Dead Space


By: Angus Deacon    On: PlayStation 3
Published: Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 10:00 AM
 
 
 
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You are Issac Clarke, an engineer sent to the deep space mining vessel, the USG Nishimura to investigate why the ship has recently stopped communicating. However once onboard, Issac soon learns that this is no typical mechanical fault and that something has gone horribly wrong during their latest expedition. An alien presence has taken control of the ship and the entire crew appears to have been gruesomely murdered. Now, completely weapon-less and untrained in any form of warfare, it is up to a simple, lone engineer to save mankind.

Dead Space doesn’t waste any time. Instead it throws you into a big can of freaky and lets you sweat it out for yourself. The latest third-person shooter from EA falls into the horror category and at first glance is fairly reminiscent of games like Doom III or Resident Evil. A large amount of the gameplay takes place in dimly lit corridors, ammunition is sparse and you’re up against a goulash of horrible critters that want to wear your skin as a hat. But Dead Space does offer some interesting new elements that steer it away from other games in its genre.

The main one is the dismemberment feature. With ammo being a prized commodity in Dead Space, you’ll find yourself wanting to conserve every shot possible. So rather than fire off an entire clip at an alien’s torso, you can choose to instead target a leg and cripple them with one or two well-placed shots. Slowing down enemies to a crawl in this manner gives you time to better target a more effective part (ie: the head) for your second shot, or to concentrate on other targets closing in on you. You can even use this dismemberment system alongside another weapon in the game, the all too familiar anti-gravity gun. After blasting off limbs or appendages off your enemy, you can then use it to hurl the severed body parts back at your foes as well.

Dead Space’s limited ammo supplies cause you to think on your feet and to make the most of each situation. A lot of the weapons that you’ll encounter are actually mining tools, so the amount of damage that you can inflict is… decorative to say the least. The game’s dismemberment feature allows for colourful sprays of body fluids and bone fragments to litter the screen. It’s messy, but beautiful to watch. You’ll want to finish the job too as even a dismembered body part can still cause you some damage if it’s moving. Another interesting weapon that can help matters is the Stasis gun that allows you to freeze aliens in their tracks for a short period of time.

The resources you have at your disposal add a lot to the survival tone of Dead Space, making it feel like you are always in control and that your quick-thinking alone will be what gets you through the next hoard of bad-guys. But even the atmosphere of the game is well crafted and by creeping around the pitch-black ship you will witness eerie video logs on nearby screens or hear nightmarish audio recordings prior to the alien attack. Every corridor seems ominous and you can easily be startled by an enemy suddenly leaping out of the shadows when you least expect it. Every clang of metal or shuffle in the distance will cause your heart to skip a beat. Some alien life-forms even feign death, lying among corpses scattered on the ground only to leap forward and attack you when you least expect it.

But despite all this, Dead Space still isn’t the blood-curdling, heart-attack experience we were expecting. This is mainly because the weaponry that you’ll get access to, plus your intimidating armour that you’ll soon earn gives you a sense of empowerment that counter those first thirty minutes of the game where you were completely useless. You’ll go from a timid, defenceless nerd to a fairly well equipped bad-ass who looks like he should be playing for the bad guys. But Dead Space does balance the nail-biting suspense with some great gameplay and the end result still delivers in the end. After running around squealing like a little girl, it’s quite rewarding to be able to dish some back in the second half of the game.

Dead Space is also surprisingly long for a shoot-em up, taking over 10 hours to complete. Although parts of it seemed repetitive (often you’ll find yourself trekking through identical corridor after corridor) the combat sequences were varied and enjoyable thanks to the need for different techniques to get through them. The gunplay is also broken up with aspects of puzzle-solving to keep things interesting – usually requiring you to manipulate gravity or to locate keys for locked doors. They’re nothing too taxing, but fairly well thought out and executed to be a welcome change to the gore and horror sections of the game. Although it’s not as scary as a room full of clowns all holding rabid lemurs, it’s probably not an ideal game for grandpa and his pace maker either. But Dead Space is definitely a solid third-person shooter for those who feel they’re not getting enough nightmares.


The Score

Dead Space
"Not a game for grandpa and his pace maker."
9.0
Excellent
Rating: R18   Difficulty: Hard   Learning Curve: 45 Min

 

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Comments (22)

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Gazza22 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 11:17 AM Posted by Gazza22
This game is suprisingly wrapping up some decent scores. Maybe worth a look?
 
