Dead Space

DeadSpace03

About:

Released on: Xbox 360 (version reviewed), PlayStation 3, PC

Developed By: EA Redwood Shores (now Visceral Games)

Who Also Developed: The Godfather Series, the Simpsons Game

Published By: Electronic Arts

Players: One.

Demo Available: Yes (360 & PS3)

Demo a Good Example of Game: No – the game is better than the demo implies.

Additional Content: Improved armour and weapons (essentially ‘cheats’ to make the game easier) for PS3 and 360, but not PC.

Ben’s Progress: Game completed on the normal difficulty. 39 of 48 achievements earned.

DeadSpace01

Quick Opinion:

Buy if:

You enjoy survival horror games, especially those more slanted towards action.

You are a big fan of sci-fi horror and atmospheric games – this fits neatly into Event Horizon and Doom 3 territory.

Try if:

You don’t mind survival horror games, with your main complaints being clunky controls – while Dead Space isn’t quite at the third-person level it has far more action-oriented controls than the Resident Evils.

You’re very interested in new approaches to game interfaces.

Skip if:

You don’t like the kind of cheap scares that Doom 3 relied upon – Dead Space is just as relentless with them, if not more so.

You don’t enjoy survival horror games – While there’s more action here, it probably wouldn’t change your opinion of the genre.

DeadSpace02

Evaluation:

Summary:

Third-person survival horror set aboard a monster-infested ‘planet-cracker’ spaceship, The Ishimura.

Story:

Mostly serves as a means to send the player to each new location to prepare to escape the ship, unravelling the events that led to the infestation as they progress.

Gameplay:

Standard survival horror gameplay. Explore the location and unlock new areas, killing the enemies (necromorphs) encountered along the way.

Enemies are particularly susceptible to dismemberment, making targeting limbs an important factor.

Structured in chapters, each set in one area of the Ishimura, with multiple objectives to complete per area. Objectives occasionally feel stretched a little thin just to keep the game going.

Scares are mostly cheap ones, with sudden loud noises or enemies leaping out. Completing an objective often spawns several necromorphs, to the point of predictability.

Wide selection of fairly original weapons are all viable through the game and offer slightly different strategies. Stasis (targeted slow motion) and kinesis (object manipulation) add variety and basic puzzles.

Controls:

Good third-person controls. Being able to move and shoot at the same time feels much better than the standard Resident Evil controls.

Graphics:

Very nice, with a good atmosphere and good use of light and shadow.

The complete lack of a HUD in favour of an entirely in-game interface (health bar on the suit, ammo count on the gun, menus on virtual screens) works well for the most part.

Sound:

Good voice acting, sound and soundtrack all work well and add to the atmosphere.

Other Comments:

A solid start to a new IP with a lot of potential.

At times the game feels too much like it’s is stretching out objectives a bit too far, with a lot of backtracking, and the same few enemies are recycled throughout, but killing them remains reasonably entertaining to the end.

Image Sources:

Isaac Stalked: FramePerSecond

Isaac Bitten: Democratic Underground

Isaac Attacked: IGN

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