'Dead Space 2' Hard Core Mode Will Make You Cry

Dead Space 2hard Core Mode Will Make You Cry

When 'Dead Space 2' hits stores tomorrow, people will have to decide what difficulty level is best for them. On easier difficulties, the game plays like an action game, akin to 'Gears of War,' with plenty of ammo and health. As the difficulty levels increase, though, the game becomes more like its survival horror roots, with minimal ammo, few health packs and enemies who can rip you to shreds in a moment.

The hardest difficulty level you can select at the start is Zealot, which is definitely a challenge. But it's nothing compared to Hard Core, the mode you unlock when you complete the game on any difficulty level.

Here's the concept of Hard Core mode: You have three saves in total for the entire game. If you die, you revert back to your last save. Oh, and the difficulty level is as hard as Zealot. In a word: Punishing.

I spoke with Wright Bagwell, the creative director of 'Dead Space 2,' about how this insanely difficult mode came to be.

'When we were thinking about what would be the ultimate difficulty mode, we were kicking around a lot of ideas,' said Bagwell. 'What we found was that it wasn't really fun to continue to make the game harder by giving the enemies more hit points or giving you less bullets. It just crossed that line into frustration, and the combat doesn't really feel good when you jack up the enemy hit points...it makes the game feel crappy.'

From there it was just a matter of changing the elements that could be changed without ruining the spirit of the game. Thus Hard Core mode was born.

'How do we make players feel like it's more challenging. I thought, well, one of the things that's really comforting in a game is the ability to save. When you get to some place and you're like, 'Ahhhhh, save station, everything is OK.' We thought, if that's the one thing that makes players feel all warm and fuzzy and safe, then let's take it away from them. That's where the idea came from.'

Having played through the entire game (tune in tomorrow for the review!), I can safely say that Hard Core mode is well beyond my skill set. I'm sure there will be others that will attempt the challenge, though. Apart from the highly coveted achievement/trophy, Bagwell teased that 'there's some really, really cool unlock if you manage to beat [Hard Core mode].' Intriguing!