Giant Bomb Review

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Dead Space Extraction Review

3
  • Wii

Extraction gets a lot of mileage out of the Dead Space setting, with a decent light-gun campaign that's worth playing through... once.


 Something bad is about to happen here.     
I almost feel like I need to offer apologies or excuses while recommending Dead Space Extraction, EA's Wii follow-up to last year's breakout original sci-fi horror shooter. Extraction's marketing campaign would like you to think of it as a "guided experience" that whisks you through the dramatic beginnings of the series' horrible space-monster outbreak, but in blunt terms, Extraction is an on-rails shooter. Blunter still: it's a light-gun game. These days, that's not a style of game serious game players usually gravitate toward. But keeping the genre's inherent restrictions in mind--not to mention the limitations of the Wii hardware--Extraction is really pretty good, for what it is.

You will certainly get the most mileage out of Extraction if you played through the first Dead Space, which the new game serves as a prequel to. You'll revisit a lot of familiar locations on Aegis VII and the USG Ishimura as you retrace the original excavation of the insidious artifact known as "the marker," and then battle the awful creatures that overrun the colony and ship in its wake. You're not any one character throughout the game; instead you swap between several perspectives among a group of survivors, revealing different areas of the ship and the different motivations of each person unlucky enough to be caught up in this awful mess.

The story is pretty thin--it's mostly a bare, on-the-run survival tale--but there are a couple of small, interesting elements that seem like they may tie into the inevitable Dead Space sequel. Also, the voice acting is flatly passable, for the most part, but there is some campy, B-movie-sounding bad delivery that actually works in the game's favor. The characters you run around with are unique and well-animated enough that I managed to identify with them and care to some degree about their eventual fates. I was surprised I came to care at all about the characters in a game of this sort.

 The shooting is surprisingly good in Extraction.
I was also surprised to find that, hardly a year after the first Dead Space came out, I was already eager to jump back into the Ishimura's hellish corridors and stomp around in that world a little more. The Wii is certainly less capable than any platform you may have played the first game on, but the developers did a great job maintaining the art style and the Ishimura's specific design elements to visually tie the two games together and make this one look great. The sound design is also quite consistent, making this a comfortably familiar package for veterans from the first game.

Even if it's your first Dead Space, the shooting here is complex enough to be satisfying throughout. That's mainly because Extraction totally replicates the first game's grisly dismemberment mechanics, letting you--no, encouraging you to shoot heads, arms, legs, and other grotesque appendages off of the monsters that are constantly assaulting you. They die much faster that way, and the variety of weapons--most from the first game, with a couple of minor additions--give you a lot of different ways to take the monsters apart. You can also throw in a second player whenever you want, though it isn't necessary on the default difficulty.

There's only a moderate number of out-of-place Wii-based motion controls in the game. You'll occasionally shake the remote to fling a monster off of you or swipe the nunchuk for a melee attack. There's a computer-hacking minigame that makes you use the pointer to trace some circuits past different obstacles, which can be a little tough if you don't have a very steady hand. But thankfully the shooting is your primary occupation here. You twist the Wii remote 90 degrees to enable the alt-fire modes on each weapon, which ends up working well enough.

Extraction has most of the other things you'd look for from a Dead Space, too--things like audio logs, weapon upgrades, and character progression. Even the kinesis and stasis powers factor into the combat and puzzles in minor ways. But it's all been dumbed down considerably to fit into the on-rails nature of the game. You're along for the ride here as much as you're in control of it, which naturally limits the amount of interactivity the game offers you. You can choose between branching paths here and there, but otherwise you might as well be shooting from a rollercoaster car, albeit a pretty exciting one. There are a few fleeting moments where you can look around freely, but they last only a few seconds each. It's actually pretty hard to pick up a lot of the power-ups due to the way the camera angle whips around in service of a more dramatic presentation.

Wii or not, this definitely looks like Dead Space. 
At least the game generally makes its limitations work toward a greater good. The camera work is believably frantic (someone watched Cloverfield), and I got the feeling that this is generally how I would jerk my head around if I were embroiled in a monster nightmare of my own. And the game is legitimately nightmarish. Severed heads and limbs--those of the remaining humans, not the monsters--go flying with abandon and the Ishimura is painted with blood. Characters routinely curse out loud, and hey, there's even a naked lady! The point is, this isn't a PG-rated Dead Space just because it's on the Wii. It's almost like the developers went out of their way to drive that point home.

