Alright, so in my “Dead Space 2: My Hardcore Mode Experience, Part 1” blog post, I talked about the weapons, the upgrades, and the strategies I use.
In my “Dead Space 2: My Hardcore Mode Experience, Part 2” blog post, I talked about my playthrough on Casual Difficulty.
Today, I’ll talk about the first part of my Hardcore Run.
Before starting my Hardcore Run, I wasn’t too sure where I would make my first save in Hardcore Mode. Ultimately, I decided that I would see if I could make it to Chapter 7 and make my first save before the elevator ride with the Tripods. I was thinking that this elevator ride would be a huge struggle for me in Hardcore Mode.
Okay, so one night a few weeks ago, I booted up Dead Space 2 for the PS3 and started my Hardcore Run.
In case anyone is wondering, I wrote down notes after each time I died in Hardcore Mode, so that I would remember where and how I died.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I died quite a few times in Chapter 1 during my playthrough on Casual.
On Hardcore I didn’t have any trouble with the running part at the beginning of the game. But I didn’t have to go far before my first death occurred. Keep in mind that each time I die, I would have to start over at the beginning of the game (until I make that first save).
Death 1 – Chapter 1, Dark Room (after elevator) with three necromorphs
I had a feeling that this would be where I would get my first death in Hardcore Mode. I just had that feeling that I would die here. And sure enough I did.
This part is the second fight in the game. After an elevator ride, you go into a dark room and three necromorphs appear. Your health is very low, so chances are, one hit will kill you. You have no weapons and no stasis. Therefore you have you have to grab the sharp spikes lying around using TK (telekinesis) and then shoot those spikes at the necromorphs.
Having played through this on Casual, I knew that there would be two spikes in the right corner (as soon as you enter the room). However, that’s two spikes for three necromorphs. Once you throw a spike using TK, you can’t use it again.
But these necromorphs had sharp pointy arms, so if I killed one of them, I could rip off one of their sharp arms with TK and use it like I would use a spike to kill another necromorph.
So what happened here is I killed the first two necromorphs using the two spikes. Then with TK I managed to grab one of those sharp arms off one of the dead necromorphs. However, when I shot at that third necromorph, I somehow missed. And when I missed I panicked. And before I knew it, he was on me. And there was my first death on Hardcore.
There are plenty of other spikes to use in the room, and I have gotten better at picking them up and using them against those three necromorphs.
But I have learned of an easier (but more time consuming way) to kill these necromorphs. You can actually grab the spikes using TK from the previous room and bring them here (sometimes when you grab some items using TK and bring those items to the next room, those items will disappear, but not in this situation).
The previous room is the room where you get the TK ability, have to break the glass, and then kill the two necromorphs that appear. There are several spikes where the person’s body is.
What I usually do is, use the dead body to break the glass, then I use two spikes to kill the two necromorphs. Next I grab three or four spikes and carry them with me into the elevator to use in the next room, which is the dark room with the three necromorphs. That way, I have some margin for error, so if I happen to shoot a spike and miss, I don’t panic, because I have a few more spikes close to me to use.
Death 2 – Chapter 1, Boss Fight
Okay, so after starting over at the beginning, I managed to play through the rest of Chapter 1 without dying. I even surprised myself and managed to get through the room where you get the stasis ability.
Then I make it to the Chapter 1 boss. And die.
You see, this boss can kill you in two hits (unless you use medpacks to heal up between hits). I think, depending on where he hits you (and maybe depending on your health), he can even kill you in one hit.
What happened here is the boss shows up and I try to hit him with a stasis shot but I missed. I try shooting him with stasis again, but I missed again, and that’s it, my stasis is gone. Before I know it, he kills me.
Now one thing I have seen mentioned in several guides on the internet is that you can move around the middle pillar and use it as kind of a barrier between you and the boss. I would go on to fight this boss several more times during my Hardcore Run and a few of those times I managed not take any damage.
Death 3 – Chapter 4, Library area with stairs going down to an area with a lift that goes up
On my third attempt on Hardcore I was super surprised to see that I made it all the way to the beginning of Chapter 4. I beat the Chapter 1 Boss without taking a hit from him. I somehow managed to make it past the part where the Exploders show up for the first time in Chapter 2.
I passed the “random spawn” area in Chapter 3 without any problems. I think only one Exploder spawned here. Actually, I was very fortunate to never die in the “random spawn” area while I played in Hardcore Mode, although sometimes my fights here were “sloppy” and I wasted too many health packs and/or ammo.
So I make it to Chapter 4. I don’t really consider this to be a “hard” Chapter, although I thought that maybe I might struggle with the battle with the Stalkers. Anyway, I’m feeling pretty confident. Perhaps a little too confident…?
So I get to the room where you encounter your first fight in this Chapter. It’s the library area with the stairs leading down to an area with a lift that you use to go up. Several different types of enemies spawn here including a couple of Infectors.
My usual strategy here is just to walk forward, trigger some enemies, walk back and kill them. Then walk forward again, trigger more enemies, go back, turn around and kill them. Rinse and repeat until they’re all dead.
