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Dead Space 2, E3 Expo Preview

Engineer Isaac Clark returns from 2008's award-winning Dead Space in this sequel from Visceral Games. Necromorphs the grotesque undead creatures from the first game also make a return in Dead Space 2 along with some new enemy types. Playing as Isaac you'll need to survive the horrific alien invasion and find a way to stop it. This time around Isaac is suffering from a kind of dementia caused by the events in the first game, causing him to experience hallucinations and see strange symbols.

We didn't get any hands-on time with Dead Space 2, but we did get to see gameplay in a demo played by the developers in a closed-door preview in EA's booth. This preview showcased several new elements to the Dead Space series. Isaac will speak in this game, which will be a welcome addition for many players and create more of a connection to the main character as the game progresses.

We also were introduced to a new enemy called the "puker," which as the name suggests launches projectile vomit at Isaac. In addition to new enemies, Isaac will also have new weapons and abilities at his disposal, including a new and particularly useful skill being called "kinetic impalement" where players will get to pin necromorphs to walls using their own severed limbs. We also got a closer look at Isaac's new suit called the "advanced suit".

Dead Space 2 will also feature zero-gravity levels and adds a different element to the gameplay. Players will be able to use this environment to their advantage when dodging enemy attacks. The gameplay also showed some quick-time event sequences. In one QTE, the player was prompted to press the "X" button repeatedly to keep from being pulled out of a window. The claustrophobic areas similar to the levels in the first Dead Space game are present in Dead Space 2, but Visceral also promises larger areas as well. In the demo, a large cavernous cathedral was shown and Visceral even teased viewers with a glimpse of Dead Space 2's main setting -- "the Sprawl", a city within the space station.

The sound effects and music were just as intense and creepy as you'd expect if you played the first Dead Space. Visually, this game looks great so far with some very minor jaggies. Dead Space 2 will be released this January, but I'm hoping Visceral and EA will have a playable demo before then.

Dead Space 2 is scheduled to be released January 25, 2011 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

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