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    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.

    alphazero's Dead Space (Xbox 360) review

    Avatar image for alphazero

    Dead Space First Place *SPOILERS*

    Necromorphs. I *hate* those guys.
    Necromorphs. I *hate* those guys.
    The boss battles look amazing, that much is certain. Fighting the hivemind as it reared it's ugly... head?... a dozen stories into the air while an enormous chunk of the planet burned its way through the atmosphere above made me grin. "Awesome," I said to myself. It was a sight to behold, but I was also grinning because I knew this meant that I was just about done with Dead Space. I was ready for that too.

    It's a fun game. The "strategic dismemberment" mechanic -- where it's faster to kill the mutated baddies by slicing off their limbs than repeatedly shooting them center mass -- is a great twist. You're given a number of different mining tools slash weapons to work with, some of which are particularly adept at this required slicing. Add into that the localized time slowing "stasis" gizmo you can fire at enemies and you're all set for your futuristic barber shop. Some enemies take only two limbs before they bleed out, others three. I got pretty good at punching back an enemy, then quickly cutting off both arms with my plasma cutter as they rallied for another attack. There is some light puzzle solving as well, most of which involve using stasis, and they're a nice change of pace.

    The game looks great, not just in boss battles but throughout, with only a few issues with cast shadows being blatant enough to bug me. EAs new game engine seems pretty solid, overall. Animations are fluid but maintain responsiveness. The environments are
    Don't drop it
    Don't drop it
    creepy and convincing. The audio really deserves the awards its getting.

    My problems with the game are two fold. The first is that the level design is occasionally far too video-gamey for such a realistic looking world. A section where you need to move The Marker through some evil infested hallways has bridges you need to raise. That's fine, but they lower far too quickly for you to schlep The Marker through. Stasis to the rescue, of course, but why design a loading bay that way in the first place? The hive mind battle as well featured five clearly telegraphed weak points you needed to shoot which opened up five more weak points. It's a great looking monsters, and a fun fight, but video gamey through and through. You should have read this entire paragraph in the Simpson's Comic Book Guy voice, by the way.

    The Author (center)
    The Author (center)
    My second problem with Dead Space is that it scares the bejeezus out of me. I love science fiction, I love shooters, I love shooters with science fiction stories, but man do deadly monsters suddenly jumping out at me make me tense. I found myself getting tense every time I imagined starting it up. Even writing this just now and putting myself mentally back in the world of the USG Ishimura, my phone rang and I jumped. What I'm trying to say here is that I'm a big chicken, and this game made me cluck like one.

    Fortunately I really liked the story and it kept me coming back. It used the same audio log mechanic as Bioshock where you revisit a destroyed place after most of the destruction has taken place and try to piece together what must have happened. It's dark and creepy. Not as good as Bioshock, to be honest, but that's mostly because it wasn't as fresh. Dead Space heavily borrows from science fiction movies I've seen many, many times before, but does it so well I didn't really mind.

    Dead Space has everything people that like shooting things look for in a game. The tension was a bit much for my chicken heart, but the strong story, fun game play, and amazing art direction made me see it through to the end. I give it four stars, one maple leaf, and my dry cleaning bill. This game really scared me.

    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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