Guns, monsters, backstabbing humans and a heroine named Laura. D-2 is the survival horror game that asks the question: "How can a woman in high heels and a skirt run around in a blizzard so effectively?"
All kidding aside, D-2 has plenty of action and gore with a couple of surprises thrown in for good measure; a survival horror game that will feel quite familiar to those who play the genre a lot. Some nice additions coupled with the same old predictability that has recently plagued all games of this type and theme. Read on, if you dare.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Did anyone play the original D? In that game, Laura survived a night in the hospital after her father went wacko and slaughtered patients and staff alike, ultimately discovering that her father was a vampire. Does this come into play in the latest installment? You decide. As the game starts, Laura awakens in a cabin a million miles from nowhere in the Canadian North. Having been in a huge plane wreck a week earlier (thanks to a meteor that clipped the wing) she was rescued by another woman named Kimberly and has been in and out of consciousness. Laura, who never utters a word thoughout the game, is taught a quick lesson on survival by Kimberly who shows her that hunting the game that roam the frozen tundra is an excellent way to heal herself, since food acts as a healing agent. And yes, monsters are everywhere. Laura is never really fazed by the events that unfold around her -- apparently that whole vampire/dad thing numbed her to any sort of real trauma. The game itself is done very well in some aspects and poorly in others. I thought the free-roaming countryside was done well with the hunting of animals for food and that the addition of a snowmobile was pretty cool. On the flipside, often when entering buildings or other places of interest, you are forced to walk along pre-made paths. Let me explain -- you're running through the snow with a third-person view, suddenly you're attacked by monsters and it switches to a first person view where you become stationary and use the analog controller to move the crosshairs around the screen.
The game warns you if monsters are coming from another direction by prompting you to press the appropriate button, effectively swinging Laura around to face the new threat. When the combat is over, you go back to a third person perspective and can essentially go anywhere you want, provided you stay outside. The moment you enter one of the cabins periodically located on the map, it goes back to a first person perspective. For example, when you walk into Grandpa's cabin, you see several items throughout the cabin. A box of shotgun shells, a radio, a health canister, and a bed litter the area -- all of these items are located on the right side of the room. You press right once and the center of the screen locks onto the radio. You then must press forward to see if you can do anything with the radio. Press right again and the center of the screen locks onto the health canister, but wait, I want those shotgun shells that are back on the left. Well toooo bad, you can't get them because the premade course that you walk in the cabin never lets you lock onto them. I was really bugged by this. For a game of this caliber on a next generation system, I expected better. And of course, Laura deals with the monsters by finding bigger and better weapons as she runs from point A to point Z and all points in between (getting the snowmobile sure helps).
Eventually the game plot slowly comes to light if you can just force yourself to keep playing. Find the little girl who was on the plane with you. Discover the secret of the research facility. Kill as many monsters as humanly possible. What's the deal with the old Indian shaman? And so on and so forth. Again, while parts of this game will feel like deja-vu and others might be original, they drag on.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics in D-2 are pretty decent. I enjoyed the snow whisking by believably and the fact that the changing position of the sun throughout the day affected shadows and such. Laura and all other human characters look good but I was pretty disappointed in the monsters -- they were goofy looking abominations that never seemed to invoke any fear.
Audio was also pretty good as far as snow crunching underfoot and the recoil from the hunting rifle, but again the monsters sounded silly. With all the out of work actors available, you would think one of them could make decent monster growls and grunts and get a job in the video game industry. The game was made by WARP and I can't help but think that even they knew they could have made a better game.
I kind of beat this game up a bit, it's not all bad. Think of this as a B-movie video game -- one that probably should be rented before purchasing. Someone out there will really get into it while I found it difficult to play for long stretches. It has a Mature (M) rating for gore and sexual themes so don't play it with really young kids in the room. This game is better than Blue Stinger but not nearly as good as Code Veronica.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP