Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Electronic Arts
Much of Dead Space’s attention seems to be derived from the games gore content. Rest assured though, the game is not one of pure shock value and no substance. Some people have criticized Dead Space for being too reminiscent of Resident Evil. Yes, you do battle reanimated corpses in the game but that does not inherently make it like Resident Evil. It’s like saying any movie that takes place in space is a rip off of Star Wars. Dead Space does a fantastic job of earning its M rating and offers an original storyline.
As soon as the story begins you’re going to notice how striking the visuals are. I couldn’t recommend more that you experience this on a nice 1080p HDTV with 5.1 sound system. That being said, you play the role of engineer Isaac Clarke who is on a repair mission on a mining vessel. Upon arrival you find the ships crew slaughtered and infected by some kind of alien life form. From there you are benefited with the opportunity of wondering through a ship full things that scare the crap out of you and occasionally try to kill you. One of my favorite aspects of this game is that you take on the role of regular guy instead of some government agent or superhero. There’s actually quiet a lot of ways for poor Isaac to die. I was pretty impressed with all the death sequences and animations that EA came up with. From beginning to end I found I really enjoyed the story to Dead Space. It’s fleshed out and has enough twists to keep it from being too predictable.
One of the most beautifully innovative elements to Dead Space is the interface. No health bar icons or ammo displays on the corners of your screen, everything is incorporated into your suit. Video transmissions and your inventory are projected in front of you. It’s such a subtle touch but it really draws you into the game that much more which is great for a survival/horror title. Dead Space also includes a simple feature that so few games utilize, and that’s the ability to start a new game with your inventory from a completed story. The variety of weapons was nice as is the ability to upgrade them. All weapons also have alternate fires. Stores and workbenches are scattered throughout the game and allow you to purchase ammo, health, ect and upgrade your Rig and weapons. The ability to upgrade your weapons and having a store gives Dead Space a touch of RPG, which gives the game a little more dimension. You are also benefited with several abilities; Stasis, which allows you to slow down objects and enemies. And kinesis, which allows you to push/pull objects as well as hurl objects at enemies. Survival/Horror games all too often have very stagnant gameplay. Dead Space in essence is very simple and some of the objectives are cliché. But the inclusion of the store, upgrades, and abilities really round it out helps keep the gameplay fresh.
EA did a solid job with Dead Space. I did find some of the gameplay and objectives a little monotonous at times though. Yes, it’s got some graphic content going on but that’s really the nature of survival/horror games though. Downloadable content is always nice and its sounds like we can expect a lot of different weapon and suit skins to come out. It’s all the little things that I found myself liking the most about Dead Space. The option to start a new game with your old inventory, the interface, and the upgrades are certainly not core elements but they’re such great subtleties that add polish to the game.