The Slow Gamer: Dead Space 2, Chapter 6

This is a description of some time spent playing Dead Space 2, so be forewarned that it’s all spoilers.

When I last left Isaac Clarke, aka Space McClane, he’d been brutally killed by a gymnasium full of feral zombie children. With my nerves sufficiently recovered, it’s now time for a second go at the big School Fight.

This battle is kind of a motherfucker, and I felt a lot better about the trouble I had with it when the game gave me an achievement for finishing it. My mistake the first time around was in trying to precisely and quickly shoot all of the little kids swarming the auditorium stage in some sort of tactical order. For my second go around I try just punching my way out of things, as Isaac’s haymakers can kill multiple little leapy Pack toddlers in one go. This would work OK if it weren’t for the little suicide bomber infants that are crawling around among the toddlers, and Isaac is exploded limb from limb in my second go.

Yes, this is a real thing.

It's sort of like that scene in Trainspotting, except with more detonation and marginally more screaming

There’s no store in the school. This makes sense – who would sell mining equipment to little kids? – but it’s a pain in the ass for someone who realizes that he just hasn’t got enough damned plasma bullets and needs to buy more. The trip all the way back out of the school to the store and back to the auditorium is fantastically quiet, like the rest of the game has been shut down to save up juice for the fight that’s queued up and ready to go.

Third time’s the charm. I telekinesis a nearby stasis bomb lamp thingy into the mob of angry little runners – it would do me more good to shoot it off later in the fight, but I still don’t have the hang of telekinesis in hectic situations like fights, so I use it first. After that it’s a half-blind mix of plasma shots and roundhouse punches. Hardly the graceful, leet way out, but Isaac survives with one health bar left and limps off through the door that opens up once the last enemy dies. How do the doors always know the bad guys are dead?

Continue reading The Slow Gamer: Dead Space 2, Chapter 6

On Social Singleplayer and Slow Gaming

I played through the original Dead Space last Fall. And by “last Fall”, I literally mean that I spent that entire season playing through the game. I snatched an hour every here and there, savoring the game in discrete chunks like Charlie with his yearly chocolate bar. Every day I’d come to work and the coworker who’d loaned me the game would ask if I’d played any Dead Space the night before. I frequently hadn’t, but on the days that I had we’d happily natter away for a few minutes about the tricky battle, amusing scare, or infuriating story point I’d encountered. I wrung every drop of entertainment out of that game in one long, winding playthrough, and a large aspect of that was due to the fact that it was my water cooler topic for months on end.

I’m sick at the moment, and with Dead Space 2 once again provided to me out of the largesse of my coworkers, I popped the game in yesterday and proceeded to crash through several hours of it without respite.

I’m not sure I could tell you what happened in more than about 15 minutes of it.

Continue reading On Social Singleplayer and Slow Gaming