Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 83 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 83
  2. Negative: 0 out of 83
  1. Mar 23, 2011
    100
    I was expecting Dead Space 2 to be a great game, but it exceeded my expectations with beautiful, creative environments and a large array of both enemies and weapons with which to kill them.
  2. Feb 20, 2011
    100
    Reinvents a genre and unequivocally defines it in one fell swoop. [Issue#106, p.96]
  3. Feb 16, 2011
    100
    Dead Space 2 simply adds more to that already excellent foundation, and in doing so, it has become the survival horror franchise to beat. An absolutely brilliant video game, and certainly the best survival horror game since Resident Evil 4.
  4. Feb 4, 2011
    100
    Take the multiplayer for what it is -- a fun digression from the enthralling action on The Sprawl -- and DS2 comfortably sits waiting for the other Game of the Year nominees for 2011.
  5. Jan 27, 2011
    100
    There is a new king of survival horror in town, and its name is Dead Space. It's just what the psychologist ordered.
  6. Jan 25, 2011
    100
    The fact that Visceral boldly ignored the fan fervor and pulled the franchise forward in a logical and thrilling direction is commendable, and even though they'll get their fair share of close-minded bitching that the game fails to live up to the gory heights of the original, it's still a worthy follow-up to the tense opening chapter.
  7. Jan 25, 2011
    100
    The multiplayer doesn't seem especially deep, though, and consequently I suspect it will lose its luster after a week or two. The good news is the campaign alone is worth playing through two or even three times.
  8. Jan 25, 2011
    100
    Anticipation for Dead Space 2 was especially high. It could have gone to the dark side, forgetting about those moments when the tension rises... and nothing is clearly shown. But for the best, it was able to keep its soul intact. And by raising the bar in all aspects (production values, horror, pace), it appears as the definitive master of the survival/horror genre.
  9. Jan 31, 2011
    99
    The game is so shocking and fun you'll be compelled to restart a new game almost immediately after the credits fade away. And with so many tactics and weapons, no two games will ever play out the same way.
  10. Mar 4, 2011
    95
    The team at Visceral took everything the first game had to offer, vastly improved it and while they were at it, left out all that was bad. It'll scare the pants off of you, even piss you off occasionally, and you'll love it for that.
  11. Feb 1, 2011
    95
    When you have the combination of innovative and improved gameplay mixed with sounds and screams of unholy terror and a story that will haunt your mind and ultimately destroy it in the end, then you have one of, if not the best survival horror game ever, you have Dead Space 2.
  12. Jan 25, 2011
    95
    Many horror games are able to deliver shocks during play, but none does it as well as Dead Space 2. Isaac's inner struggle in the tense setting of "Sprawl" provides an unforgettable atomsphere, making Dead Space 2 one of the most terrifying and unmissable horror games this generation and the benchmark for others to follow.
  13. 95
    Polished, sickening, satisfying and occasionally heart-testing, Dead Space 2 is undoubtedly the best horror adventure on Xbox 360 and PS3. It's the Resident Evil of this generation - and it'll leave you an emotional wreck...An action horror masterpiece.
  14. Jan 25, 2011
    95
    Dead Space 2 is the best Survival Horror of this generation.
  15. Jan 25, 2011
    95
    Dead Space 2 is a ludicrously intense, graphically gorgeous, thoroughly atmospheric game that takes everything the first title did and ramps up the absurdity to dangerous levels.
  16. Jan 25, 2011
    95
    The game plays like it was borne of a scientific experiment designed to test the best methods for delivering interactive horror fiction.
  17. 95
    The nuanced tweaks and countless subtle refinements really ratchet up the atmosphere and make Dead Space 2 a richer, more streamlined experience...There's a sure-footed confidence this time around that gives the ghastly proceedings a level of character investment and polish that Dead Space never quite achieved. [Feb 2011, p.29]
  18. Jan 25, 2011
    94
    Dead Space, improved. Not just a great sequel, but a great horror game. Isaac's dementia and the underused impaling in combat mechanic are the only disappointments, and they're pretty slight.