Extraction presents a quandary. It's a pretty short game, at only five or six hours, and after what looks like a great setup for a big exciting finale, the game just sort of... ends, abruptly and poorly. Since there's a limited amount of interactivity and it's more or less the same each time through, you may not want to play it more than once. But if you're a fan of Dead Space or this sort of, um, "guided experience," you should definitely play it, even if you grab it as a rental or wait for it to hit the bargain bin. I was tempted to write off Dead Space Extraction purely on the superficial reputation of light-gun games, but I'm glad I didn't. All other things being equal, it's really not bad. Brad Shoemaker on Google+
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Posted by Vision

That's pretty much what i expected. :\ 

Posted by trophyhunter

why was there no quicklook?

Posted by iAmJohn

In b4 "GIANT BOMB HATES THE WII!"

Edited by ryanwho

How often do people play through a campaign normally? The answer is once. That seemed like an empty statement even bringing that up. I played through the original Dead Space only once and had the desire to play through only once.

Edited by Yummylee

Comon surely there should be a sequel before the prequels start churning in =/ I mean thats now 2 prequels to Dead Space. Can't they finally answer just wtf happened with Isaac and the escape ship, was it a hallucination or has the slent protagonist already been thrown through the game grinder? 
I hope not because while he didn't talk, he had himself a well satisfiying roar about him xP
Posted by ZeForgotten

Nice review. 
I might actually give it a shot

Posted by Octaslash
@iAmJohn said:
" In b4 "GIANT BOMB HATES THE WII!" "
That would be kind of pointless considering the positive review.
 
Anyway, from what I've played, I think this is the best rail shooter on the Wii. The strategic dismemberment separates this from the pack, in a good way.
Posted by iAmJohn
@Octaslash said:
" @iAmJohn said:
" In b4 "GIANT BOMB HATES THE WII!" "
That would be kind of pointless considering the positive review. "
Some people are never satisfied. :P
Posted by InFamous91

i'll buy this after a price drop

Posted by morningthief

"I was also surprised to find that, hardly a year after the first Dead Space came out, I was already eager to jump back into the Ishimura's hellish corridors and stomp around in that world a little more."
 
Stomp. Great choice of words!

Posted by Xander51

I've been playing this game and think it's really amazing so far, but then I quite enjoy light gun games. Nice review!

Posted by Ubiquitous

@ryanwho: 
 
I often play through campaigns twice or more, if it's a game i like. And usually, I tend to try to only play games I will like. Alot of times this point is one of the things I consider when buying a game. "Will I want to play this again when I've completed it?" I think that I am not alone in replaying games on a regular basis.

Posted by RHCPfan24

 I think this looks like a surprisingly solid game. I may play this around the holiday time. And, oh, nice review Brad. :D

Edited by Knives

Overkill got me into lightgun games, so I'll probably check this out, after a price cut. To be honest, I wasn't that big a fan of the original. I might actually prefer it to be on rails, haha.

Edited by Crushed

Gonna get this soon. I like Dead Space and sci-fi universes like it, and despite my initial disappointment at this being a lightgun spinoff, it actually turned out to look really good. Most of the impressions and reviews say that it's great for what it is, but I can see why the lack of full control inherent to the genre would just turn off people. 
 
Totally fair and nice review.

Posted by zitosilva

In the end, I won't buy it for the same reason I don't buy other on rail shooters. It's not that they aren't fun, but they don't last enough to justify their price.

Online
Posted by Whisperkill

lol... the wii
Posted by Claude

No mention of co-op, the 10 challenge rooms or the full motion comic you can unlock. Oh well, I read about those while researching to see if I wanted to buy this game or not. I might get it during the holidays.

Posted by AgentJ

I almost wonder if the 3/5 is a little generous after playing the demo at PAX. 

Posted by JJWeatherman

I just watched Quarantine and it sounds like the game version of that movie. Especially the end with this quote: " just sort of... ends, abruptly and poorly."

