Dead Space 2: A Tale of Two Platforms

I recently had some PC issues (PSU) that made playing games a bit of a craps shoot. Everything could be okay, or the system could just power down at random. With a new, higher wattage power supply en route I decided to dig into Dead Space 2 on the PS3. I've owned DS2 on PC for quite a while, but it's been a victim of the constantly expanding Steam backlog and only really started to stand out with the release of Dead Space 3 just around the corner.

Before I go any further I should state that I adored the first Dead Space. As a somewhat lapsed Resident Evil (haven't touched it since 0 on the Gamecube) fan I appreciated its variation on the gameplay and setting and I just geeked out on the whole thing, top to bottom. Dead Space 2 was another story entirely, unfortunately. While I liked Titan Station and my vaguely Bioshock-esque radio guided journey through its various sectors, I felt like I was constantly under attack by mobs of enemies charging headlong up my large intestine in locked "kill room" scenarios. To make matters worse, I was dying. Constantly. To be fair I suspected that part of the problem might be that as a primarily PC gamer there are some games that I'm absolute garbage with using a controller, but I do think that struggling a little bit with the Dual Shock 3 really only underlined something that was already a questionable design philosophy. Being locked in an area until you've killed every last enemy is well and good if you happen to be playing God of War, but it feels somewhat counter to my expectations for survival horror.

Since I'm nothing if not stubborn, I stuck with the game and managed to make it all the way up to the final encounter, which is another locked "room" sort of scenario, with about nine rounds of ammo between all of my weapons.I hadn't really expected that there wouldn't be some sort of final place to top off before the final fight, but that wasn't the case. I banged my head against it for a while, reloading, using stasis and melee whenever possible, but in the end it just didn't seem doable. I decided that before I closed the book on DS2 I'd have a peek at the PC version. By this point I'd already looked at reviews and found that the game was fairly well-regarded, especially here. I really only intended to go for a few chapters, but I was having a great time in spite of myself, and before I knew it I was halfway through and felt pretty good about finishing it off on PC. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say that my preferred control scheme made all of t he difference since I went into every area and every encounter with the sort of knowledge you can only gain by having been through each of them a half dozen times, dying and learning the patterns. It did make quite a difference, though, and only Chapter 15 was a mild problem due to Nemesis the Ubermorph and some of the environmental challenges.

Go figure, choice of platform matters. Dead Space 2 is alright. I actively hated it on my first playthrough and found a lot to like in my second.

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