Dead Space 2 is hands down the most absolutely terrifying game I have ever encountered.
Playing through System Shock 2 fifteen years ago left me with a permanent complex where flickering fluorescent lights could cause me to have a full on panic attack.
You’re Isaac Clarke, mechanical engineer turned unwilling hero. Suffering horrendous psychological trauma from the things you witnessed while investigating a ship in distress, you more or less ‘come to’ on a space station orbiting Titan.
It’s one part Aliens, two parts Event Horizon.
Things do not get off to a good start for Isaac. For more on that, check this video (which contains a thoughtful recap for new players that didn’t get the chance to play the first game).
To sum it up, you’re trapped in space with a horde of terrifying undead that can’t be killed by traditional means – they must be dismembered limb by limb while they tackle you to the floor, tearing you apart with whatever giant blade-arms or claws they’ve grown.
Jump-scares are prevalent, which lessens replay value… though by the time you’ve recovered from finishing the game you’ll have forgotten where they were.
Controls are familiar to Resident Evil fans, and aiming can be frustrating – though it adds an element of urgency to combat, so you could argue it’s a good thing.
Dead Space 2 is the very definition of terrifying. Everything about it scares the absolute piss out of me. To see more of Isaac’s terrifying trip to his own personal hell, you can watch the video below. (Xbox360/PS3/PC)