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Dead Space 2 terrifies, thrills critics

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Dead Space 2

Platforms: PS3, X360, PC

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Dead Space 2

Hope you're ready for a sleepless night or two, because claustrophobic sci-fi horror title Dead Space has given birth. Fortunately its offspring isn't one of the tentacled Necromorphs that populated the first game's dark, lonely spaceship corridors; instead, it's a bouncing
baby sequel, and according to the reviews Dead Space 2 is every inch the game its fans had been hoping to see.

That goes for critics, too. With aggregate scores hovering around the 91%
mark on the Xbox 360 (a few points above Dead Space's 89%), its
reviewers are in broad agreement: Dead Space 2 looks to be one of those
rare follow-ups that improves on just about everything.

Calling the controls "a joy," Giant Bomb's Brad Shoemaker heaped praise on the game's careful design, saying "if there were a university course about third-person shooter design, it would devote an entire unit to the way this game plays." Noting only
slight reservations about the depth of its multiplayer options -- a new
addition for the sequel -- he awards it the site's highest mark.

And while Eurogamer's Simon Parkin doesn't go quite that far, he still describes it as "an
exemplary game," praising its sound design, the addition of spoken
dialog to protagonist Isacc (who was mute in the first game), and its
eerie themes of Jacob's Ladder-like insanity. "Dead Space 2's ambience,
brute frights and player toolset are good rather great," says Parkin,
"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."

Meanwhile, Joystiq's Richard Mitchell joins many reviewers in praising the game's new
setting, a bustling space station that's worlds away from the original
game's near-empty mining ship. All the same, doling out four out of five
stars -- a strong score that's nevertheless the current low-water mark
-- Mitchell was obviously looking for a little more spark out of the
title.  "How much you get out of Dead Space 2 is directly proportional to how much you enjoy slicing up Necromorphs," he says. Still, it's "one of the best action horror experiences
available. In short, survival horror fans should definitely suit up."

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Dead Space

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Dead Space fans, rejoice! This week also sees the launch of the game's debut appearance on Apple's iOS platforms -- and it's a resounding success. Top-notch visuals (nearly as good as the console versions, in fact) and a touch-sensitive control system that actually works (yes, really) make this a must-play for serious iOS gamers.

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In the mood for something a bit more meaty? RPG sequel Two Worlds II hits
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Platforms: XBLA

Boy, Xbox Live Arcade has come a long way. Once dominated by classic ports
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Platforms: PC

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