Yes, that does mean I allow the Infectors make more necromorphs, but at least all the enemies usually only come at me one by one. That’s something I can handle.
However, I read in one Dead Space 2 guide that said I should go down the stairs and try to kill the Infectors before they made more necromorphs (so there would be less enemies).
So here, in my Hardcore Run, I decided to try this strategy. It turned out to be a super bad move. When reached the bottom of the stairs, I was surprised and overwhelmed by the necromorphs. I managed to kill them all with my plasma cutter but also took some damage. Without healing I reloaded my weapon and a necromorph suddenly pops out of a vent (I believe) and quickly rushed me. He killed me before I could react. It’s possible I might not have been done reloading when he killed me.
So as you might expect, next time I got here I went back to my old strategy. And I never died here again.
Death 4 – Chapter 2, First time you meet the Exploders
Man, this time I was a bit surprised that I didn’t make it as far as my previous attempt.
I died in Chapter 2, in the area where you meet the Exploders for the first time. Four Exploders will spawn there.
I killed the first two and knew that a third one was coming. But I didn’t see him until it was too late. He falls from an upper vent that is kind of in the middle of the area. I saw him for a split second but he was too close to me. Before I could even react he slammed me. Instant Death!
After dying here, I would watch youtube videos of this area and I now know precisely where each Exploder spawns.
Death 5 – Chapter 5, The Hole that opens & closes and it shoots out a container/coffin (this area is right after you stasis the fans).
On my fifth attempt at Hardcore Mode, I was able to beat the first four Chapters. As I mentioned earlier, I thought I would struggle at the Stalker fight in Chapter 4. However, the strategy to use here, as I have read in several guides, is to trigger the stalkers and run back to the broken door. There are four stalkers here but they will only run at you one at a time (which was something I didn’t know when I did my Casual Difficulty playthrough).
At the broken door area, you have three spikes close by that you can pick up with TK and use to impale the stalkers. You also have your stasis. So wait for them to rush you one at a time and then impale them with the spikes or put them in stasis and finish them off with your weapons.
Now I did get hit by one of the stalkers and that hurt! When he charged at me, I missed him with my stasis shot and couldn’t react fast enough before he hit me. I had full health or close to full health but his hit took me health all the way down to red. But I didn’t die, and that’s the important thing.
When I made it to the beginning of Chapter 5, it was the furthest I had ever made it during Hardcore Mode. When I saw that save point at the beginning of Chapter 5 (before the cold rooms), I thought about doing my first save here. But I quickly pushed that thought aside and continued on. I was feeling pretty confident that I could make it to that save point I was shooting for in Chapter 7.
Well, it turns out that maybe I should have saved at the beginning of Chapter 5 after all.
I made it through the cold rooms without any problems. I fixed the gravity machine and use stasis on the fans. So I’m at the part where there’s a hole that opens and closes. When it’s open, it will shoot out a container/coffin. You have to wait for it to shoot out that container/coffin and then go through the open hole.
Okay, so the hole opens up and I wait until it shoots out the container/coffin. Then I move to go through the hole. However, I actually get stuck there in that hole. I swear, I tried moving forward but the game wouldn’t let me. I even press the Boost button (since I’m in zero gravity). No matter what I did, what button I pushed, I couldn’t move forward. I was just stuck there. And before I knew it, the hole closed on me and I died.
I played through Dead Space 2 twice on Casual and never had any problems going through this hole.
Yet here I died… I stared at my TV screen in disbelief.
Although this death was my fifth death overall in Hardcore Mode, this death was the first one that I felt frustrated with, because I felt it was a very cheap death. I think the game glitched up on me when it wouldn’t let me pass through that hole, but I can’t say for sure.
Man, this fifth death almost made me throw something across the room (haha!).
Anyway, I decided to change the location of where I would make my first save in Hardcore Mode. I decided that the beginning of Chapter 5 would be where I would make my first save. That way, if the game glitched on me again and won’t let me pass through that hole, I would start over at the beginning of this Chapter instead of the beginning of the game.
I would later learned that you could actually stasis that hole, so that’s what I did the next time I got there and everything time after that.
With all that said, at this point I had spent many hours playing through Hardcore Mode and had not yet made my first save. However I wasn’t discouraged and I didn’t feel like all that time was wasted. That’s because I felt that I was getting better at the game. I felt like I was getting more comfortable and confident using my weapons to kill the enemies.
Yes, my fifth death at that hole really ticked me off, but like I said above, my plan now was to make my first save right at the beginning of Chapter 5. So if I died at that hole again, it’s not a big deal.
Okay, so in this blog post I have talked about my first five deaths before my first save in Hardcore Mode. Yes, I would go on to die a few more times before making that first save.
In my last blog post, I asked you to guess how many deaths I would have before my first save. If you guessed 5 or a number lower than 5, then you were incorrect.
Join me next time where I will continue talking about my Hardcore Run, all the way up to my first save.