Every once in a while—not often, but once in a while—I come up against a game which is in a genre I enjoy, has great graphics, sports a decent plot, features a good system of upgrades, and contains a fair amount to do and see and yet which completely fails to capture my imagination. For one reason or another, and it's not always something I can put my finger on, while I end up admiring the title for all that it does right, while I appreciate the title for all the effort that is so clearly evident in it, I am just not captured by it the way so many other games capture me. It's this exact reaction that I've had and have been considering with Dead Space 2.
Please, before you start ranting and raving in the comments down below about how Dead Space 2 is one of the greatest videogames in years and perhaps the best one we'll see in 2011, let me be clear – the game does a ton right and if you enjoyed the first one (or any of the other Dead Space titles), you're almost certainly going to like this one. As a sequel, it's not all that original (and even if it wasn't a sequel it wouldn't be all that original), but I think it's a really well put together title with, well-spaced upgrades and save points and more than one spot that will make you jump. The problem is that after about an hour or two playing it I just didn't care what was coming, I just wanted to reach the end so that I could be done.
The story picks up three years after the first Dead Space, with Isaac Clark in a mental hospital in The Sprawl (it orbits Saturn) trying to come to grips with what happened on the Ishimura in the original. It's a task that Isaac has had some issues with, especially as the doctors in the hospital have been running some sort of freaky experiment. As the game opens though, what you know is that Isaac has been in the hospital and that now there are Necromorphs everywhere.
That leads to a whole lot of running away from said Necromorphs, the villainous Marker created creatures who want nothing more than to tear you limb from limb (literally). Your goal as you start the game is definite but rather small in scope, survive. As you continue, your goal grows and changes somewhat… but if I tell you what it becomes I'll just be ruining what little story the game actually throws out at you. Oh, there's a very definite tale, but there isn't a lot to it – this is still survival horror in space and so the key first and foremost is simply to survive.