HandsomeDead Space

Having just this minute finished Dead Space, I feel incredibly underwhelmed and disappointed. During the first chapter, the game does a great job of using a lot of cheap jump scares to get you into a panicked frame of mind but from as early as halfway through Chapter 2, I started to guess where the enemies were going to jump from and what was going to happen next, so here's a few of my ideas regarding what I think would have made Dead Space a much better game, so, obviously, spoilers ahead.

1. Less is more: From start to finish, the game completely bombards you with things to kill which is obviously what a third person shooter should be doing, but with the game aspiring to be survival horror, notably demonstrated in the semi-gimped controls and use of inventory, the killing eventually becomes tedious. Especially so during the later chapters where the game threw so many enemies at me that I had slow down. This just totally kills any mood the game tried to set because you're so busy chopping off limbs that it stops being scary, tense or anything besides a chore. Had the kill count been toned down, the enemies would have felt more like a threat rather than something stopping you from getting from A to B. To compare it to films, the game would have been better if it could be compared to the horror Alien rather than a action based Aliens.

2. Increase fluidity: Another thing made clear from the game after the opening sequence is how basic the mission structure is. Having Issac going from place to place just to get a key/switch/item and bring it back to activate the next area was something so stodgy and old that it harked so far back into Resident Evil that I may as well have been on the USG Sencer. This is made worse with every section clearly punctuated by the tram which felt like a meta version of the fetch and carry mission structure. Had the tram been something similar to the bathyspheres from BioShock and been in different places every time, then there would have been less of a backtracking feel to the game and more of an exploratory one.

3. Interesting NPCs: During the opening sequence when the Issac and the boys are crashing into the Ishimura, I was under the assumption that the game was going to be slightly squad based. Not to the point of Gears of War or something but I presumed I may have a wingman to guide me along but instead, the horror cliches come thick and fast and everyone gets separated. This could have been interesting in one way or another but instead, all you get are people barking orders at you down the holo-Codec. Why not at least have them give some exposition and interaction rather than 'Oh shit, X is broken! Issac go get Y to fix it.' What was worse was when you did encounter people who weren't infected, they were even worse. The survivors didn't seem to want saving and the Drs. and such that you do interact with as part of the plot just monologued on the other side of glass while inexplicably trotting around the ship unharmed. This killed the immersion and, again, made things feel incredibly basic.

4. Coherent plot: I'd heard from many sources that the game borrowed ideas from movies and games in order to make it some kind of ultimate sci-fi horror and sure, borrowing concepts from Event Horizon, Alien, Aliens, The Thing and more worked well, having a plot filled with moments from these is terrible and incredibly unsatisfying. Having cliche after cliche makes the game's already minimal tension disappear when you can tell from the opening video clip that Nicole was already dead. The most disappointing part of this particular story strand is how they try to make it a twist towards the end and that just makes me confused. If you haven't been keeping up with recent events, Nicole, Issac's girl, is pretty much confired as dead during the opening but throughout, she keeps appearing on screens telling you she loves you etc. Now, this is fine and could easily be addressed as hallucinations, but when she turns up in the flesh and starts opening doors and operating panels for you, that takes it into a whole different spectrum of fucked up and for a period of time, I thought this was incredibly clever. I thought she was like Newt in Aliens (Sorry to mention it again) and was hidding in the nooks and crannies of the ship, occasionally reaching a panel with enough time to contact you and reassure you she was still alive, but when it is finally confirmed she's dead, it just makes the game seems stupid and cheap. And that's not to mention Kendra's awful heel turn and Hammond just being totally pointless even though he's supposed to be the captain of the mission. And, finally, another stupid thing which annoys me every time is how whenever the Marines or trained forces arrive on the scene in these kind of things, they get absolutely destroyed, but the main character who has no combat training whatsoever can survive the whole thing. Just for once, i'd like to see the professionals being professional.

It's a shame that all these key points in the game ranged from just not right to completely broken because as it's the only new IP this year that looks worth a shit (Mirrors Edge looks to be playing the unique =/= good angle), I really wanted this to be my GOTY, but instead, I never really want to play it again.