Edited by ITSSEXYTIME
@ryanwho:

I played through Mass Effect 4 times, The Witcher 3 times, FEAR 3 times, Dawn of War 2 twice, Quake 4 twice and about a dozen other games.  Hell I even played the CoD4 campaign a few times over.  


The trick is to wait a few months before you do it so you forget about stuff and sometimes you find new stuff.



Edited by Ravenlock

"I was surprised I came to care at all about the characters in a game "... sentence fragment fail.
 
That said, good review. I'll probably give this a rental, at least.

Posted by Ravenlock
@AgentJ: I'm pretty sure the PAX demo was the worst possible environment to play this in. I didn't like it much either, but I can totally understand the game being much better in an environment where you can actually hear the sound design (which is apparently excellent aside from the voice acting and I'm surprised he didn't mention it more) and get a sense of how the game flows.
Posted by handlas
@ryanwho said:
" How often do people play through a campaign normally? The answer is once. That seemed like an empty statement even bringing that up. I played through the original Dead Space only once and had the desire to play through only once. "
Beat Dead Space 4 times.  Let someone borrow it and haven't had it back.  Wouldn't mind playing it again.
Online
Posted by billysea

Why is on-rail shooter always has handicapped review?  Can people review them on their own merit instead of comparing with FPS?  They are different experience.

Posted by Dante369

Quick Look? :D

Posted by Octaslash

If you want spoilers, write down the first letter of each of the chapter names in chronological order. Hopefully they won't do the same thing in Dead Space 2... I'll spoil myself.

Posted by apoloimagod

I'll still rent, if anything because I'm a big fan of the first game :-)

Posted by Knives
@Whisperkill said:
" lol... the wii "
Moron.
Posted by bybeach
@billysea said:
"Why is on-rail shooter always has handicapped review?  Can people review them on their own merit instead of comparing with FPS?  They are different experience. "

First of all,  I agree with another poster, I will replay some games, so i understand Brad`s critisism there. But tthe quote above strikes me as  spot on.  i`d have to play the game, and I do not own a wii..loved dead space tho`. The only on rails game I have ever played is Killer 7, and Iv`e played it twice. And I may again one more time, even. It  worked..
Posted by Murdouken

I might give it a go. Was really excited for this, I quite like on rails shooters. :p

Posted by wfolse1
@Ravenlock: That isn't a sentence fragment.  It has a subject, a verb, and a prepositional phrase to boot.  Don't try to correct people if you aren't intelligent yourself. 
 
Anyway, the game looks pretty awesome.  I'll probably check it out when it inevitably comes down in price.
Posted by Maitre

My this review is missing some of the elements of the game, the way you describe it makes it sound extremely bare. What difficulty did you play it on?  I can not imagine any other scenario then you playing it on the easiest difficulty setting without dying once to clock such a low time. Myself it took me 7h30 to beat the game on my first play through. Taste is one thing but I think that this review only scratches the surface of what this game has to offer and thus sells it a tad short in my opinion. Like Claude mentioned some words about the co-op and the challenge rooms (which are hellishly challenging...) ,some of the bonus features, they way the game uses stasis (not everyone played the original dead space) and how the game forces you to preserve ammo and to swich weapons depending the situation would have made the review a bit more informative.

Posted by Kohe321

Good review. I think I'm going to get it, I love the deadspace universe.

Posted by PureRok
@Ravenlock said:
" "I was surprised I came to care at all about the characters in a game "... sentence fragment fail.  That said, good review. I'll probably give this a rental, at least. "
That's not a sentence fragment. It is, however, a punctuation error. The sentence makes perfect sense and has all of the parts that make up a sentence; it's just missing a period.
Posted by Rubberduck

is there a points scoring system and leaderboard? because that would add some replabilty.

Posted by Maitre
@Rubberduck said:
" is there a points scoring system and leaderboard? because that would add some replabilty. "
Not in the main story mode but there is something called challenge rooms which are sections of levels they you'll go through and in which you will be attacks by enemies in 10 waves which has Leaderboards, like the main game every rooms has 4 difficulty levels. The thing that Brad did not mention is that it is not the same game at all when you play it on normal and when you play it on one of the harder difficulty levels. One normal you can go somewhat wild with your ammo but in the harder modes you'll find yourself changing weapons all the time to get the most out of every bullet.
Posted by ahoodedfigure

I think the subtext of "it's a light gun game" as some sort of value judgment, instead of a matter-of-fact statement, is that we're not supposed to like them.
 
