Review of Dead Space (XBOX, 360, PS3, PC)
AVAILABLE ON: XBOX 360, PS3, PC
RELEASED: OCTOBER 2008
Ask someone what their favorite scary game is and the answer you will most likely receive will be either A: Resident Evil or B: Silent Hill and this is for good reason. For years now these two franchises has dominated the horror genre, And ever since that first resident evil had us exploring an old abandoned mansion in 1997 or Silent Hill had us dreading the sound of that portable radio in 1999 we just haven't looked back. Whats more both games have released very successful movies off the back of the their amazing popularity. This is not to say there has not been contenders Alone In The Dark, Project Zero, and Clive Barkers Jericho plus many others all had a dig but in my opinion no game has come close to the success of the two leaders. That is however until Dead Space.
the plot In short: You are Isaac Clarke an engineer for the Concordance Extraction Corporation sent on a mission to investigate why one of the corporations working mining ships has lost all radio contact. However once you board the abandoned ship and become separated from the rest of your crew its very obvious a broken radio system is the least of your worries.
The developers did not hold off on the fear factor in this game, it is SCARY. From the feeling of isolation to the many mutated creatures that now inhabit the stranded ship everything is well executed to scare you. I think the most impressive thing about Dead Space is how atmospheric it is, the space craft whichyou are exploring is extremely detailed and when playing the game I often found myself turning the volume down as the eerie sounds that emanate from the ship and from the creatures that seem to be endlessly stalking you are very frightening. Another of my favorite factors in the game is the cinematic set pieces it throws at you whilst adventuring around. You can be walking down a corridor you recently explored and sure is safe, all of a sudden the lights will flicker off the sound will fall silent and much like watching a movie you know something is coming. That something could be a creature lurking in one of the vents just waiting to pounce on you and chomp into your flesh, or an asteroid about to plummet through the roof right in front of you. either way it will make you jump.
The look of the creatures is also something worth pointing out. Only once you have killed a couple and examined the dead bloody carcasses closely it becomes apparent they aren't just aliens. They look more like mutated humans and when you encounter a few of the surviving crew members of the mining ship its clear they are insane, brainwashed, and possibly on the verge of becoming something inhuman and murderous. disturbing right? exactly! To have gamers genuinely fear the enemy in a game is hard to achieve, Dead Space doesn't seem to have a problem.
The combat also stands out from other survival games. The only way to kill your enemy is to dismember them literally limb for limb. This is a very fun satisfying and gory way of killing, Rather than just shooting randomly it requires skill. Steadyingg your aim to take out the legs of a mutant charging at you is a lot harder than it sounds. Also different species require different methods so it keeps you on your toes.
Dead Space is hard to fault it has a brilliant storyline an innovative way of combating, quirky features will keep you entertained such as zero gravity areas and many personalizable weapons. The only small fault I can see is when you get a lot of creatures up close around you the view and controls can easily get you flustered. A very minor point in a very impressive game.
For anybody who enjoys horror games Dead Space is a must. One thing is for sure you will be scared and so will the developers of those two leading games in the genre. Watch this space for a Dead Space movie review? Probably so.
By Joe Gray