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8 Comments
Posted by HandsomeDead

Having just this minute finished Dead Space, I feel incredibly underwhelmed and disappointed. During the first chapter, the game does a great job of using a lot of cheap jump scares to get you into a panicked frame of mind but from as early as halfway through Chapter 2, I started to guess where the enemies were going to jump from and what was going to happen next, so here's a few of my ideas regarding what I think would have made Dead Space a much better game, so, obviously, spoilers ahead.

1. Less is more: From start to finish, the game completely bombards you with things to kill which is obviously what a third person shooter should be doing, but with the game aspiring to be survival horror, notably demonstrated in the semi-gimped controls and use of inventory, the killing eventually becomes tedious. Especially so during the later chapters where the game threw so many enemies at me that I had slow down. This just totally kills any mood the game tried to set because you're so busy chopping off limbs that it stops being scary, tense or anything besides a chore. Had the kill count been toned down, the enemies would have felt more like a threat rather than something stopping you from getting from A to B. To compare it to films, the game would have been better if it could be compared to the horror Alien rather than a action based Aliens.

2. Increase fluidity: Another thing made clear from the game after the opening sequence is how basic the mission structure is. Having Issac going from place to place just to get a key/switch/item and bring it back to activate the next area was something so stodgy and old that it harked so far back into Resident Evil that I may as well have been on the USG Sencer. This is made worse with every section clearly punctuated by the tram which felt like a meta version of the fetch and carry mission structure. Had the tram been something similar to the bathyspheres from BioShock and been in different places every time, then there would have been less of a backtracking feel to the game and more of an exploratory one.

3. Interesting NPCs: During the opening sequence when the Issac and the boys are crashing into the Ishimura, I was under the assumption that the game was going to be slightly squad based. Not to the point of Gears of War or something but I presumed I may have a wingman to guide me along but instead, the horror cliches come thick and fast and everyone gets separated. This could have been interesting in one way or another but instead, all you get are people barking orders at you down the holo-Codec. Why not at least have them give some exposition and interaction rather than 'Oh shit, X is broken! Issac go get Y to fix it.' What was worse was when you did encounter people who weren't infected, they were even worse. The survivors didn't seem to want saving and the Drs. and such that you do interact with as part of the plot just monologued on the other side of glass while inexplicably trotting around the ship unharmed. This killed the immersion and, again, made things feel incredibly basic.

4. Coherent plot: I'd heard from many sources that the game borrowed ideas from movies and games in order to make it some kind of ultimate sci-fi horror and sure, borrowing concepts from Event Horizon, Alien, Aliens, The Thing and more worked well, having a plot filled with moments from these is terrible and incredibly unsatisfying. Having cliche after cliche makes the game's already minimal tension disappear when you can tell from the opening video clip that Nicole was already dead. The most disappointing part of this particular story strand is how they try to make it a twist towards the end and that just makes me confused. If you haven't been keeping up with recent events, Nicole, Issac's girl, is pretty much confired as dead during the opening but throughout, she keeps appearing on screens telling you she loves you etc. Now, this is fine and could easily be addressed as hallucinations, but when she turns up in the flesh and starts opening doors and operating panels for you, that takes it into a whole different spectrum of fucked up and for a period of time, I thought this was incredibly clever. I thought she was like Newt in Aliens (Sorry to mention it again) and was hidding in the nooks and crannies of the ship, occasionally reaching a panel with enough time to contact you and reassure you she was still alive, but when it is finally confirmed she's dead, it just makes the game seems stupid and cheap. And that's not to mention Kendra's awful heel turn and Hammond just being totally pointless even though he's supposed to be the captain of the mission. And, finally, another stupid thing which annoys me every time is how whenever the Marines or trained forces arrive on the scene in these kind of things, they get absolutely destroyed, but the main character who has no combat training whatsoever can survive the whole thing. Just for once, i'd like to see the professionals being professional.

It's a shame that all these key points in the game ranged from just not right to completely broken because as it's the only new IP this year that looks worth a shit (Mirrors Edge looks to be playing the unique =/= good angle), I really wanted this to be my GOTY, but instead, I never really want to play it again.