  19. Feb 1, 2011
    93
    A game that doesn't skimp on the gore, and makes for one hell of a scary ride.
  20. Jan 25, 2011
    93
    Even with the disappointing multi-player this is one game you simply must own if you are a fan of the genre. I cannot stress enough how incredible the campaign of Dead Space 2 really is. If you even liked the first one, the sequel is a must own on so many levels. The tension will have you gripping the controller and sitting on the edge of your seat for its entirety.
  21. Feb 14, 2011
    92
    Nightmarishly freaky adventure oozing with scares and epic moments. A horror masterpiece. [Mar 2011, p.71]
  22. Jan 31, 2011
    92
    With its evolutions in graphics and level design, Dead Space 2 represents a "more of the same" in its best expression. Scary, challenging and entertaining, the Visceral's game confirms itself as the new paradigm of the survival horror genre.
  23. 92
    Dead Space 2 is a worthwhile sequel to its predecessor, delivering the same brilliantly foreboding atmosphere, outstanding audio and peerless lighting. Despite the somewhat tedious final sequence that far outstays its welcome, fans of the original won't be disappointed by Visceral's latest instalment. Everything else that comes before moment though is pure video gaming gold, which is both fantastically paced and an unreserved joy to play.
  24. Visceral Games has managed to create a stunning single-player adventure and has made an encouraging, if imperfect, first step into the realm of multiplayer. Buy it. Fear it. Love it. Dead Space 2 is the undisputed king of action horror.
  25. Jan 25, 2011
    92
    There's so much evolution in this sequel that it seems like it's been growing by itself, understanding its own flaws and naturally adjusting. The single player experience is quintessential, delivering pure terror and some unforgettable action pieces. When the credits start rolling, you'll feel like you've actually achieved something, sighing with relief...at least, until the next nightmare. On the other hand, mutliplayer still feels unnecessary and hurried.
  26. Jan 25, 2011
    92
    Dead Space 2 is the definition of a "if it's not broken, don't fix it" type of game. A sequel that improves upon its predecessor without changing the winning formula, only improving upon it. It's rewarding, unsettling, addictive, shocking, and gory...in other words, a game that your mom would hate.
  27. Jan 21, 2011
    92
    Years have passed since the first game, and Dead Space 2 doesn't surprise us as much as the original did, but it has reinvented itself very well. The main character and its new situation help create interest and surprises, and offer us much more. And, again, it knows how to create that thrilling tension which makes it a great horror game.
  28. 91
    Visceral Games have used all of the source material to, yet again; expand upon the Dead Space universe, crafting the sequel the original game sorely deserved.
  29. Jan 26, 2011
    91
    What a game to start 2011 ... Dead Space 2 may not offer any real innovations compared to its predecessor, but in the end, that doesn't matter at all. Isaac Clarke's second appearance presents itself as a very polished, amazingly frightening Horror- and Action-Masterpiece, that doesn't allow itself any aggravating flaws and is therefore this year's first must-have title.
  30. Jan 25, 2011
    91
    Dead Space 2 is without question a better game than the original despite the fact that the gameplay remains nearly unchanged.
  31. Jan 25, 2011
    91
    Take away the interface tweaks and improved mechanics behind how Isaac moves and feels, and examine the overall structure, you don't have a "good game and then a better game," you have two different games: a creepy sci-fi horror game with some damn good action versus a damn good sci-fi shooter with some creepy parts.
  32. Mar 9, 2011
    90
    Dead Space 2 is exactly what you want from a sequel, it ups the action and everything is bigger and bolder. The scares are still there and the story progresses excellently.
  33. Feb 12, 2011
    90
    Not a revolutionary sequel, but still one that improves and enhances the formula in countless ways, only a small few of which prove slightly misguided. [Issue#68, p.76]
  34. 90
    Dead Space 2 is one of the most disturbing, grotesque and unsightly games I've ever played...but it's so damn good.
