I'm not one to scare easily during games, but this game got me about 3-4 times. The way they fool you is pretty clever too. You'll see a group up ahead, then they start running to the right, you assume there's a monster chasing them from the left so you approach quickly expecting to take them out strategically, then BAM, monster bursts through the wall from your left. Shock ensues. It's scenes like this that make you appreciate it. Rather than just making loud noises and showing you gore, it teases you.
There's also these stalker type enemies, that are similar to childish dogs playing with you. They'll run away hide behind corners and peer out now and then. If you aren't looking, they'll charge head on into you while screeching. It's not so scary as it is shock since they just sorta pop out then by the time you see them, knowing its a one hit kill from them, you panic trying to shoot them in the 1-2 seconds you have before you're dead.
The game isn't just scary though, it's near perfect. The Campaign is tremendous fun. I played through on the hardest available difficulty and while I died quite often, I never felt hopeless. That's what I like in games. I enjoy the challenge, but not the impossible feel. Gears, Halo, and COD all do this perfectly. You're never at some insurmountable disadvantage and aside from maybe one minor area where I had 3 bullets and no ability to purchase more and I needed to check a FAQ (sad I know), there didn't seem to be any game breaking moments.
The Mechanics and overall engine are top notch too. Rather than go full FPS like say Bioshock, it went for a 3rd person shooter which places your HUD on the back of the main character Isaac. So rather than display HP/Ammo/Special Ability, you see the Health on a Spinal Health Bar on your characters back, or see the Ammo amount on your characters weapon, and Even his Stasis Bar (freezes time) on his shoulder blade. Doing this cleans up the entire screen so you can focus mostly on your character and the atmosphere. Very innovative and I see other games using this in the future.
|You can see the health, stasis and ammo here.|
A bit late, but here's a brief synopsis of the story. You play as Isaac, an Engineer who was deployed to a mining ship when it stopped communicating with the company who sent it out. He goes there and finds out that they discovered an artifact that was turning everyone into Necromorphs, humans with 2 extra giant arms sprouting from their backs with razor sharp blades at the end. Isaac is tasked with finding out how to stop it and eventually does... or so he thinks. This is where Dead Space 2 comes in. He awakes years later on a city sized space station Sprawl, only to be heavily sedated and being experimented on by the company that sent him out. They want to find the secret to the artifact and try to rebuild it. This causes the necromorphs to appear again and it's up to Isaac to stop them.
|Here's one of the many Necromorph's you come across.|
So through the story you find out what secrets are hidden away deep inside Sprawl and with the military and necro's after you, there's nobody you can trust.
If you have heard of Dead Space 1 but wasn't sure, I suggest getting it. You can find them both for about <20 per. I bought 1 last year for 10 on Amazon and got 2 for 20 a few weeks ago at Sears.
Overall I'd give Dead Space 2 a 9.5/10. As I said, the engine is near perfect and they set everything up to be challenging but achievable.