On 21st January, we had the opportunity to visit the spooky dwellings of The Crypt on the Green in London, to meet up with EA for their Dead Space 2 launch party.
Within the eerie and unnerving setting of the underground crypt, with it’s menacing atmosphere shut away from the world, was a hidden cache of consoles offering playing time with the first chapter of the single player game, and chances to get some hands on with the multiplayer. Dead Space 2 launches in the UK on 28th January and will see engineer Isaac Clarke return once again to fight with his own demons whilst saving himself from the onslaught of the Necromorphs.
A bar was set up offering to load us up with alcoholic beverages and strange concoctions consisting of Elderflower. EA had arranged a host of presentations for the event from Ian Milham who is the art director from Dead Space 2, Brian Evenson, author of Dead Space Martyr and a brief presentation about Dead Space 2 coming to iPad and iPhone in the near future. We also had an introduction to the London Philharmonic Orchestra who played a beautiful piece of music from the Dead Space 2 soundtrack. It was absolutely amazing and created a thoroughly absorbing atmosphere while watching picture abstracts from the game. The appropriately named Jason Graves, composer of the music, explained that he repeatedly used the notes D E A D within the soundtrack, adding extra meaning to those who know. It’s all about the little things.
Ian Milham, art director, recapped the events from the original Dead Space game for us all, explaining how Isaac Clarke had arrived on the old, cold ship Ishimura and found himself having to cut his way through the Necromorph horde. He eventually placed the shard into the planet, trapped the Marker, saved the day and escaped in his tiny spaceship, so he now finds himself on the Sprawl. The Sprawl is a giant city built into the last remaining piece of the moon Titan orbiting Saturn. He discovers himself in a psychiatric ward with no recollection of why he is there, how long he has been there, or who is there with him.
The three integral parts of Dead Space 2 are horror, action and multiplayer. Over the past year, EA have shown a selection of Dead Space 2 footage and, after the super scary original Dead Space game, it seemed that gamers were worried that all of the action sequences that had been shown were indicating that the game would be much less horror and more action based. EA have now reassured the gamers that Dead Space 2 is far more scary and that the action is more gruesome and more intense than ever before. EA have recognised that if a game tries to be scary at every possible moment, players become numb to the effect. So they have decided to include some big action moments that will allow the player to cleanse their pallette so that when the scary returns, and it will return, it is more intense and fresh for the player.
Isaac will have a selection of new weapons with which to deal out those gruesome, limb severing moments, and changes have been made in order to control the level you play in zero gravity successfully.
The multiplayer mode offers a more â€˜men with gunsâ€™ type experience and for the very first time you can play as the Necromorphs and actually be the scary things. Although realistically weaker than the Isaac clones that can be fought against, playing as a Necromorph will allow for some really memorable moments as they try to terrorise their human opponents. Crawling along the walls or ceilings and then leaping onto your friends head is a thing of beauty, and allows the players to experience horror from the other side.
Brian Evenson, author of Dead Space Martyr, read a small excert from the novel which looks into the history of the Church of Unitology and the origins of the mysterious Black Marker. The storyline revolves around Michael Altman as he investigates a mysterious signal and uncovers a strange alien artifact.
The event ran late into the night and gave everyone present a great insight into the upcoming Dead Space 2 game and the Dead Space universe in general. We would like to thank EA for inviting us and look forward to playing the game.