Dead Space is a third person shooter with an over-the-shoulder camera a la Resident Evil 4.
Boasting polished graphics and absorbing sound, the game aims to put you into an Alien movie (the first two good ones, mind you)!
Dead Space starts out quickly, with no mucking about. The intro sequence is short, and your character is almost immediately thrown into the action. The game takes place on a seemingly deserted and massive space ship out in the unfashionable end of the galaxy. If you haven’t seen the huge amount of marketing material for this game, ranging from comics to an animated film, you probably won’t know what the hell is going on. And that’s a good thing. The story is well told and engaging, and does well to draw you in. I recommend you look at the additional material after finishing the game, as they deal more with the back story.
The first thing your likely to notice about Dead Space is the lack of a HUD. Everything happens on screen, in real time. Your inventory is projected as a holographic image in front of your character, and health is displayed as a glowing bar on the back if your character’s suit. The graphics look great and the game plays very well, with no slow downs or jarring effects. The polish put into this game is fantastic, and it is evident that even the smallest details have had a great amount of thought invested into them.
Sound also plays a big part in this game, and is done very well. All of the rattles and creaks on board the ship echo and resonate wonderfully, and really add to the atmosphere. Enemy shrieks have the ability to bring a shiver to your spine. The game also has sections where you travel into vacuum, and the sound is done especially well here. Everything suddenly mutes and all you hear is your character’s breathing and heart beat. It has a chilling effect and really needs to be experienced.
You’re probably aware that Dead Space is meant to be a scary game, and for the most part it succeeds in this. I didn’t find it scary enough to give you nightmares or anything like that, but it does have its moments. Thankfully the game does not pull the old monster-in-the-closest trick every time you open a door. There are often long stretches where you do not encounter any enemies, and this really builds the tension. The scariness factor is defiantly satisfactory in this game, I’d say it’s about as scary, if not more-so than Resident Evil 4.
In fact, Dead Space plays a lot like RE4; only in space, and with aliens. This is (for me at least) a very good thing. The fighting system works well, and adds a nice twist. Instead of aiming for the head or body, the best strategy is to shoot off the enemy’s limbs. Most of the guns in the game are designed with this goal in mind. Your character also has the ability to slow down enemies and objects, and to manipulate gravity (much like HL2′s gravity gun).
I do of course, still have a few complaints. While the fighting system works well, the variety in enemies was lacking. Many of the baddies you fight are the same design again and again, but with more HP, faster speed, or something similar. There are different enemies in the game…but I think it could use a few more. Some of the boss battles are also disappointing. They are much too easy and uninspired, many of the normal enemies are harder than the bosses.
Thorough out the whole game I couldn’t help but think it would have been so much better if it made me feel more alone. Your crew mates are constantly talking to you on the radio, giving you instructions, telling you where to go next. It breaks the tension makes you feel safe. The game had the potentiality to make you feel totally and utterly alone in a hostile and insane environment. Instead it tends to hold your hand and guide you through it. This doesn’t ruin game by any means, but you can’t shake the feeling that it could have been something even better.
All in all, Dead Space is great game that delivers a unique and original experience that really shouldn’t be missed.
Dead Space's oozing atmosphere is very well polished.
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Dead Space's gameplay was pretty solid, but there could have been a bit more diversity in terms of your item sets.
It's a great sounding game, from the blood curdling screams to the eerie ambiance, and one of the best in the industry.
This game is reasonably long at 12-20 hours, and you can replay it on a harder difficulty mode.
You'd be crazy to miss out on this classic shooter that takes so many steps forward for the action genre.