The events of the game take place on the Sprawl, a densely populated civilian space station built onto the last remaining shard of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, and site of the first planet crack.
The player controls Isaac Clarke from a third-person perspective, looking over the character’s right shoulder. As in the previous game, the game uses the Resource Integration Gear (RIG) suit, an in-world heads-up display (HUD) system that uses holograms projected from Isaac’s suit and weapons to show information such as messages and ammunition count. In vacuum areas, a timer appears on Isaac’s right shoulder, counting how much oxygen his suit has before he suffocates. The RIG also uses gauges on Isaac’s back to display his health and stasis module levels. If Isaac’s health or air reaches zero, or if the player fails to survive a quick-time event, Isaac will die, forcing the player to restart from the last checkpoint.