Dead Space 2



Very scary shooter with severe violence, gore, and cussing.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While you're a human trying to survive a brutal alien invasion (and get healed from your alien-induced dementia), you rely primarily on extreme violence to complete the task.

Positive role models

Isaac Clarke seems like a good guy, who is simply trying to stay alive, but he uses tools at his disposal, including all kinds of weapons, special suits, and some powers like telekinesis. He doesn't seem to enjoy what he's doing to these Necromorph aliens, though -- it's a matter of survival by any means necessary -- but the means are violent, gory, and excessive.

Ease of play

As with Dead Space and Dead Space Extraction, this new game in the survival horror action series is fairly easy to control -- especially for seasoned players. There might be a slight learning curve at the beginning of the game but the tutorial and manual can help.


As with its predecessors, Dead Space 2 features many graphic scenes of severe violence, including enemies you can stab, shoot, dismember, decapitate, impale, and light on fire with the various weapons and powers in the game. Players will see copious amounts of blood and gore -- including violent attacks on you, the protagonist, who might get a spiky appendage through the forehead and see blood gush out of the gaping mouth. Or your head might be chewed off. There are even "Necromorph" enemies that look like babies and others that can spew toxic bile. Blood can be seen smeared on walls and floors, along with human bodies and body parts.


Not applicable

The game has some strong language, right from the beginning of the game, including "f--k," "s--t," "holy s--t," "damn," "hell" and "bitch."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

You can stomp on crates to reveal medical packs for healing.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dead Space 2 is not only very scary -- with disturbing-looking creatures who can jump out of the dark at you -- but there is also plenty of violence, blood (and bile), and gore. It is an M-rated game that earns its rating and is not meant for kids or teens. Enemy creatures can be stabbed, shot, lit on fire, dismembered, and beheaded with the myriad of weapons at your disposal. And when your character dies, you can be impaled in the head by your enemy's spiky appendages -- and the camera becomes very close so you can see all the gory detail. Humans and aliens cry and shriek in pain when killed, blood stains the floor and walls, and body parts are strewn throughout some environments. The game also has coarse language, including the "f--k," heard during dialogue sequences. The TV commercial for the game promotes the fact that it's very violent and gory, showing mothers' shocked and disgusted reactions to the video game playing on the screen.

What's it about?

Taking place 500 years in the future, DEAD SPACE 2 is a sequel that begins shortly after the events from the first game. Isaac Clarke, an engineer assigned to restore a mining ship's damaged communications systems, awakens from an amnesiac spell on the Sprawl, a giant metropolis orbiting Saturn. He finds himself wrapped in a strait-jacket while being interrogated by an officer, during another relentless attack by the vicious "Necromorph" creatures. You, as Clarke, soon discover you're suffering from dementia caused by an ancient artifact you found in the first game; and not only must you escape the carnage, but must also find a mysterious woman who claims to have a cure for your illness. Played from a third-person perspective, the game has plenty of nail-biting moments as the enemies jump out from the shadows with claw-like appendages, ready to impale you.

Is it any good?


Dead Space 2 is terrifyingly good -- if you can stomach the gore and you enjoy fright-filled moments. You'll acquire many high-tech weapons, melee attacks, and powers such as telekinesis, which allow you to pull objects toward you (such as a nearby crowbar or even human bodies) and push them back toward the various types of Necromorphs. Along with wandering the creepy corridors and rooms on the Sprawl, Dead Space 2 also lets you visit other locations not revealed in this review for fear of spoiling the surprises. The game features high-definition graphics, cinematic camera angles, and Hollywood-quality music and sound effects. Along with the solo campaign, which should last about 12 hours, multiplayer has been added to the franchise with online support for up to 4-on-4 matches. Electronic Arts' mature space adventure lives up to the hype and sets the bar high for other videogames in 2011. But be sure you like being scared before you buy, as this is one to play with the lights off and speakers turned up.

Online interaction: Gamers can take the fight online against human opponents (humans versus Necromorphs), up to four-on-four, and chat with each other via headset microphone to strategize. Language is not filtered and can be unpredictable.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of these survival horror games. Do players enjoy the scary moments, not unlike a game of Silent Hill or Resident Evil, or is it the intense action sequences as you fight to stay alive against hoards of alien creatures? Or perhaps it's the sci-fi setting in the 26th century that appeals to players the most? A combination of all three?

  • Could EA have made the game with less violence, gore, and profanity and make it just as thrilling?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:January 25, 2011
Genre:Survival Horror
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

This review of Dead Space 2 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byFiggy66 February 26, 2011
This is the most violent and gory game i have ever played it is all around messed up there is like 50 different ways for isacc clark to die all including insane amounts of blood and gore i played a part where guy a goes crazy and slits his throat resulting in blood all over the window next to him
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 November 28, 2011

THE BEST GAME EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guide: On:13 up Iffy:12 up Off:under 12 =WHAT DO YOU THINK?? Overall,very violent and atmospheric but awesome fun. Coming from an average American teen who knows what he's talking about. Sources:I play this 6-9 hours everyday??
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byFatasyfan09 March 12, 2011

NO KIDS!!!!!!!!

This is a fun game, buts its way too violent for any one to play really. I mean come on EA its bad enough you reased dantes inferno (HELL IS NO GAME) now this?
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide