Dead Space 2 from EA is officially out in the stores today and promises some seriously creepy and outright scary moments. We here at GGUK have come up with some pointers to optimise the experience.
1. Pick up the game
I know, it’s common sense, right? I am sure that a lot of you have already got your copy. But some of you may be waiting until after work to pick it up from your local store. If that is the case, don’t forget otherwise you may well be doomed to an evening with EastEnders. Not ideal.
Also, for those that have ordered the game and are expecting to find it sitting on the table when they arrive home, it is of the utmost importance that your room mate/partner/parents do not open the game before you get there. Seriously, nothing would kill the atmosphere more than arriving home to see someone else playing your copy of the game. Threaten them by any means necessary, which may well help with step two…
2. Get everyone out of the house
You don’t want an audience for this game. Tell everyone that they have to go out for the evening, or just be so mean that they leave. This is important for setting the right atmosphere, as you don’t want someone questioning everything you are doing in the game, squealing and making you jump, getting up and going to make a cup of tea at the scariest moments, or laughing at you when you jump out of your skin and drop the controller.
3. Caffeine and munchies
Preparation is key for the optimal experience. plan ahead by stocking up on caffeine drinks, not just to keep you alert, but also to add a little extra twitchiness to the evening. It is probably best not to have too may drinks during the gameplay session unless you have a strong bladder. It will be difficult to tear yourself away from the game, and do you really want to go out into that dark hallway?
From a food/munchie point of view, it is probably best to keep it simple. During the day, stick to basic foods that are not likely to cause any “stomach issues” later in the evening. During the game, possibly some kind of snack would be a good idea as you may be there some time. Again, keep it simple. Nothing that will result in greasy fingers that may compromise your grip on the controller, nothing that will cause nausea as compulsive munching may result in times of stress, and no Popping Candy under any circumstances. Everyone loves Popping Candy, but things will be tense enough without random popping noises coming from your mouth. Maybe some Mini Cheddars or a bunch of grapes?
4. Make sure that your phone is off
I cannot stress this enough. Besides the shock value of your phone suddenly blaring out the latest comedy ringtone at full volume, having a relative call to “check that you are okay” will seriously kill the mood. Don’t worry, you are not being unsociable and you can always call them back tomorrow.
Make sure that you turn it off completely and don’t just leave it on vibrate. Having a sudden vibration by your leg, or hearing a buzzing noise from another room may well be enough to push you over the edge and result in involuntary movements of an unpleasant nature, especially if step three has not been followed.
5. Turn out the lights
This is perhaps the most important step. Dead Space 2 should be played in darkness. Don’t just turn off the lights in the room that you are playing, but throughout your home. This game is terrifying and having the safety of light in another room will diminish the experience. Make sure that you put the fish to bed early and turn off your PC with it’s fancy glowing case.
It is, of course, recommended that video games are played in a well lit room and that regular breaks are taken. If you are starting to feel uneasy during gameplay, that is what you are aiming for. However, if you start getting a headache or feeling nauseous (and you followed step three) then maybe it is time for a break. Go into the kitchen, put the light on and stand by the back door for a little while, looking into the darkness. This should maintain a suitable feeling of dread whilst giving your eyes and head a bit of a break. Don’t forget to lock the backdoor again before returning to the game or you may end up scaring yourself. You did shut the backdoor, didn’t you?
Play the game, be scared and enjoy. Remember, you are not alone. People all across the country will be playing the game and be just as scared as you.