For ages 17+
PC, PS3, Xbox R999, R2,499, R2,999
“Your mom hates Dead Space 2,” was how the game makers Electronic Arts chose to promote the sequel to Dead Space, a much-loved sci-fi third-person shooter video game. EA’s outlandish and controversial campaign involved over 200 mothers who were exposed to footage from the game; their reactions – horror, shock and disgust – were filmed and used in promotional materials.
Most Dead Space veterans typically advise noobs to invest in rubber underwear before venturing out into this bizarre universe. DS2 begins with protagonist Isaac Clarke (a tribute by the game’s makers to sci-fi authors Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke; played by you) waking up in a hospital ward. While your pupils are still dilating to take in the details of a very dark room, you abruptly find yourself grappling with grotesque alien monsters called necromorphs that look part-zombie and part-arthropod. Within seconds, you are impaled and beheaded and need to begin all over again. If you survive the first 15 epic minutes of DS2, you will likely be both hooked and scarred.
The game is not for people with weak hearts and incontinent digestive systems. This is a gore-fest, a hellacious world where you cannot for one minute let your guard down. Around every corner is a necromorph lurking, waiting to decapitate you or drown you in putrid barf. Armed with industrial tools like a plasma cutter, you’re expected to hack your way out of a vast necropolis somewhere in space and destroy The Marker, a religious relic that Clarke believes is responsible for the frequent hallucinations he has of a long-dead girlfriend. Clarke has a convenient guidance beam that can be activated at any point to show you the way to the next objective, which means navigation is a breeze, leaving you to focus on the carnage.
This is clearly a meticulously designed game with the sequences in zero-gravity being particularly impressive. The soundtrack and effects are terrifying and the blood and pieces of flesh being splattered around look very real: get those rubber underpants and crawl in.
By Darshan Manakkal on March 17 2011 6.30pm