  35. Feb 9, 2011
    90
    That aside, Dead Space 2 is a fantastic shooter. It's a marked departure in mood and gameplay from the first, but these design choices have paid off enormously. A must for horror or shooter fans.
  36. Feb 7, 2011
    90
    Dead Space 2 hits every base that matters with the precision of a well-aimed plasma cutter. It's also a sharp testament to Visceral Games' hard work in proving again how a single-player experience can still be beautifully relevant in a hobby where online multiplayer can sometimes come off as an entitlement.
  37. Feb 3, 2011
    90
    The hero's newfound voice adds an emotional impact and resonance that the original game sorely lacked, and I genuinely wanted to see Isaac conquer his inner demons nearly as much as the outer variety. In such an intense game (one of the most intense I've ever played), it's funny that the quiet moments were the one that really stood out.
  38. 90
    If Dead Space 2 were a sci-fi character, it would be the cigarette smoking man from The X-Files: dark, mysterious, sinister, and intense. If you're a survival horror fan then look no further - Dead Space 2 provides the genre master-class on current-gen systems. The one major detraction is a disappointingly shallow multiplayer experience.
  39. Jan 31, 2011
    90
    The visceral combat, the varied locales, the tense moments and entertaining story are worth the price of entry alone, and with added multiplayer for those who must share the experience, make this game a more well rounded product. Highly recommended and another classic game to add to the collection.
  40. Jan 29, 2011
    90
    It looks better than the original, it plays better than the original, it has a lengthy single-player campaign, a lot of scary moments, non-stop action and, on top of that, an engaging brand new multiplayer mode. So, what more do you want?
  41. Jan 28, 2011
    90
    Dead Space 2 is near perfect with its horror trickery and great action.
  42. Jan 28, 2011
    90
    If Dead Space was a prototype, then this sequel is the finished product. Dead Space 2 loses some of the frightening charm of the original, but the end result is a much more varied and solid experience.
  43. Jan 27, 2011
    90
    Dead Space 2 is a great game that raises the bar for all survival horror games to come. Buying this game will be one of your first great investments of 2011.
  44. Jan 27, 2011
    90
    Dead Space 2 is enjoyable. It's a great action title but it's the deeper, complicated facets of the game that firmly puts it in the running for Game of Year, even this early in 2011.
  45. Jan 26, 2011
    90
    The design is well done, and the attention to detail, especially in the smaller air ducts, will blow your mind. The animations are good too, particularly with the blood. Stomping the crap out of a Necromorph has never overflowed with such gushiness.
  46. Jan 26, 2011
    90
    Both more terrifying and more fun to play than its incredibly impressive predecessor. Dead Space 2 is not – and never could be – a game to suit everyone's taste, but if you're a player willing to risk a few nightmares for the chance to immerse yourself in pure terror, it's one of the best horror games available for this generation of consoles.
  47. Jan 26, 2011
    90
    At first glance, Dead Space 2 looks like its predecessor. But if you're looking at the fine details, this is an even better game than the original.
  48. Jan 26, 2011
    90
    The game is atmospheric, creepy and exciting throughout.
  49. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    Dead Space 2 can keep up with one of the most essential aspects that is often missed in games: it's bloody thrilling. It's not usual that a game drags so hard on your nerves – but you will appreciate it.
  50. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    A compelling experience for every horror and sci-fi lover, capable of delivering some truly memorable moments even if it won't surprise you like the first game did. The vague taste of deja-vu vanishes in front of an excellent realization, with a solid multiplayer as icing on the cake.
  51. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    You'd be hard pressed finding a more visceral, intense and atmospheric experience with top-level design and a brutal challenge than in the package that is Dead Space 2.
  52. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    Tense, intense, and surprisingly replayable: Dead Space 2 is in every way a worthy successor to the excellent first game, and probably the finest game in the genre since Resi 4.
