Publisher: One Gruel Studio
Platforms: Switch, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 06/01/2022
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Horror games are somewhat of a must play for myself, more so the survival horror style games since the PS1 days with Resident Evil and Silent Hill. So when I saw the first Heaven Dust game, I had to play it, and was pleasantly surprised. SO of course when Haven Dust 2 was coming out, it was a must. But was it a step in the right direction, or did the hordes catch up and devour it?
In Heaven Dust 2, you control Steve, the protagonist of the first game as he wakes up in a cryogenic chamber. Within the First Research Center (FRC), where he was transported to after escaping the Mansion. Upon awaking in the FRC confused, a note is left in his room telling him to get out.
Once suited and booted in a security detail uniform, Steve has to traverse the FRC to discover what has happened to the FRC and how Heaven Dust escaped, stop it and escape (no pressure).
The story is a big step in the right direction, with more intriguing diary entries and overall narrative. The horror feel seeps in through the narrative, the world and its almost silent FRC.
Heaven Dust 2 is nothing you have not seen before in survival horror games, and this is not a bad thing. After playing the first entry, indienova took a great base and improved on all the elements.
The game takes what we loved in Resident Evil and added its own spin on things. There is resource management, herbs, puzzles, backtracking, and hidden items galore. And a little help from his new companion.
OK, we are all here for the lumbering, moaning zombies and killing them. In Heaven Dust there are different a few different types of these undead meat sacks to kill. From the normal zombie, armoured zombie, dog looking things and exploding ones to name a few. Each one needing a slightly different strategy to take out. For instance, the armoured zombies need the bones on the outside destroyed before you can kill them.
Of course, there are boss fights, that amount to dodging attacks and hitting weak spots until they fall. The horror element comes from the close confined areas you will fight them in. There is not a lot of room to move about and Steve is no sprinter. Letting the bosses get too close is a quick game over.
Steve is not defenceless in this fight. After the first game, it also explains why Steve is competent with a gun. He had no choice but to learn. Steve starts with the gun and knife combo, then a shotgun and sub-machine gun and a couple of others. He also has a fire and electric grenade.
It handles the gun play well, with a laser sight showing the direction Steve is aiming. And Steve needs to be aiming near a zombie to lock on. When a zombie is within range, a target will slowly move to the zombie’s head, allowing for a critical hit. It is also possible to just shoot them. Depending on the situation, it maybe all that can be done.
In this outing, Steve has access to weapon modifications. These will improve how well the guns perform. Improving damage, clip size, aiming speed and shooting speed. Not only that, but the mods are also visible on the guns themselves (A nice wee touch).
Heaven Dust 2 has more complex and just more puzzles than its former self. With most of them not feeling over laborious as most of the puzzles and we find their respective components as you explore the FRC or use the environment it’s self to complete. Giving these a more natural and fluid feel, rather than jumping about everywhere to solve them.
A Few Scary Mishaps
Heaven Dust 2 is a significant improvement of the original and is overall a stellar game. It to has one or two slight annoyances.
The first one that I noticed is at times is, when vison is obscured by a wall, it will become see through. However, this seems to take a moment too long in places. Normally not a problem, but when a few zombies are coming at you, it could be the difference between life and death.
The other wee problem I found was throwing grenades. There were a lot of instances where I wasted a grenade as where I thought I was looking (I aimed to get a lock on) when a grenade was thrown it would just go in to a wall where I was not looking. It was a pain.
Overall, Heaven Dust 2 is a fantastic survival horror title that keeps the classic formula alive and well. With its mix of gunplay, puzzles, and zombies, it makes for an exciting game that will have you hooked until you beat it.
This is a must for most survival horror fans. I would highly recommend it.