Much as I adored galloping through the old West in Red Dead Redemption, of late astride one or the other of the four horses of the apocalypse - my favourite was the fiery War - home is where the heart is.
Speculative fiction in all its forms - with science fiction and fantasy, horror - and in every medium - in video games, in addition to books and movies. So Dead Space really did it for me, a couple years ago. It didn't hit me the way Bioshock did, but it came close; close enough that I've been dreaming of a sequel ever since.
That sequel was scheduled to come out before the holiday season hit, but so as not to be crowded out by the other big-hitters on the release calender - what great bullies Call of Duty: Black Ops, Halo: Reach and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood are! - EA pushed Dead Space 2 back. Only till the end of January, so all's well that ends well. And now Christmas and New Year are out of the way, the final phase of the marketing campaign's kicked in.
This recap-come-cocktease has my levels of anticipation approaching climax:
A handy refresher in the events of the first game... but wait, there's more! What grabbed me about that there trailer was the decidedly Aliens-esque twist the narrative seems to have taken. Three years after the events of the first game - three years engineer Isaac Clarke appears to have spent adrift and hardly even half-alive in the shuttle from which he narrowly escaped the Ishimura - our accidental hero awakes "on a hospital on Titan station, an Earth-governed metropolis on Saturn's largest moon."
Which leaves me wondering if his cat made the trip safely, too.
Now Dead Space was never the most original story in the world. It cribbed from everywhere, and that was fine; there had never been a game like Dead Space, no matter how many movies it had taken copious notes from. And so it pleases me, in a somewhat perverse way, to see this sequel cribbing in its turn from perhaps the best sequel there's ever been: Aliens.
With that trailer behind me, I'm going to be going dark on Dead Space 2 till I can get my hands on the game itself, lest I spoil anything else. For those of you who can't wait, however, for the grand sum of nothing at all, there's a playable demo available for download now on the Xbox Live Marketplace. And perhaps on the PSN too. Who could say?
If that weren't enough, there's always the book. Dead Space: Martyr by Last Days author Brian K. Evenson. It's not all that - here's the full review - but if ever there was a time to read it, it's now.