out of the fight and stapling them to the wall ala commando style. In Dead Space 2 it’s the most badass way to mess up enemies.
There are also enemies that have bits of them explode on impact (my favorite are the bomb babies). These guys can be used as helpful room clearer’s when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Another use of Kinesis is the ability to move objects in the environment. From metal poles and brooms that pin enemies to the wall the same way their claws do. To various other boxes and crates that have a varying degree of success. Pro-tip, books are a Necromorphs worst enemy.
Type 3: Stasis or the OH SHIT button- When the chips are down and you just don’t have enough time to shoot or Kinesis all the enemies around you, I’d suggest Stasis. It hits the enemy with an eerie blue glow that slows them to snail speed for a couple seconds. Enough time for the skilled player to dismember and take them down by the numbers.
A throwable container filled with the same blue goo that your Stasis shoots are scattered throughout the game and they freeze enemies for ever longer. It’s great for taking down bigger enemies that require some heavy damage.
One last thing is breakable glass that opens the room you’re in to the vacuum of space. Hitting these will cause you to slowly start to get sucked out till you blow the safety lock located above the broken glass. It’s not used heavily in the game but the 3 or 4 times it does, every enemy in the room is tossed out leaving you with satisfaction at killing enemies in a really cool way while conserving ammunition.
Overall I love the diversity of the ways you can dispatch Necromorphs and hope to see more of this free flowing combat in future games.