Hard Core Walkthrough w/ Annotated Guide - Dead Space 2

This walkthrough is a Hard Core Walkthrough designed to help you defeat Hard Core mode. It is not a casual playthrough but a serious walkthrough designed to show you how to not only defeat each section of the game, but prepare for and master each section. Please note that this walkthrough was not performed on Hard Core mode (for my Hard Core walkthrough, please view my playlists) but on Zealot mode. I realize that putting "Hard Core" in the title is misleading, but this guide will help you beat this mode. And besides, the only substantial difference between Zealot and Hard Core mode is that the latter removes all of the checkpoints and allows for only three saves. The two modes are essentially the same, except that Hard Core Mode removes the safety net of conveniently "starting over" after getting killed. When playing through Hard Core mode, you only really get one chance to do your best. I wanted to do my best on all the areas of the game, and this of course required multiple attempts. For this guide, I wanted to demonstrate to people struggling through Hard Core mode how best to tackle all sections of the game. In order to do this, I needed the flexibility of Zealot mode. During my actual Hard Core playthrough, I was able to master some sections to my satisfaction, but there were many sections that I wished I could improve upon but couldn't because of the severe save/checkpoint restrictions imposed by Hard Core mode. Also, on my Hard Core playthrough, I availed myself of DLC, and I realize that some people do not want to use DLC; therefore, this guide uses no DLC and is designed to genuinely assist players by showing them how to play the game with the bare minimum of items and with zero advantages.


WEAPON CHOICES
If you start a new game without DLC, it is difficult, by the end of the game, to have more than three maxed out weapons (including your Rig and Stasis). As you will see in my walkthrough, my tried-and-true weapons are the Plasma Cutter, the Seeker Rifle, the Detonator, and the Contact Beam. I can take care of almost every scenario with these four weapons, though sometimes I will swap out one gun for the Line Gun, which is another gun that I rely on sometimes but not enough to keep in my main arsenal. So these are the five weapons you will see me using in this guide. They are popular weapons. If you use any combination of the Ripper, Force Gun, Pulse Rifle, Javelin Gun, or Rivet Gun, and need a guide demonstrating strategies involving these weapons, you will need to look elsewhere because I do not use any of these in my guide. In Chapters 1-5, I solely use the Plasma Cutter and Line Gun. In Chapters 6-10, and in Chapters 11-15, I rely on the weapon set mentioned above. You will also notice that I frequently use the Detonator, my favorite weapon. The Detonator is used not as a reactive device against to enemies but as an anticipatory one. When you know where enemies spawn, you can set detonator mines at the "spawn points" and lay in wait, hoping that they will blow themselves up. I studied each area of the game and perhaps overuse the Detonator, but I feel that it is the best tool the game offers to defeat it. As long as you know from what direction the enemies will come, it safer to kill them before they can attack you. The game lends itself to the Detonator.

UPGRADE BENCH POWER NODE PATH (Note: When it says, "Blank," that means that I welded a power node one of the blank connecting circuits).

First Bench
Plasma Cutter - Damage
Line Gun - Damage/Reload
Rig - HP
Stasis- Duration

Second Bench
Plasma cutter - Capacity/Blank

Third Bench
Plasma Cutter - Blank/Damage
Line Gun - Blank/Damage

Fourth Bench
Rig- Blank/HP

Fifth Bench
Plasma Cutter - Capacity

Sixth Bench
Plasma Cutter - Damage

Seventh Bench
Rig - Blank/Blank/Damage
Detonator - Capacity
Seeker Rifle - Blank (on Alt-Fire path)

Eighth Bench
Detonator - Reload
Plasma Cutter - Speed/Blank
Seeker Rifle - Alt Fire/Reload/Blank/Damage
Stasis - Blank/Energy
Rig - Blank/Blank

Ninth Bench
Detonator - Blank/Blank/Damage
Stasis - Duration

Tenth Bench
Plasma Cutter - Speed/Blank/Capacity/Special
Contact Beam - Alt Fire

Eleventh Bench
Line Gun - Respec'd all four nodes
Seeker Rifle - Blank/Blank/Alt Fire
Detonator - Blank
Plasma Cutter - Capacity

Twelfth Bench
Seeker Rifle - Capacity
Plasma Cutter - Reload
Rig - Blank

Thirteenth Bench
Detonator - Respec'd all six nodes
Contact Beam - Reload/Blank/Alt Fire/Alt Fire/Blank
Seeker Rifle - Blank/Reload
Rig - HP

Fourteenth Bench
Contact Beam - Alt/Special/Blank/Blank/Reload
Detonator - Capacity/Blank
 

CHAPTERS 1-5

CHAPTERS 6-10

CHAPTERS 11-15

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