For my second blog about the Underrated games of this year, I’ve decided to go for one that generally did well, but not as well as I believe it should have. It didn’t have as much success as it’s predecessor and I feel that this isn’t warranted. It improved over the original in many ways, the marketing campaign was large and fairly good. (Aside from the movie that came with it, which was frankly a disappointment.) However, even with favourable reviews and a general feeling that it was a great game, it’s fallen into the shadow of other games this year. The game I’m talking about, is Dead Space 2.

Dead Space 2

Image via Wikipedia

The game starts off years after the first, and you’ve been found and deemed insane. In reality, you’re being experimented on and used to help rebuild what you had destroyed. What follows is a story that includes a lot of interesting elements that not only intrigues you, but builds upon the world created. It even has some nods to the movie, which I have to give credit for. The world feels a lot richer and much larger, perhaps because it’s set on a city, and not just one large Space Ship and a station on the surface of a planet.

The story goes on to have a fantastic cast of characters, unlike the first one. You not only see them but interact with them more. Having Isaac speak this time around was an excellent choice, he shows much more emotion and seems more like a real person than just a husk for the player to inhabit. It  also goes on to end in a fantastic way, alluding to the first ending at the same time as having some closure with what you’ve done for the past few hours.

The story wasn’t the only thing that they had improved on from the first one. The gameplay itself felt a lot more refined and frantic. Not only did it make the combat slightly faster, it expanded with much more weapons and armour. The upgrade system was back, giving you that difficult choice between spending a Node to upgrade your equipment, or save to unlock a cache of goodies later on. It even made the Anti-gravity sections a little faster and more fun, allowing you to move around more freely with Isaac’s new armour.

Like many games of this generation, they felt the need to include Multiplayer to the mix, but rather than feel tacked on, it was a great addition, much like Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood‘s multiplayer mode. In a style similar to Left 4 Dead‘s versus mode, 4 engineers face off against many different necromorphs. One team completes objectives while the other tries to stop them. It’s a surprisingly fun distraction from the main game mode and definitely is worth at least trying out with some friends.

If you bought it on Playstation 3 you also got a nice little addition in having Dead Space Extraction for free. A great little Light-gun style game, originally for the Wii, remade for the Playstation Move. Set before the first game it gives great insight to the events that made all of this scary stuff happen in the first place, as well as serving as a set up for Dead Space 2’s Severed DLC.

I highly suggest that if you liked the first game, or enjoy these games in general that everyone buys Dead Space 2. It was an amazing game and one of my favourite rides this year. You won’t be disappointed.