After Resident Evil 4, I felt a little hole in my heart... I wanted more of that experience. When Dead Space was announced, I was like "F*CK YEAH!!!" while others were disappointed at the fact it is Resident Evil 4 in space. It's out and I gotta say... It is one hell of a game. Generally speaking, as far as horror games go, this isn't the scariest. While it had its moments, horror is not the strong point. Dead Space's highlights are it's combat, the fact that cutscenes unseemingly move into the gameplay, and it's overall presentation.
I might as well start with it's cons because I want to spend ALOT of time praising this game.
You know when you're watching a movie that pulled all of it's scenes right out of hollywoods finest, and you basically call what's going to happen next, and nail it on the head? That happens quite a few times in this game. Long hallway, quiet, vents on your right, you haven't seen an enemy in a few minutes... sh*t's going to go down. You begin walking, all of the vents blast open, a few necromorphs pop out, lazers galore. Now when you entered that hallway, you f*ckin knew what was going to happen. While it is predictable, it doesn't make it a bad game. What disappoints the most is the repetitive factor. Generally, when you start a level, you walk off a tram, greeted by a transmission with all of the intel on what you're about to endure, then walk on to meet a safe room with a store and SOMETIMES a bench. Press the right stick, tells you where to go (if you don't have a guide or have memorized this game head to toe, you'll be doing this ALOT) and follow that. Complete objective, go back to tram station (or a new one, depending on what happens) and BAM... done. It certainly is disappointing, but f*ck... you honestly shouldn't give a damn.
Dead Space's presentation is godly. As you all should know, there is no HUD. That plays EXTREMELY well and it honestly is better than having one. One of this game's strong points are the cutscenes. Something would happen, and without knowing it, it transitions into a cutscene, then back to gameplay. It's so seemless that it's amazing. The graphics are great and there really is nothing bad about it's technical standpoint.
The weapons introduced are well picked. Your general machine gun is in there, mixed with power tools that ironically weren't made to kill. Christ, the plasma cutter (starter pistol) is strong enough to kill every damn enemy in the game. Other interesting weapons include a Line gun (like a shotgun), the force gun (also like a shotgun), the ripper (chainsaw), contact beam (...explosive...launcher), and thats mostly it. Each weapon includes a secondary function and they are well thought out.
The inventory system is similar to most games; a bunch of boxes (size of item doesn't matter, it'll get into a box). The real problem is that occasionally you'll have too much stuff (this really depends on the player) and have to drop stuff and it gets frustrating. A plus side is that there is a "safe" feature in the store. The way things are added to the store are by finding schematics for items, then downloading it to a store, so that it is buyable at all stores.
The save system is like Resident Evil 4 as well. Basically... it's a futuristic typewritter... that's all you need to know.
A somewhat decent idea is the bench. While it's great for upgrading stuff to have its own system for purchasing upgrades, the way you put them into your guns is kind of annoying. The schematics in which you place your power nodes is like a pattern of circles that each have a trait for the thing your uploading. But inbetween those circles are empty circles which you are forced to put your nodes into occasionally. Also power nodes can be really rare which makes upgrading a pretty frustrating chore.
The story is a straightforward horror plot (similar to Doom 3 but with a team) but the moments within are intense and well devised w/ a passion. Basically, you and your crew receive a distress call from a huge ass ship called the USG ISHIMURA, apparently communications are out. When you arrive on board, you are greeted by these alien, monster things called Necromorphs. Fun ensues from there when you and your friends try to escape after your ship is blown up!
When the final boss popped out and my friend put on some grind metal, I thought it was the best choice EA has ever made in any game. Then I realized it's off his crap filled ipod, but whatever it was so insane that I f*ckin jumped out of my chair and screamed. There are great plot twists as well with the characters and it seems that the ending COULD leave potential for a sequel...
The gameplay is a straightforward third person shooter extremely similar to Resident Evil 4. Some additions are the ability to move while shooting, and the ammo counter for each gun. The way you kill enemies is freakin' amazing. Strategic Dismemberment beats shooting them in the head by a mile. While not all of the weapons are great for dismembering *cough*pulse rifle*cough*, it still is satisfying shooting a necromorphs legs off and run over to it, stomp its f*cking legs off, then shoot it's head off. THATS A FATALTY! It's also great since the physics are... there.
The concepts of stasis and kenisis are great additions and add alot of fun to the combat. Slowing down a guy and grabbing a flammable tank, shoot it at your slowed down enemy, and watch the fireworks go is very satisfying as well.
All in All, Dead Space is a GRRRRREAT F*CKING game. It's got excellent gameplay features and it's presentation as a survival horror game are amazing. Anyone who liked Resident Evil 4, Doom 3, or hell Bioshock should definitely pick up this game. Also action, and horror buffs should take a look too.