 
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Chris Redfield NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 11:22 AM Posted by Chris Redfield
Can't decide between this and BioShock.

Might go with Dead Space cause I like the sci-fi horror.

But yeah, it's been scoring quite highly from what I've seen. Seemto be overshadowed by all the massively hyped games coming out at the moment though.
 
 
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Illmatic NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 12:37 PM Posted by Illmatic
Really want this! Can't afford it though...

I'll find a way.
 
 
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primeelfkilla
On Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 1:10 PM Posted by primeelfkilla
sci-fi horror games have not been given credit where due i am a avid player of this genre since resident evil made its appearence on the playstation unlike some games where you run around for ages with out any action. I like what I have seen and read about dead space and do want to rent with the possibility of purchase later
 
 
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Ruptunex
On Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 1:52 PM Posted by Ruptunex
I so want this game. It's being rated quite high all across the board so I'm gonna grab this after i get RB and Fallout 3
 
 
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djkicks NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 3:50 PM Posted by djkicks
Sounds really good... one of the many great games coming out recently. I need more money.

The Deep Space skin on the NZG is pretty cool too ^_^
 
 
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Grunt of God
On Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 4:12 PM Posted by Grunt of God
Looks feaky, yet fun!
 
 
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BlackRetina
On Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 4:54 PM Posted by BlackRetina
Why would you buy a full new release RRP for a 10 hour long game?
Also, why the f*ck have so many people not finished Bioshock yet?
 
 
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alienhominid
On Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 7:27 PM Posted by alienhominid
looks cool. but to me it feels like iv'e seen this kinda story before

ie. lose contact, investigate, find aliens, kill aliens. end
 
 
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Ruptunex
On Tuesday 21 Oct 2008 8:21 PM Posted by Ruptunex
Alienhominid are you still here!!?? Talk about Dedication. Bur I'd pay full rrp for a 10 hour game if it is good. It's longer than a standard shooter so all you shooters out there who like to pay full rrp for shorter than this, for shame.
 
 
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whatsitsFace
On Wednesday 22 Oct 2008 2:09 AM Posted by whatsitsFace
thats kinda what I expected, good game over all.
 
 
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whatsitsFace
On Wednesday 22 Oct 2008 2:14 AM Posted by whatsitsFace
alienhominid ur right. There inspiration came from the Alien series and one of my favorit movies; Event Herizon
 
 
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dvant1
On Wednesday 22 Oct 2008 6:49 AM Posted by dvant1
looks like a well thought out game, might be worth a look seeing as it plays like resident evil
 
 
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Insanctity
On Wednesday 22 Oct 2008 9:32 AM Posted by Insanctity
Looks like a cross between the original Resident Evils and Bioshock. Definitely worth a look
 
 
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iRonic
On Wednesday 22 Oct 2008 9:25 PM Posted by iRonic
i want it -sparkle eyes-
 
 
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RAZIEL
On Thursday 23 Oct 2008 8:40 AM Posted by RAZIEL
DEAD SPACE IT's A VERY VERY GOOD GAME ...... :«)
 
 
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Stark97
On Sunday 26 Oct 2008 11:04 PM Posted by Stark97
Yeah looks good, might buy this, wait till it's down in price a bit, looks fun n creepy
 
 
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rider211
On Saturday 8 Nov 2008 9:54 AM Posted by rider211
it looks like a cool game i might hire it first just in case
 
 
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primeelfkilla
On Sunday 16 Nov 2008 2:24 PM Posted by primeelfkilla
I love a good sci-fi horror game Ever since resident evil and silent hill These games seem to have something that keeps me interested I havnt played this one yet. I would be interested to hear from other gammers what they think of this game both the good and bad points.
 
 
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Mach1_9pants
On Monday 17 Nov 2008 6:07 PM Posted by Mach1_9pants
Another great game, so many at the moment (FO3, FC2...) really enjoying it. It got a bit corridor shooter repetitive by the end but still crapped my pants often!
 
 
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PandaJenkins NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Saturday 22 Nov 2008 12:02 AM Posted by PandaJenkins
finished this game in 360, was pretty fun. definately well made just got kinda boring and repetative at times. i finished it in like 11hours and i have no interest in re-playing. so glad i rented it. i recommened as a good rental but not really as a purchase.
 
 
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chinaman71 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Monday 15 Dec 2008 3:35 PM Posted by chinaman71
the demo freaked me out lol looks swt though... video easy here i come!
 
 
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