I also remember some people yammering about how 2D is dead.  
 
I'm a bit eccentric in that I believe if a game is rewarding in some way, it's rewarding in some way, regardless of format...

Posted by BR4DL3I9H

To be fair to Brad, I have noticed a lot of reviewers missing out on the Challenge rooms and comic book, but it does seem a bit unusual to miss out an important light-gun aspect; Co-op. I am going to take his advice though, and get it when it drops down in price.

Posted by F1

Dead Space girl is hot.

Posted by Death_Burnout
@handlas said:
" @ryanwho said:
" How often do people play through a campaign normally? The answer is once. That seemed like an empty statement even bringing that up. I played through the original Dead Space only once and had the desire to play through only once. "
Beat Dead Space 4 times.  Let someone borrow it and haven't had it back.  Wouldn't mind playing it again. "
It's weird though because, some games i love to play over and over again (Stranglehold, Thief 1 & 2) but others, Resident Evil 5 for example, i have no desire to play that a second time, even after all the new game + stuff, that Vinny and Brad oh so love...
 
It all boils down to how fun, the game is, and the mechanics are. RE 5 for me was good the first time round....but first time round, i dont find the shooting that fun for a second time round, even with all those "upgrades" that have little effect on fun factor...it's always those same death animations and same enemies 
 
However, i might totally go back to it months time, on a harder difficulty maybe...but right after finishing it once? nah, i know some people do that, Vinny sure does!
Posted by Meowayne

OVERKILL is also short. Have played through it, and played seperate chapters, very very many times with different people. Criticising an arcade shooter for a short story mode length is like criticising a fighter for a short single player arcade mode. Co-Op is a HUGE part of the appeal of these games, shooting stuff through the screen with plastic guns in your hands and the hands of a buddy at your side. 
 
The fact that this is missing from the review and the fact that Brad even admits the game was approached with sort of a "Hurr hurr Wii, hurr hurr lightgun game" attitude, combined with the average of all other reviews makes me more than sceptical about the score given. But this is giantbomb after all.

Posted by Doc_Zaius

naked lady!?  I'm In!

Posted by Ujio

Moral of the story/review: Always set your expectations low this way you'll never be disappointed! ;)

Posted by Willy105

Like it or not, the on-rail shooter is making a comeback, and there's a large audience for it. It shouldn't be compared to an FPS, because the point is that it isn't one.

Posted by eroticfishcake

Ugh. Hated Cloverfield. Good review, I had a feeling the game would end up like this.

Posted by Jimbo
@Willy105 said:
" Like it or not, the on-rail shooter is making a comeback, and there's a large audience for it. It shouldn't be compared to an FPS, because the point is that it isn't one. "
I guess we'll see how large that audience is when this game inevitably tanks.
Edited by DrRandle

Okay so I've figured it out, I need to use Brad's Reviews as a guide post... but I need to do them opposite of the way he scores. So if a a game scores low, it must be good, and if a game scores high, it must be terrible.  I've got it, sweet. Thanks Brad. (Yes, inFAMOUS was terrible.)

Edited by Al3xand3r

Did I mention how lame it is to shun a whole genre and its sub genres simply because you aren't into them? No? Well it's very, very lame. How about having someone who feels like that about the genre actually review such a game? That's pretty damn lame too. Congratulations, GiantBomb.

And Jimbo:
You care so much about sales? Then you must think the Wii is the best current console eh? Anyway, I'm confident that EA looked at the sales of the other shooters on Wii, ranging from 300k+ (Overkill) to over 1 million (HotD 2&3), and gave the appropriate budget so it won't "tank" even if you think so. I would hope you've also played and enjoyed many of the great PS360 (whatever you have) titles that didn't become multimillion sellers, like Tales of Vesperia and Valkyria Chronicles, vast projects (due to their genre) that didn't sell very differently to the likes of Overkill, a low budget, short lightgun shooter. What devastating disasters, eh? You'd think the genre sucks, "tanks", and so shouldn't be put on the HD systems, huh?!

Posted by Media_Master

Pretty impressive to see Deadspace on the Wii

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