Reviews// Dead Space

Posted 28 Oct 2008 18:30 by
Companies:
Games: Dead Space
Dead Space 1 is a survival horror game from EA. Dull name, great game. It subscribes well to the conventions of the survival horror game 2, you are thrown into a scenario not quite knowing what to expect or how to deal with the obstacles that confront you. I always find this part of a game frustrating, which makes me sound like a pussy. I am not.

In real life, I am pretty sure that if I was abandoned in a strange environment with marauding monsters besieging the place, I would account for myself well. But in real life it's easy to survey your surroundings; evaluate what will do most damage and acquire it. In a game, with your famously tunnel vision, first-person perspective (and a head that will only rotate at speeds designed to minimise nausea in people who shouldn't be playing these games anyway) evaluating your circumstances can be much more time consuming. Being under constant threat of dismemberment certainly heightens the drama.

In Dead Space, your strange scenario starts thus - (SPOILER ALERT - this is a review of the game, if you really expect it not to tell you anything about the game, maybe you got the wrong idea): You and your extremely small crew of colleagues are aboard a spaceship destined for a bigger spaceship. As you approach it, it is eerily quiet, no radio contact, no lights. You come in to dock, but the automatic systems designed to assist you in doing so do not engage; you crash-dock, damaging your ship in the process. You are now stranded on the larger spaceship which, for reasons that will go unexplained at first, is rammed to the gunwales with extraterrestrial lifeforms, all of who seem to have gotten out of the bed/hive/nest or whatever it is they sleep in from the wrong side this morning.

Traditional sci-fi movies, specifically Alien, which was as important to that medium as Resident Evil was to video games, have taught us what happens next and Dead Space does not disappoint.

The interior of the ship is littered with bodies, though strangely not as many bodies as you might expect for a crew of that size. A furore occurs, and you are separated from your colleagues, though periodical radio contact is possible. You see a sign scrawled on the wall in blood that imprecates dismemberment.

From here you have to navigate your way through the ship, alone, achieving a set of objectives that purport to bring you back into contact with your colleagues thus enabling you to escape from the ship. As you progress, it becomes clear that the ship is invested with an apparently alien life-form that rips humans limb from limb and asks questions later.

You are armed with only a plasma cutter. The aliens are strangely inured to plasma cutter fire.
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Companies:
Games: Dead Space

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Comments

Ken 29 Oct 2008 01:52
1/4
Not sure if it's the same over there, but in Canada a trademark is common law, so the tm is just an intention to use it, and technically any company could register it and still take it from you. It's a nice system because it keeps away cheap knockoffs that try to use the name in the same domain, or who try to use the name to promote their own product, but at the same time a company that wanted to make it their business name could still register it (which gives them the ability to use the little with the circle around it).
PreciousRoi 2 Nov 2008 07:08
2/4
I didn't find it especially short.

I have been having a few issues with gamesave files appearing to be corrupt, most of the time I can get them to load by trying again, but its kinda disconcerting not to know if the save is any good until you need it.

And, although I'm not a ResiE/Survival Horror aficionado Deep Space addressed most of the annoyances I've had with the genre. The ammo isn't as scarce as it could be, though even with careful management I still ran into cases where I'd have to run and hide due to its lack.

I was fortunate enough to get to play this in my friends home theater setup. It was delightfully frightening, a truly worthy gaming experience on the big screen in pitch blackness with surround and a beefy sub. I'd give this game a 5-10 percent bump if you possess the right setup, its a must-rent at the least.

Currently on Chapter 2 of Round 2, played through the first time with only the cutter, very doable.
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DoctorDee 2 Nov 2008 12:53
3/4
PreciousRoi wrote:
I was fortunate enough to get to play this in my friends home theater setup. It was delightfully frightening, a truly worthy gaming experience on the big screen in pitch blackness with surround and a beefy sub. I'd give this game a 5-10 percent bump if you possess the right setup, its a must-rent at the least.

I have such a set-up: 120inch HD projector, Mission 6.1 surround system. This may explain in part why my score was higher than the MetaCritic average, but the net result was that the game was incredibly immersive, and created a superb air of tension.

I must admit, we only have 50" plasmas in the SPOnG office, and while they are not to be sneared at, when I put Morotstorm on my home set up, it was incredible in comparison to playing it in the office. I didn't play Dead Space in the office at all...

As for the cutter, I liked it as a weapon - it worked OK in both ranged and melee combat, and did the job admirably.

I played it on PS3, and have not experienced any save issues.
PreciousRoi 4 Nov 2008 03:25
4/4
Though I haven't yet progressed very far in the Impossible difficulty, preferring to try and advance through my Hard game on Round Two, I would have liked to see a bit more randomness to the game, sometimes its all too obvious when you're safe and when you need to take a bit more care. A few more semi-random or not-quite-scripted monster appearances could have heightened the tension a bit and added to the overall uncertainty during what might otherwise be percieved as pointless wandering. Perhaps some extra content, accessible on the second playthrough, would have been cool too. More variation the the armor styles might have been nice, Suit Levels 1-5 are a bit too BioShock, but I also see why they went that route as well...Suit Level 6 looks schweet.

But I did really enjoy it...I pick the nits as we simians are wont to do, off something I care about...
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