Edited by Wolswor
HandsomeDead said:
2. Increase fluidity: Another thing made clear from the game after the opening sequence is how basic the mission structure is. Having Issac going from place to place just to get a key/switch/item and bring it back to activate the next area was something so stodgy and old that it harked so far back into Resident Evil that I may as well have been on the USG Sencer. This is made worse with every section clearly punctuated by the tram which felt like a meta version of the fetch and carry mission structure. Had the tram been something similar to the bathyspheres from BioShock and been in different places every time, then there would have been less of a backtracking feel to the game and more of an exploratory one.

3. Interesting NPCs: During the opening sequence when the Issac and the boys are crashing into the Ishimura, I was under the assumption that the game was going to be slightly squad based. Not to the point of Gears of War or something but I presumed I may have a wingman to guide me along but instead, the horror cliches come thick and fast and everyone gets separated. This could have been interesting in one way or another but instead, all you get are people barking orders at you down the holo-Codec. Why not at least have them give some exposition and interaction rather than 'Oh shit, X is broken! Issac go get Y to fix it.' What was worse was when you did encounter people who weren't infected, they were even worse. The survivors didn't seem to want saving and the Drs. and such that you do interact with as part of the plot just monologued on the other side of glass while inexplicably trotting around the ship unharmed. This killed the immersion and, again, made things feel incredibly basic.


Wait,wait wait....you complain about the tram being so critical to exploring the Ishimura then praise the bathyspheres? HAHAHAHAH, they're the same damn thing.  If you hate one you have to hate the other, stop being a Bioshock fanboy and admit that backtracking sucks. Period. 

What did you want them to do?  "Nice job Issac, come to the bridge and let's play a game of cards before something CRAZY happens, know what I mean?"  Yes, I will admit this part of the game was bad.  But there was no way to remedy it without losing the "OMG THE SHIP IS TOTALLY SCREWED" idea that the developers were going for.


No, squad based gameplay?  Wtf were you expecting for you to walk down a hall with 2 other guys and then flip a table over and take cover behind it while fighting off a sea of necromorhps? Sorry, this isn't GoW the horror version.  And the survivors didn't want saving because maybe.....they just saw everyone turned into a freakish monsters and people spouting crazy unitoligist stuff before about the marker.  I think you would be phased a little bit if you just saw someone you knew stab themselves in the face and then come back to kill you in an hour.  Also, the doctors were behind glass maybe because.....oh yeah, otherwise you would shoot them in the face and break the story.  Unless you would have preffered some stupid ass cut-scene where Issac stands around like a retard while someone 2 ft away tells him he is going to die?


Edit: by the way, I just remembered Mercer gets killed by a bat, so no, their luck is not indefinite.
Posted by HandsomeDead
Wolswor said:
"HandsomeDead said:
2. Increase fluidity: Another thing made clear from the game after the opening sequence is how basic the mission structure is. Having Issac going from place to place just to get a key/switch/item and bring it back to activate the next area was something so stodgy and old that it harked so far back into Resident Evil that I may as well have been on the USG Sencer. This is made worse with every section clearly punctuated by the tram which felt like a meta version of the fetch and carry mission structure. Had the tram been something similar to the bathyspheres from BioShock and been in different places every time, then there would have been less of a backtracking feel to the game and more of an exploratory one.

3. Interesting NPCs: During the opening sequence when the Issac and the boys are crashing into the Ishimura, I was under the assumption that the game was going to be slightly squad based. Not to the point of Gears of War or something but I presumed I may have a wingman to guide me along but instead, the horror cliches come thick and fast and everyone gets separated. This could have been interesting in one way or another but instead, all you get are people barking orders at you down the holo-Codec. Why not at least have them give some exposition and interaction rather than 'Oh shit, X is broken! Issac go get Y to fix it.' What was worse was when you did encounter people who weren't infected, they were even worse. The survivors didn't seem to want saving and the Drs. and such that you do interact with as part of the plot just monologued on the other side of glass while inexplicably trotting around the ship unharmed. This killed the immersion and, again, made things feel incredibly basic.


Wait,wait wait....you complain about the tram being so critical to exploring the Ishimura then praise the bathyspheres? HAHAHAHAH, they're the same damn thing.  If you hate one you have to hate the other, stop being a Bioshock fanboy and admit that backtracking sucks. Period. 

