Game Review – Dead Space [Xbox 360]

What can I say?

The people over at EA did a great job. This game shines with polish. From the writing on the walls to the dust particles in the air to lens flare when you look towards a light. From the opening cinematic I could tell that the game was going to have quality visuals. When you can see single fibers in the clothing of the main character it’s a good thing. ; )

You start the game as Issac Clarke who is sent to the ship Ishimura (“rock village” in Japanese) to fix a total communications blackout. Your assignment is to repair the ship and get gone. Sounds easy enough right? Well things start to go wrong as soon as you get there. No survivors, power is running low, and you’ve been cut off from everyone else. Great! And that’s when the aliens attack, which is where the fun actually begins.

The thing that is blatantly shoved down your throat at the beginning of the game is that you need to take off the limbs of the aliens in order to kill them quickly. Since your not a Master Chief or a Marine from Doom, you need to use whatever you got to do it. And what you have are mining tools. They pretty much work the same as a regular weapon and get the job done, all of the weapons have an alternate firing mode. Take for example the first weapon you get: it has a regular attack that is a vertical 3 shot and the alternate firing mode changes the gun to shoot horizontally. Of course making it easier to take the limbs off of certain types of aliens. My favorite weapon is the ripper >) ask me about it if you want to know more. The death animations for the main character are great, sometimes I catch myself dying just to check them out. Not to worry though the save points throughout the game are everywhere and the game saves surprisingly fast.

I love what they did with the HUD….there is none! Everything you need to know is visual on the character, how much health you have is shown by the tube on Issac’s back as well as other abilities described later. Another great thing is that your ammo is shown as a hologram projection off of the weapon that you are using as in the picture above. Along the same lines when you pull up your inventory or map screen it’s a projection as well but the game doesn’t pause while your looking through your items. The game is great at keeping the experience seamless.

When you get close to the monsters (which isn’t something you want to do) they usually grab you and do quite a bit of damage if of course you don’t get them off of you by hitting the A button repeatedly. I think that aspect of the game adds to the tension of the game. Your fighting one alien and then you get attacked from behind and have to fight the alien off of you while the the other is still approaching you. Once you get that alien off of you then you need to make sure he’s not going to get back up again. They added a melee attack and a boot stomp attack. Issac’s boot stomp seems to have a lot of umph behind it so when you stomp he really means it.

Another ability you get is Telekinesis: this lets you move bigger objects in the level so that you can continue further into a level. It handles like the Force Unleashed force grip, attaching to one object and you hold onto it until you drop it or throw it across the room or at some baddies. Fun fun fun. Some areas have no oxygen and you have to be quick about what your doing because you’ll run out of air. The more you upgrade your suit the more air you can have.

Speaking of upgrades!

You can upgrade your suit with more health, air, or inventory space via “power nodes” these little disc’s are the way you “level” up. Regarding weapons you can also upgrade the capacity of the weapon, the damage, or even reload speed. Once you have a node you can take it to a bench and upgrade your stuff there, again trying to actually put the player in Issac’s place. And on top of all that there is the zero-gravity areas in the game where you can aim across the room and do a zero-g jump across a big room to the other side of the room. The aliens will of course be able to attack you in the zero-g areas as well, fun stuff shooting at someone in zero-g, the body parts you knock off of the aliens just float along in limbo.

But enough of the game. What about the story?

The story is reminiscent of Doom 3, now if that’s just because it’s in space and your fighting monsters or what I’m not sure but it sure does feel along the same lines. The game does very well at keeping the player tense at all times. I always expect a monster around every corner but sometimes it’s not from around a corner that the aliens pop out but from the ceiling or from the floor even through a door. There is a lot of variety involved, when you backtrack through a level (you don’t backtrack much – fyi) there may be a monster that wasn’t there before. Keeps you on your toes. The No Known Survivors website that can fill you in on most of the story.

Dead Space has one of the better perks for a game that I’ve seen in a while. That is those who purchase the game at launch will get an exclusive in-game suit. You have to visit the Xbox LIVE Marketplace within two weeks of the games release in order to download the Xbox or PS3-themed Elite suit. Both suits will have advantages over regular armor and it will give you more inventory slots and better protection. They look cool to boot. Overall dead space is a winner in my book the visuals are great, the game mechanics are plentiful yet not overwhelming, and story isn’t half bad. Definitely pick this one up if your into the space horror genre.

Comments

  1. Very nice. Game looks amazing! Did they leave room for a second one?

  2. The question is, is it scary? This is a horror game, have you been horrorified?

  3. @Tony: Lol the answer to that would be yes. As in as much as I could be from a video game. It sure made me jump quite a few times, esp. when multiple enemies came at me. But have I been scared as much as when I played F.E.A.R. on the computer with headphones? I would say no.

    @Woolfman: I think you’ll just have to play the game to find out. ; ) Don’t want to give away anything.

  4. Bah! Spoiler “Free” Ummm. Guess I’ll have to try it out then 😛

  5. All these launch week exclusives we are seeing? things that add perks?

    That’s to curb the used game market.

    Basically, if you hold out for the used version or wait for it to be a budget title, you’re gimped.

  6. Can you really blame them for wanting to support the people that pre-ordered? I know I don’t.

  7. I am jealous… esp. because I know that I likely won’t get my hands on a copy until late tomorrow and at that point I’ll have to wait until even LATER tomorrow night to play it.

    Grr… For a game that I’d written off as just Generic Space Sci-Fi Shooter #589 a while ago, this has become one of my more anticipated games this fall.

    Yay!

  8. @Wolfman – What came first? The pre-order or the reward?

  9. Am I wrong for wanting to pay 200 points for the red Scorpion suit? The rigs look so nice, I almost don’t mind paying more for a shiny one.

  10. @Nt – By the way it’s Woolfman. Is this where I say the Egg? My point is I don’t blame them for rewarding people that support their game just that much more.

  11. And the free suit, while shiny, is not a huge bonus or anything. I like it and I DID buy the 200 point extra suit because it looks even cooler, but I kind of wish I could go back to my wimpy original suit…

  12. Is the difference between the 200 point suit and the elite suit that much of a difference? Why did you want to go back to the regular suit? Was it for the difficulty? Or some other reason? I’m curious now. = )

  13. I don’t know if there is a difference between them from a stat standpoint but I like the look of the red one.

    I’d like to go back to the original suit kind of for the challenge (not that I’m invincible in the Elite/Scorpion suit) and also so I can see what the various level suits that you get as you buy things at the store look like.

    If I’d known that equipping the Elite suit would mean I couldn’t go back to the original suit, I probably would have held off on equipping it until I got near the end of the game.

    I’m just starting Chapter 4 now. It took me 4 hours exactly to finish the first three chapters, so I’ll let someone else do the math on how long 12 chapters should work out to be.

  14. @Woolfman – I see your point, but mine was that maybe the reward was created to get the pre-order (guaranteed sale). I think we’re talking about the same thing, but I’m on one side of the looking glass and you are on the other. Back to your original post. I cannot blame them at all.

  15. Speaking of the reward DLC. Can anyone tell which suit is for which system? You might be surprised.

  16. The green one is for the 360… Dur…

    And since anyone can download the free suit even without owning the game, it’s not really a preorder incentive. It’s not like with Too Human, where you have to input a one-use code.

  17. @Nat Well I guess your right we are just looking at it from 2 different angles.

  18. And you’re both wrong!

  19. @Brock /internet stab in the eye with a sharp stick.

  20. pedram anderson says:

    goooooooooooooooood

Leave a Reply