Dead Space

    Game » consists of 13 releases. Released Oct 14, 2008

    Engineer Isaac Clarke battles a polymorphic virus-like alien infestation that turns human corpses into grotesque undead alien monsters called "Necromorphs" while trying to survive on board an infested interstellar mining ship named the USG Ishimura.

    dolphin_butter's Dead Space (Xbox 360) review

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    You can't hear screams in space? This says otherwise.

    Space marine? Nay, space engineer.
    Space marine? Nay, space engineer.

    When I look at a game like Dead Space, I find it hard not to be reductive. The setting is in space, the hero is equipped with plasma weaponry and an alien infestation needs taking care of; that description alone should resonate with anyone who has played a sci-fi shooter in the last year or two, and for good reason. Despite the cliché first impression, it became hard for me to count similar games on one hand. I played this expecting a derivate product and ended up getting something much more unique than what it appeared to be. I believe this is among the upper crust of video game releases this fall and winter, and setting aside time to experience it is highly recommended.

    Dead Space features protagonist Issac Clarke, an engineer, and a voluntary crew mission to repair the USG Ishimura, a planet-mining space station. After a crash landing into the loading dock, Issac and other crewmembers quickly realize something has gone terribly wrong; almost everyone is dead, the station is in shambles and there are flesh-hungry creatures popping out of vents. Finding out what happened all while finding a way off the space station takes up most of the plot, though a couple of plot twists help inject a tinge of surprise.

    It's like a hug... except it can kill you.
    It's like a hug... except it can kill you.

    Again, it was hard not for me to be reductive, but Dead Space’s story took a page off last year’s critically acclaimed Bioshock and used it quite effectively. At its core, the game is an above-average survival horror story. What won me over was how there was a number of philosophical issues embedded in the happenings. I personally thought the ending didn’t live up to the preceding events, but that doesn’t dismiss how much the game made me think about real-life issues such as “religion versus obsession” or “subsistence versus preservation”.

    Going back to the survival horror aspect, I thought Dead Space wasn’t scary despite the self-perpetuated “scariest game ever” moniker. Even though I played it alone in the dark with headphones on, I easily dismissed the thrills. Many of the techniques used to scare the player are varied and had potential to be effective, though I can’t imagine anyone being terrified unless they have a weak constitution. Personally, the tensest parts were when I wasn’t fighting enemies. Being constantly cautious and aware of a hostile presence felt closer to scary than shooting down droves of aliens.

    Only one word comes to mind: Haiku.
    Only one word comes to mind: Haiku.

    Speaking of shooting aliens, the gunplay felt nice and as good as, if not better than, Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War. Like those aforementioned titles, Dead Space uses an over-the-shoulder perspective throughout the game and everything about it just felt right. Other design choices, such as the game’s economy, strike the perfect balance between tension and fairness that most games find hard to replicate. If I have any qualms about the gameplay, I would say that the melee isn’t as impactful as it should have been. Though nitpicking like that is only indicative of how awesome everything else must be.

    From beginning to end, the game is a presentational masterpiece. The graphics were amazing, the sound was phenomenal and the character personas were believable. I could provoke some eye rolling by saying the game was immersive and compelling, but it really was. The gothic-inspired architecture, the zero gravity animations, the voice work… all of it came together in a cohesive package worthy of attention. I guarantee that, at some point, everyone will see something that will boggle his or her mind.

    That said, it saddened me to discover that it only took me eight hours to beat the game on the hardest difficulty mode. I would have liked to play more of it (albeit with different environments) but I didn’t necessarily feel cheated out of the sixty dollars I spent on this. I would say this is a must-buy for a hardcore game enthusiast like me. At the very least, it is a must-rent for people looking for something to play over an open weekend or for anyone looking for a nice Halloween spook.

    Other reviews for Dead Space (Xbox 360)

      Not a revolution, but a perfection in survival horror. 0

      Distress call from a mining ship in the deep recesses of space. Everything goes haywire upon arriving. Silent protagonist. The opening moments....With these clichés, Dead Space seems to be on the track of mediocrity and will be summarily forgotten, right? Well, thankfully, no, because Dead Space does enough on its own part for it to be set apart from almost every game of 2008 as one of the best games of the year, horror or not. Playing as Isaac Clarke, a silent engineer, the player will traverse...

      12 out of 12 found this review helpful.

      You'd definitely hear me scream in space 0

      EA has decided to buck the trend this year; a company so used to spewing out sequels is now concentrating on starting new franchises, and EA Redwood Shores latest, Dead Space, has all the ingredients to become another big hit. With an animated comic book and animated movie already released, the markers have been firmly set; now it’s time for the game to deliver. So far, it’s on the right track. So few survival horror games throw you into space to fight aliens, that’s normally action territory; a...

      5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

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