What did you want them to do?  "Nice job Issac, come to the bridge and let's play a game of cards before something CRAZY happens, know what I mean?"  Yes, I will admit this part of the game was bad.  But there was no way to remedy it without losing the "OMG THE SHIP IS TOTALLY SCREWED" idea that the developers were going for.


No, squad based gameplay?  Wtf were you expecting for you to walk down a hall with 2 other guys and then flip a table over and take cover behind it while fighting off a sea of necromorhps? Sorry, this isn't GoW the horror version.  And the survivors didn't want saving because maybe.....they just saw everyone turned into a freakish monsters and people spouting crazy unitoligist stuff before about the marker.  I think you would be phased a little bit if you just saw someone you knew stab themselves in the face and then come back to kill you in an hour.  Also, the doctors were behind glass maybe because.....oh yeah, otherwise you would shoot them in the face and break the story.  Unless you would have preffered some stupid ass cut-scene where Issac stands around like a retard while someone 2 ft away tells him he is going to die?


Edit: by the way, I just remembered Mercer gets killed by a bat, so no, their luck is not indefinite."
The bathysphere's were similar, not the same. Of course backtracking sucks, but BioShock kind of tried to at least hide it. Stop being a Dead Space fanboy.

Feel free to read what I said. Have a bit more than 'Issac, go from A to B' followed by 'Great. Now go form B to C.' Variety never hurt anyone. The "OMG THE SHIP IS TOTALLY SCREWED" idea that the developers were going for could have been increased if it actually felt like the others were helping rather than telling you what to do.

Stop trying to be smart, of course that's not what I meant but being split up from the very beginning is so cliche and done that for something so groundbreakingly scary, I wouldn't have minded a bit where someone other than the ghost of Nicole was in danger. Yeah, but Issac wasn't spouting Unitologist shit, so they could have at least interacted with him. Er, no, because if you tried to shoot Hammond or Kendra, it didn't let you, so stop being so fucking stupid.

Yeah, he gets killed by a bat many hours into the game and basically asks for it to happen so he can be reborn. It's way different to the slaughtering everyone else had.
Posted by GmLx

I get what you mean when you say the whole "go to A, shit the doors look go to B and get the card then you can proceed through A to C and repair D" etc. I agree when you step out of the game you can see the repitition, but i think the game is so absorbing and does a great job of really sucking you in ( absence of any sort of hud gave it a really real feel) that the whole fetch, repair, move on thing makes sense. You do need to backtrack by the reasons they gives as to why are understandable from within the game perspective...

Posted by Kratos81

I just beat deadspace today. I will say its a great game but its just missing something. I lost intrist many times and felt like i was playing it just to finish it. The game was great but as I get older I see games for what they are and deadspace was the same thing over and over, I shot off so many limbs that it just got old. Must be hard to be a game maker in this day and age, the bar is just so high.

Posted by Wolswor
HandsomeDead said:
"Wolswor said:
"HandsomeDead said:
2. Increase fluidity: Another thing made clear from the game after the opening sequence is how basic the mission structure is. Having Issac going from place to place just to get a key/switch/item and bring it back to activate the next area was something so stodgy and old that it harked so far back into Resident Evil that I may as well have been on the USG Sencer. This is made worse with every section clearly punctuated by the tram which felt like a meta version of the fetch and carry mission structure. Had the tram been something similar to the bathyspheres from BioShock and been in different places every time, then there would have been less of a backtracking feel to the game and more of an exploratory one.

3. Interesting NPCs: During the opening sequence when the Issac and the boys are crashing into the Ishimura, I was under the assumption that the game was going to be slightly squad based. Not to the point of Gears of War or something but I presumed I may have a wingman to guide me along but instead, the horror cliches come thick and fast and everyone gets separated. This could have been interesting in one way or another but instead, all you get are people barking orders at you down the holo-Codec. Why not at least have them give some exposition and interaction rather than 'Oh shit, X is broken! Issac go get Y to fix it.' What was worse was when you did encounter people who weren't infected, they were even worse. The survivors didn't seem to want saving and the Drs. and such that you do interact with as part of the plot just monologued on the other side of glass while inexplicably trotting around the ship unharmed. This killed the immersion and, again, made things feel incredibly basic.


