My 2011 Game of the Year goes to Dead Space 2. It was a tough choice to come up with a single video game that stood out among the many video games I played this year*. However, Dead Space 2 was a thrill ride that never let up from beginning to end.
Whenever I talked with people about Dead Space 2, I was usually met with, “I still haven’t finished the first Dead Space. It was too scary.” For me, that was one of the highlights of both Dead Space games, its immersive environment, both art and audio. I played both Dead Space games on my family room surround sound system, after dark and with all the lights off. Certainly on more than one occasion I found myself jumping back in my chair as I got caught off-guard by a necromorph breaking through a vent, hell-bent on tearing me limb from limb.
I played through Dead Space 2 a total of 6 times, beating it on Casual, Normal, Survivalist, Zealot and Hard Core difficulties. Hard Core mode presents a true test of skill to even the most seasoned gamer as the enemies are at their most difficult, ammo and supplies are scarce, there are no checkpoints and you only get 3 saves in total (3.5 saves if you count the disc swap as a “save”). Before the final battle on Hard Core mode, I paused the game and psyched myself up for a good 20 minutes. After I finished Hard Core mode the first time and I got the Hand Cannon weapon, I went back and played the game again on Hard Core mode, completing a speed run in roughly 7.5 hours. One shot kills with the Hand Cannon are a lot of fun and who doesn’t love a weapon that goes “bang bang” and “pew pew”.
The Dead Space games aren’t for everyone. If you don’t like shooters or survival horror, they’re probably not for you. But if you do decide to give either game a chance, you’re guaranteed a good time, or at the very least a good scare!
* Here are all the video games I played in 2011:
- LittleBigPlanet 2
- Dead Space 2
- Crysis 2
- Mortal Kombat
- Portal 2
- L.A. Noire
- inFamous 2
- Duke Nukem Forever
- F.E.A.R. 3
- Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Dead Island
- Resistance 3
- Gears of War 3
- Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection
- Batman: Arkham City
- Battlefield 3
- Dance Central 2
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
- Saints Row: The Third