Text 17 May 2 notes Why I’m Excited About Dead Space 2

 

So let’s get this shit rollin’ with an essay of sorts, aboooouuut… Now. Also, here there be spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.

So the first Dead Space was a decent game. Not great, but decent. It brought enough new ideas to the table to make it feel fresh, and besides the prevalence of dictatorial fetch quests, the gameplay ultimately worked. There was one thing in the narrative department that always bugged me, however. It was the fact that the protagonist, Isaac Clarke, never spoke. Not that that’s always a problem. In fact, I usually see the whole silent protagonist hook as a good thing when it’s handled right (See Half-Life for more details). But Dead Space missed the point about as thoroughly as is humanly possible, that point being that the player is the protagonist, not just controlling the protagonist’s actions. Dead Space makes its first mistake when it expects you to actually feel sorry for Isaac because he’s looking for his girlfriend or whatever. The way they should have done it if making us sympathize with Isaac was their main goal would have been to characterize Isaac in as endearing a light as possible, so as to make us care what happened to him and, subsequently, to the people he cared about (Assassin’s Creed II did this with Ezio). If having a silent protagonist was more their cup of tea, they should have characterized the girlfriend in such a way that the player would have an emotional attachment to her, and care about what happens to her (Alyx Vance from the Half-Life series comes to mind).

So, all that being said, here’s what I find so interesting about the upcoming sequel; Isaac is actually going to speak, and he’s just a bit mentally unstable. But I’m not talking just depressed, PTSD, shell-shocked vet kind of unstable; I’m talking scribbling crazy shit on the walls, attacking the orderlies, getting yelled at by his dead girlfriend, can’t be sure what’s real and what’s not, stone-cold fucking nuts. Apparently he’s actually going to be stuck in a mental institution at the beginning of the game.

There’s just something in the idea that, as a result of his horrific experiences on the Ishimura, his mind has simply snapped, that speaks to me in a way that’s hard to explain (It’s probably related to my love of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac in some way). There’s also the fact that, despite his motivation from the first game (His girlfriend) being gone, he can still find the drive to set aside his fears and face the necromorph horde for a second time. I just see a lot of potential for in-depth storytelling and characterization in that, you know? Gameplay iterations, like being able to maneuver in in zero-G, new weapons, new environments, and new enemies only help to heighten my excitement.

But I’ve seen potential like this squandered before, and there’s still plenty of time for Visceral to majorly fuck something up, so here’s me with my fingers crossed until early 2011, when this thing comes out.

  1. soranmbane posted this

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