Wait,wait wait....you complain about the tram being so critical to exploring the Ishimura then praise the bathyspheres? HAHAHAHAH, they're the same damn thing.  If you hate one you have to hate the other, stop being a Bioshock fanboy and admit that backtracking sucks. Period. 

What did you want them to do?  "Nice job Issac, come to the bridge and let's play a game of cards before something CRAZY happens, know what I mean?"  Yes, I will admit this part of the game was bad.  But there was no way to remedy it without losing the "OMG THE SHIP IS TOTALLY SCREWED" idea that the developers were going for.


No, squad based gameplay?  Wtf were you expecting for you to walk down a hall with 2 other guys and then flip a table over and take cover behind it while fighting off a sea of necromorhps? Sorry, this isn't GoW the horror version.  And the survivors didn't want saving because maybe.....they just saw everyone turned into a freakish monsters and people spouting crazy unitoligist stuff before about the marker.  I think you would be phased a little bit if you just saw someone you knew stab themselves in the face and then come back to kill you in an hour.  Also, the doctors were behind glass maybe because.....oh yeah, otherwise you would shoot them in the face and break the story.  Unless you would have preffered some stupid ass cut-scene where Issac stands around like a retard while someone 2 ft away tells him he is going to die?


Edit: by the way, I just remembered Mercer gets killed by a bat, so no, their luck is not indefinite."
The bathysphere's were similar, not the same. Of course backtracking sucks, but BioShock kind of tried to at least hide it. Stop being a Dead Space fanboy.

Feel free to read what I said. Have a bit more than 'Issac, go from A to B' followed by 'Great. Now go form B to C.' Variety never hurt anyone. The "OMG THE SHIP IS TOTALLY SCREWED" idea that the developers were going for could have been increased if it actually felt like the others were helping rather than telling you what to do.

Stop trying to be smart, of course that's not what I meant but being split up from the very beginning is so cliche and done that for something so groundbreakingly scary, I wouldn't have minded a bit where someone other than the ghost of Nicole was in danger. Yeah, but Issac wasn't spouting Unitologist shit, so they could have at least interacted with him. Er, no, because if you tried to shoot Hammond or Kendra, it didn't let you, so stop being so fucking stupid.

Yeah, he gets killed by a bat many hours into the game and basically asks for it to happen so he can be reborn. It's way different to the slaughtering everyone else had."
How are they different?  They are little damn ships that take you to the next spot.  THEY ARE THE SAME.  You are being a bioshock fanboy.


Once again, I AGREE with you on the repition point, but there was really nothing the developers could have changed that wouldn't have broken the idea and mood they were going for.
as for the people intercating with Issac even if they hadn't gone crazy, I'm almost 100% sure anyone else would have, what would have been the point?  So we could have a crappy Dead Rising escort Mission where we stuff people into the bridge and nothing else happens?  Also I would have been INFINTLEY more pissed off at the game if instead of hiding behind bullet-proof glass, I could see someone saying I will be killed and reborn but instead of being able to shoot him I just put my gun down, that would have created that "wow this is f-ing stupid" idea.
Mercer doesn't ask to get killed by a bat, he is even saying "now you have gone too far, you will be puni-AHHHH" and then the bat kills him.
Posted by Sarnecki

I can understand and agree with some of your points...

Posted by HandsomeDead
Wolswor said:
"HandsomeDead said:
"Wolswor said:
"HandsomeDead said:
2. Increase fluidity: Another thing made clear from the game after the opening sequence is how basic the mission structure is. Having Issac going from place to place just to get a key/switch/item and bring it back to activate the next area was something so stodgy and old that it harked so far back into Resident Evil that I may as well have been on the USG Sencer. This is made worse with every section clearly punctuated by the tram which felt like a meta version of the fetch and carry mission structure. Had the tram been something similar to the bathyspheres from BioShock and been in different places every time, then there would have been less of a backtracking feel to the game and more of an exploratory one.

3. Interesting NPCs: During the opening sequence when the Issac and the boys are crashing into the Ishimura, I was under the assumption that the game was going to be slightly squad based. Not to the point of Gears of War or something but I presumed I may have a wingman to guide me along but instead, the horror cliches come thick and fast and everyone gets separated. This could have been interesting in one way or another but instead, all you get are people barking orders at you down the holo-Codec. Why not at least have them give some exposition and interaction rather than 'Oh shit, X is broken! Issac go get Y to fix it.' What was worse was when you did encounter people who weren't infected, they were even worse. The survivors didn't seem to want saving and the Drs. and such that you do interact with as part of the plot just monologued on the other side of glass while inexplicably trotting around the ship unharmed. This killed the immersion and, again, made things feel incredibly basic.