  53. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    Considered in isolation, Dead Space 2's ambience, brute frights and player toolset are good rather great. But in combination, these three elements prove as irresistible as the pull on Isaac exerted by a malfunctioning airlock. For once, you'll want to let go.
  54. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    In the end, it's a little hard for Dead Space 2 to live up to the breath of fresh air that was the original game, but it manages to follow the same path exceptionally well. Sure, it's not as groundbreaking and shocking as the original was upon release, but the sequel is a tighter, more focused, and scarier excursion into the unknown void of space.
  55. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    Dead Space 2 is bigger, better but less scary than the first episode of Visceral Games' horror franchise. This is not a crime, though, because the game is really awesome. The multiplayer is interesting but looks just like a simple extra to the main game.
  56. 90
    Dead Space 2 is an absolute treat for anyone who thinks there's to much goofing around and too little trembling with horror in today's games. And even if you're not exactly on the lookout for a scary game, Dead Space 2 still comes heartily recommended as it is a fantastic journey from start to finish with an enormous concentration of quality.
  57. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    The first couple hours with Dead Space 2 are very familiar, but it's one of those rare games that just keeps getting better. It's still a very dreary game that can make long play sessions a challenge, yet there are scores of moments that stick with you for quite some time. The multiplayer is a disappointment, but it's a much more accessible game that won't leave fans in a lurch.
  58. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    Keeping almost everything that made the original great while taking suitable steps to amp up the fun, Dead Space 2 will please both the series' fans and those just starting with this haunting adventure.
  59. Jan 24, 2011
    90
    While Dead Space 2 doesn't reimagine its first iteration, it's amazing, stunning, tough and much more action oriented. It adds an enjoyable multiplayer mode too, which brings some freshness to its formula.
  60. Jan 21, 2011
    90
    The shocking moments, the gruesome deaths, and the fun of playing through this experience again and again are what I took away from this one.
  61. 90
    Unnecessary multiplayer aside, Dead Space 2 is a corker. It's an unpredictable powder-keg of [a] game; even when you get mulched by the Necromorphs it's great to see just how many chunks your corpse has been blown into. [Feb 2011, p.88]
  62. Jan 10, 2011
    90
    A monster of a sequel, offering bigger scares and more excitement than I expected... The tease for Dead Space 3 has my head spinning with questions. [Feb 2011, p.92]
  63. May 24, 2011
    88
    The transition between CGI and gameplay delivers a great horror atmosphere. Isaac Clarke's got personality and we are only missing some bigger bossfights.
  64. Mar 24, 2011
    88
    With this sequel, Visceral Games has masterfully expanded on the first Dead Space. They've revved up the series with tougher guns, a bigger setting, and online multiplayer, but kept the spirit and, most importantly, the scares of the original in tact.
  65. Jan 25, 2011
    88
    Dead Space 2 provides a tense hell ride into another Necromorph infestation. While Visceral plays it safe with basically more of the same, Dead Space 2 is still a top notch experience unlike no other game on the market.
  66. Feb 6, 2011
    85
    Dead Space 2 is a title that insists you to turn off the lights, whack up the sound and grab your comfort blanket as you walk the creepy infested corridors with gore at every turn. Don't feel diminished in any way though if you resort to a little illumination to calm the nerves as Dead Space 2 will shock you, stab you and slaughter you at every turn.
  67. Jan 31, 2011
    85
    Dead Space 2 is a loud, spectacular action horror that shuns fresh ideas while enjoying a bigger budget and refined gameplay. So far, the old formula of Dead Space has been working perfectly, but something will have to change in the inevitable third installment.
  68. Jan 25, 2011
    85
    Dead Space 2 is a more than worthy successor to the original, adding plenty of oomph to the series and a solid multiplayer experience to boot. We would have preferred more puzzles and a little less linearity, but that doesn't stop us wanting a third Isaac outing.
