When Dementium II begins, you awaken in a prison cell with no clue as to how you got there or who tossed you in and threw away the key
- Creative environments, stunning visuals, tense atmosphere, interesting story that actually assumes the player doesn't need everything spelled out for them
- Music that threatens to ruin the whole thing, enemy AI that ranges from mediocre to awful, frequent back-tracking, occasionally frustrating save system, melee combat that lacks weight
Graphically stunning and genuinely terrifying at times, Dementium II is an ambitious title that pushes Nintendo's underpowered handheld to its limits. Unfortunately, some frustrating flaws hold back an otherwise solid survival-horror experience.
I was initially sceptical of Dementium II. I had a hard time believing that the DS' diminutive dimensions could offer a foreboding, atmospheric horror experience. But I couldn't deny the ambitous nature of the game's design, and while it doesn't always succeed, Dementium II surprised me with its quality and depth.
When the game begins, you awaken in a prison cell with no clue as to how you got there or who tossed you in and threw away the key. That initial head-scratcher, however, is put on hold when your prison turns into hell on earth. Prison guards are replaced by grotesquely misshapen monsters, and the prison itself mutates into an industrial torture facility. The world will shift back and forth from the mundane to the horrific in a heartbeat, leaving you to question your character's sanity while also keeping you on your toes. Unfortunately, the game's puzzles involve a fair bit of backtracking, which robs these otherwise memorable environments of their impact over time. Dementium II's lacklustre save system, which is still a big improvement over its predecessor's near-non-existent series of checkpoints, also forces you to replay large sections of the game, leading to further fatigue.
Dementium II's combat is similarly hit-or-miss. Guns handle well, and the game's first-person perspective means that it avoids many of the camera issues commonly associated with the survival-horror genre (think Resident Evil's fixed cameras). However, the enemy A.I. is particularly bad when it comes to aiming, meaning it misses far more often than it hits; it also exhibits some brain-dead behaviour, like running smack into walls with an alarming frequency. Melee weapons are, excuse the pun, a double-edged sword, adding an extra layer of variety to combat, but lacking any real impact. Their blows land with the weight of plastic Halloween costume replicas.
All of these issues cut into Dementium II's quality, which is a shame because, at its best, it's a legitimately spooky ride. The enemies' hair-raising howls and the game's ability to touch upon our deep-seeded fear of the dark lends a feeling of genuine dread to each encounter; combine this with a near-perfect take on the classic survival-horror trope of scarce ammo and health, and the game is able to create an atmosphere that is unrelentingly tense. The game's terrific visuals -- they exhibit surprising quality for a DS game -- help as well. The music isn't nearly as good, however, so I suggest you turn it off; otherwise, you'll be treated to some of the cheesiest "horror" music ever composed. The music begins blaring the moment you enter an area that contains any sort of threat, which kills the game's element of surprise. Imagine someone trying to jump out from behind a wall and scare you, but giggling uncontrollably before they do it. It's a serious threat to the brooding atmosphere the game works so hard to create.
Despite this, Dementium II is a solid sequel and an enjoyable throwback to the survival-horror games of yore. It's creepy, mysterious, and spooky, and while it isn't perfect by any means, it's a horror experience well worth your time.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
- Adding video apps like Netflix to the Nintendo Switch is a waste of Nintendo's energy
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTApplication Team Lead - ERP & Microsoft TechnologiesNSW
- FTFull Stack DeveloperWA
- CCInfrastructure Test Lead - Contract 6-8 wks initially - IT Services - North RydeNSW
- TPSenior Project ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTAgile Project ManagerACT
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - Microsoft / VMWareVIC
- FTSenior Infrastructure Business AnalystVIC
- CCTechnical Business Analyst (Security) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTSAP HR Functional ConsultantQLD
- CCData Migration ManagerQLD
- CCAutomation Developer - LinuxNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- FTService Desk Consultant - Entry Level / GraduateNSW
- FTAgile TesterNSW
- FTEAM Delivery Manager - SAPNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer (cisco)NSW
- FTICT Security AnalystQLD
- CCOrganisational Change Analyst - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- FTSenior Change Readiness ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst (BPMN or UML & Agile)QLD
- FTTechnical ConsultantACT
- TPProject Manager - Digital Banking ProjectQLD
- FTWeb BA LeadQLD