Wait,wait wait....you complain about the tram being so critical to exploring the Ishimura then praise the bathyspheres? HAHAHAHAH, they're the same damn thing.  If you hate one you have to hate the other, stop being a Bioshock fanboy and admit that backtracking sucks. Period. 

What did you want them to do?  "Nice job Issac, come to the bridge and let's play a game of cards before something CRAZY happens, know what I mean?"  Yes, I will admit this part of the game was bad.  But there was no way to remedy it without losing the "OMG THE SHIP IS TOTALLY SCREWED" idea that the developers were going for.


No, squad based gameplay?  Wtf were you expecting for you to walk down a hall with 2 other guys and then flip a table over and take cover behind it while fighting off a sea of necromorhps? Sorry, this isn't GoW the horror version.  And the survivors didn't want saving because maybe.....they just saw everyone turned into a freakish monsters and people spouting crazy unitoligist stuff before about the marker.  I think you would be phased a little bit if you just saw someone you knew stab themselves in the face and then come back to kill you in an hour.  Also, the doctors were behind glass maybe because.....oh yeah, otherwise you would shoot them in the face and break the story.  Unless you would have preffered some stupid ass cut-scene where Issac stands around like a retard while someone 2 ft away tells him he is going to die?


Edit: by the way, I just remembered Mercer gets killed by a bat, so no, their luck is not indefinite."
The bathysphere's were similar, not the same. Of course backtracking sucks, but BioShock kind of tried to at least hide it. Stop being a Dead Space fanboy.

Feel free to read what I said. Have a bit more than 'Issac, go from A to B' followed by 'Great. Now go form B to C.' Variety never hurt anyone. The "OMG THE SHIP IS TOTALLY SCREWED" idea that the developers were going for could have been increased if it actually felt like the others were helping rather than telling you what to do.

Stop trying to be smart, of course that's not what I meant but being split up from the very beginning is so cliche and done that for something so groundbreakingly scary, I wouldn't have minded a bit where someone other than the ghost of Nicole was in danger. Yeah, but Issac wasn't spouting Unitologist shit, so they could have at least interacted with him. Er, no, because if you tried to shoot Hammond or Kendra, it didn't let you, so stop being so fucking stupid.

Yeah, he gets killed by a bat many hours into the game and basically asks for it to happen so he can be reborn. It's way different to the slaughtering everyone else had."
How are they different?  They are little damn ships that take you to the next spot.  THEY ARE THE SAME.  You are being a bioshock fanboy.


Once again, I AGREE with you on the repition point, but there was really nothing the developers could have changed that wouldn't have broken the idea and mood they were going for.
as for the people intercating with Issac even if they hadn't gone crazy, I'm almost 100% sure anyone else would have, what would have been the point?  So we could have a crappy Dead Rising escort Mission where we stuff people into the bridge and nothing else happens?  Also I would have been INFINTLEY more pissed off at the game if instead of hiding behind bullet-proof glass, I could see someone saying I will be killed and reborn but instead of being able to shoot him I just put my gun down, that would have created that "wow this is f-ing stupid" idea.
Mercer doesn't ask to get killed by a bat, he is even saying "now you have gone too far, you will be puni-AHHHH" and then the bat kills him."
Because a lot of the time, you don't have to backtrack to them, so instead of making the levels feel like a closed loop, it made it feel like Rapture was a big place.

There was plenty more they could have done. Leaving the tram alone would have been a good start.

If the game was so good, it wouldn't be an escort mission in the same way. And it wouldn't even have to be an escort mission, some mild interaction would have been nice rather than just sitting there laughing like another stock cliche. Why would that make you pissed off? Having Issac as a silent protagonist made those moments super awkward and having the impenetrable glass just felt so forced.

Wasn't he saying all that punishment stuff to Issac at the time while waiting for the bat to kill him? If not, why was he on the Riglink talking to you? The whole scene was stupid.