  69. Jan 25, 2011
    85
    Dead Space 2 doesn't bring with it the same sense of experiencing something utterly new and innovative that its predecessor did. But it's nonetheless a terrific game, with a campaign that simultaneously leaves you satisfied and eager for more, and intense multiplayer that gives you a great reason to keep coming back to this terrifying universe.
  70. Jan 25, 2011
    85
    Dead Space 2 is a great game thanks to its story, character development and over the top situations. It's quite similar to the original game, but it improves in several key areas that make it, overall, a game as good as the first one. Multiplayer is completely forgettable.
  71. Jan 26, 2011
    83
    The addition of multiplayer is, as one might expect, utterly forgettable. It's a less strategic and more claustrophobic version of Left 4 Dead's survivors vs. infected gameplay with too much emphasis on close-quarters melee and shooting.
  72. Feb 8, 2011
    80
    If you like to shoot things, you should absolutely have this game. It builds upon its predecessor in all the right ways, delivering a healthy gaming challenge. Fans of movies like Aliens and Event Horizon in particular will enjoy the game's blend of sci fi and horror elements.
  73. Feb 7, 2011
    80
    Dead Space 2 provides an innovative and haunting gaming experience; it competently continues on the foundations laid by its innovative predecessor and serves to massively expand what is already a popular cross-media franchise.
  74. Feb 6, 2011
    80
    Dead Space 2 is a great action adventure/survival horror game then – it just isn't necessarily the greatest game in the Dead Space series.
  75. Feb 2, 2011
    80
    Dead Space 2′s final chapters seem like an endless string of featureless rooms filled with monsters. Some wonderful moments emerge that make it a must-play, especially since the game wraps in less than 10 hours, but the last act seems rushed.
  76. Jan 29, 2011
    80
    Beyond the subtle changes in gameplay and maneuverability, it is not clear whether Dead Space 2 is better or worse than the first: it is simply different.
  77. Jan 27, 2011
    80
    With this sequel Dead Space positions itself on the top of this generation's survival horror.
  78. Jan 26, 2011
    80
    I'm disappointed that the story never pays off, and seems more like a bridge to a third installment (getting close to Earth). It may not be deep, but it is an exciting journey, and possibly the most frightening game since the original Dead Space.
  79. Jan 25, 2011
    80
    Dead Space 2 is sometimes a confused and disappointing production, but more often than not it's tense and fascinating.
  80. Jan 25, 2011
    80
    Patently unterrifying, Dead Space 2 is nonetheless a feat of paradigm-splicing worthy of Frankenstein himself. The scars of creation are visible on its flanks, repurposed muscles and organs bulging through the skin, but somehow everything works in harmony. All told, Isaac Clarke can do without his day job.
  81. Jan 25, 2011
    80
    How much you get out of Dead Space 2 is directly proportional to how much you enjoy slicing up Necromorphs (or eviscerating humans in multiplayer). The campaign is designed for multiple plays, with a "new game plus" option allowing Isaac to take his items and upgrades into a new game, even on a new difficulty.
  82. Mar 12, 2011
    75
    Dead Space 2 is pretty good at that, and the technical work is almost unimpeachable, but something essential has been lost.
  83. Feb 4, 2011
    60
    There are a couple of interesting levels or sequences throughout the game, and the production values are obviously high, but Dead Space 2 is blatantly uninspired.
