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Dead Space 2

Ishimura where that came from.

In space, no one can hear you realigning solar arrays. To be fair, no one can hear anything in space, but that's not how it's generally portrayed by videogames or Hollywood. We've always found this strange because, as Dead Space 2 demonstrates, it's always nice and atmospheric when things die down to virtual silence and the only thing to listen to is the sound of your own breathing (and Stanley Kubrick spinning quietly in his grave).

Dead Space 2 protagonist Isaac Clarke is outside because power is down on the ring-like space city known as Sprawl, and this means his friends are in jeopardy - although given that there's another necromorph infection on the go, you'd think that was a given.

He has to navigate in zero gravity between a series of solar collectors and realign them so that the sun's rays can be directed down to the Sprawl to get things back up and running. He can cast off into weightlessness and float about, turning and spinning wherever he likes, providing he wants to go and turn stuff on and carry things around, which always seems to be his vital mission.

He's not alone in the deep, however, as some of those pesky necromorphs are out to get him - namely the big, sack-like Nests, which spit jellyfish-looking sub-monsters in Isaac's direction. Fortunately he is equipped, as ever, with his trusty laser cutter. This makes short work of said monsters, cutting them to bits in the fashion familiar to and lionised by fans of the original. Each shot makes a whumpy, muffled noise. Canon.

Isaac eventually reaches the Nest itself and peers inside at its contorted, human face. Which he shoots, obviously. The timer on his back is heading toward zero now, so he moves toward an oxygen dispenser to extend his lease on life, then fires himself off toward the second and third collectors, which he coolly diverts to the main array while other Nests get stuck in. The array fires a huge beam of energy down to the Sprawl.

Air-locked and loaded.

Isaac returns to the airlock at the centre of the array platform and prepares to descend to the Sprawl himself - but oh no! One of his colleagues comes on the radio and tells him things are getting a bit real downstairs and he'll never make it back in time. Isaac - now with a voice of his own - isn't about to give up, however, so he limbers up in his suit - more angular these days, like a futuristic vision of a medieval knight - and prepares for a videogame favourite, the High Altitude Low Opening jump.

We're seeing one of the game's "Epic Moments", apparently (file that next to Strategic Dismemberment 2.0 from last time), and it's hard to argue with the description. Isaac is fired to earth alongside the huge energy beam. As he hurtles downward you take control of him, swerving this way and that to dodge chunks of debris. Not just chunks either - some are so big you have to fly through them, manoeuvring through tunnels and windows.

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Dead Space 2

PS3, Xbox 360, PC

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Tom Bramwell avatar

Tom Bramwell


Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.