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Overview

Dead Space is a media franchise that includes 6 video games, a comic book series, and two films. The games focus primarily on engineer Isaac Clarke and his struggles against the aggressive monstrous creatures called Necromorphs.

Games

There are 3 main games (i.e. games with Isaac Clarke as the main character) in the Dead Space franchise as well as a minigame collection, an iOS game, and a rail shooter.

Dead Space

Dead Space
Dead Space

Original Release Date: October 14, 2008

Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

The first game in the Dead Space series takes place on the USG Ishimura, a "planet-cracker" mining ship that is the largest of its kind. The game follows engineer and protagonist Isaac Clarke, mission commander Zach Hammond, and technology specialist Kendra Daniels as they investigate a distress call sent out from the Ishimura. Literally minutes after arriving, the crew of the rescue shuttle is attacked by Necromorphs, and the three aforementioned people are the only ones who survive.

Isaac being an engineer and the Ishimura being mostly free of guns, the weapons in Dead Space are mostly re-purposed mining tools. Early on, the game introduces the concept of strategic dismemberment which is key to Isaac's survival.

Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2

Original Release Date: January 25, 2011

Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

The sequel to 2008's Dead Space features Isaac Clarke as the protagonist once again but takes place in a metropolis called the Sprawl located on one of Saturn's moons instead of the Ishimura. Unlike the first game, Dead Space 2 features online competitive multiplayer. Dead Space 2 also introduces Hardcore Mode, which is unlocked after beating the game on hard. Hardcore mode challenges players to complete the entire game, starting with a new character (no new game+ benefits) on the hardest difficulty (less ammo and health, stronger enemies) and limited to saving the game only up to 3 times. The Xbox 360 version of the game, because it came on 2 discs, had one additional save slot when discs were swapped.

Dead Space 2 puts a heavy emphasis on Isaac's mental degradation as a result of his experiences aboard the Ishimura. He is haunted by his deceased girlfriend throughout his time on the Sprawl.

Dead Space 3

No Caption Provided

Original Release Date: February 5, 2013

Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

The third game to include Isaac Clarke as the main character, Dead Space 3 is a direct sequel to Dead Space 2. The game drops the previous game's competitive multiplayer in favor of co-op. Instead of being set on a space station like in previous games, the game is set on Tau Volantis, an icy planet said to host the source of the markers. The game continues down the path Dead Space 2 started by including more action packed segments instead of pure horror.

Other Dead Space Games

Dead Space Extraction

Original Release Date: September 28, 2009 (Wii), January 25, 2011 (PSN)

Platforms: PS3, Playstation Network (PSN), Wii

Dead Space Extraction is an on rails shooter and a prequel to the original Dead Space. The game let's players play as multiple characters during the early hours of the Necromorph outbreak onboard of the Ishimura. The game was initially developed and released for the Wii but was later given HD graphics and released on the disc with the first print run of the PS3 version (titled "Limited Edition") and later on PSN.

Dead Space Ignition

Original Release Date: October 12, 2010

Platforms: Xbox Live Marketplace, Playstation Network (PSN)

Dead Space Ignition is a prequel to Dead Space 2. Much like Dead Space Extraction, it shows the early days of the Necromorph invasion on the Sprawl. The game is similar to a "choose your own adventure" game as the player is left to decide what choices to make. The game is also a minigame collection, offering three different hacking minigames throughout the whole game.

Dead Space (HD)

Original Release Date: January 25, 2011

Platforms: iOS, Android

First and only Dead Space game released on iOS and Android, Dead Space has players controlling an engineer called Vandal whom, after being tricked into unleashing the Necromorphs by the church of Unitology, seeks to make things right. Dead Space maps the console controls onto touch devices while trying to capture the same look as the console games.

Features & Concepts

Necromorphs

Main Article: Necromorphs

Necromorphs closing in on Isaac Clarke
Necromorphs closing in on Isaac Clarke

The Necromorphs are the main enemies in Dead Space. They are quite literally reanimated corpses that have been revived and mutated into horrific creatures. Necromorphs are incredibly aggressive; they will attack any organic being that is not a Necromorph immediately without hesitating. Their sole purpose for existing and attacking is to spread the infection and create more Necromoprhs. (One type called the Infector has the sole purpose of making more and nothing else). When a dead body is infected, the transformation takes only a few seconds.

Necromorphs typically only have one weakness: dismemberment. They do not need to rely on oxygen or vital organs to survive. Because of this, Necromorphs can be found in the vacuum of space and can withstand injuries that would devastate normal humans. The only way to truly kill one is with strategic dismemberment.

Strategic Dismemberment

Main Article: Strategic Dismemberment

Strategic Dismemberment in practice
Strategic Dismemberment in practice

One of the main concepts in Dead Space is the idea of strategic dismemberment. Necromorphs usually cannot be killed by conventional needs, so players need to make use of the tools they have to break them down piece by piece. Typically, a normal Necromorph will die when a leg and arm is severed, but many require further dismemberment. Headshots and body shots are practically useless in Dead Space. A common strategy that is employed is to simply shoot off one or both legs to slow down the Necromorph and then following up with the severing of one or both arms, making it impossible for them to crawl and thus killing them.

Unitology

Main Article: Unitology

The logo of the Church of Unitology
The logo of the Church of Unitology

Unitology is the controversial religion in Dead Space. Supposedly created by Michael Altman, followers of the religion believe that the Marker contains a code that will help them achieve eternal life. When the Necromorph infection began spreading, members of the Church of Unitology believed that this was proof that they were right. They believe that the Necromorphs are to take their place in the world and that death is something to celebrate and that it will bring them together.

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