User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 576 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 180
  1. Jan 26, 2011
    10
    Dead Space was a landmark for the survival-horror genre. The game ramped up the scares and action to ludicrous levels, delivering one of the most fun and intense horror games since Resident Evil 4. Dead Space 2, like its dementia-afflicted protagonist, is absolutely insane. The game cranks up the action into overdrive while still delivering some hefty scares, albeit less frequently than the first. However, that does not stop Dead Space 2 from being a tense thrill ride. This sequel improves greatly upon the flaws of the first. The environments are varied, the game is longer, and it packs multiplayer to boot. If you even consider yourself a fan of sci-fi or horror, pick up this game. Now. Full Review »
  2. Jan 27, 2011
    10
    I'm kind of disappointed that this game got only a meta-critic of 90. And I'm also disappointed that the highest score I could rate this game is a perfect score. This is the scariest horror game I played in my life. Full Review »
  3. Jan 26, 2011
    10
    I've been playing survival-horror since the genre's creation back when I was in middle school with the first Resident Evil, and I've been an enthusiastic supporter of the genre ever since. The first Dead Space was a phenomenal knockout punch that undoubtedly sent a wake-up call to the people at Capcom and Konami. Dead Space 1 managed to use every element to its advantage. The graphics were superb, the sound design was flawless, and the combat and gameplay were interesting and fresh. Now we have a sequel that has improved upon the original in so many ways, while leaving the core formula of the game intact. It feels like a true sequel that has fully realized its potential.

    As soon as Isaac wakes up from his coma, the game starts you (the player) off with a perfect example of the game's new action focus. You have to run through an infested hospital, in a straight jacket, with no way to defend yourself, while Necromorphs are bearing down on you from all sides. You finally get a weapon in your hands, and you're off to save the Sprawl. The setup is disorienting and tosses you right in the middle of the infestation, which is awesome. You wake up in the thick of the pandemonium, and it forces you to come to grips with your situation super quick.

    The graphics are unlike any I've seen on a home console. I just played through the first Dead Space a couple days ago (in anticipation of the sequel's release), and Dead Space 2 improves on the graphical presentation in almost every conceivable way. The environments are unbelievably varied, with some softer angles and lighting tricks. There are shopping malls, apartment buildings, and a creepy cultist church (which is modeled immaculately). There is so much variety in the graphics, it stands in stark contrast to the Ishimura's beautiful-but-bland environments from the previous game. Character models are equally impressive, with very high polygon counts and the fantastic dynamic lighting effects make some areas of the space station downright terrifying.

    The graphics may be amazing, but the sound design is what made Dead Space 1 truly special. The audio design was such a key element. The same is true in the sequel. Little noises, like the clanging of a piece of metal that was knocked over by something just outside your field of vision constantly keeps the fear level up. There is also more actual music this time around, as opposed to the musical sounds that were designed to appear as though they were made by the ship in the first game. This time around, there are more orchestral stabs and percussion rhythms, which is not a bad thing by any means. There are also some really creepy moments with music box audio beds and other treats that just creep you out. And of course, there are the screams and wails of the inhabitants of the space station (living or... otherwise) and that is certain to make you jump more than once.

    All this wouldn't mean a thing if it weren't fun to play, so it's a good thing that the game plays a lot better than its older sibling. The controls have been tightened up, so Isaac moves around and looks around much faster. He's more agile this time around, and he's a lot more fun to play. The strategic dismemberment system is also back, and it's better than ever, granting you new abilities- like blasting off a blade-like arm from an enemy and using telekinesis to shoot it back at them, pinning them to a wall. You'll never get tired of that one. There's a multiplayer mode, but I haven't played it. It looks fun- 4 on 4 humans vs. necromorph teams. Don't know how well it works in practice, but it sounds good on paper.

    All-in-all, Dead Space 2 is a fantastic game that really takes a winning formula and improves it with expert precision. Little tweaks and new ideas all merge together to become something truly special, that the original game was trying to be all along. They managed to take a gameplay style that had already amassed intense acclaim for its creativity and freshness, and came back stronger and meaner in the second game. It is truly an expertly executed sequel. Like I tell all my friends- you can play Halo, and run around shooting stupid cartoony aliens that are more like comic reliefs than a real threat to humanity, or you can pop in Dead Space, and feel what a truly terrifying alien attack would be like. Which do you want? Cartoony mindless fun, or pulse-pounding terror mixed with the will to survive? The choice is clear. Play Dead Space.
    Full Review »