Dead Space

And yet another part of the ship begins to fail.

Dead Space, another game of the ‘survival horror’ ilk, was released October of 2008. Late to the party as always, I started going through it about two months ago, and here I am, still… going.

The story’s the usual affair; a repair team including mute engineer Isaac Clarke arrives on a ship that’s hasn’t been communicating, and find that it’s infested with murderous and very resourceful aliens. Now what’s left of your team really wants to get off.

(And yes, I realise the hilarity of having this on after Haruhi.)

“Whaddaya mean, I have to sit here until the plot needs me again?”

Alien infestation = bad.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first – Dead Space is not an actual horror game. It has its moments, it can be thrilling and raise your pulse to a will-concern-a-doctor level, but it’s not Silent Hill, and I doubt it’s trying for that psychological twisting. What it is, is a fun shooter game with quite a bit of tactical depth and great atmosphere.

Trust me when I say you will be stomping often.

Of all the technical dazzle, what’s really worth a mention is the interesting HUD mechanic, which take the form of holographic projections from your character’s suit – the lack of a true HUD display does help to make the game immersive…

It’s funny how they’re called survival games, yet you never have food concerns…

…or bladder issues.

Almost everything takes place in real-time, so clear the area before you get with the reading.

And yes, the senseless automatic store that sells you items.

…though it verges on fridge logic when you actually consider it (for one, think of how huge the text must be from his actual point of view).

A perfect “Oh shi-” pose.

While I’ve mentioned that the ‘horror’ is misleading, it’s definitely got the ‘survival’ part right. Ammo is scarce, enemies are tough and relentless, and Isaac, due to his gear and career choice, is not the wiliest of soldiers. Fortunately, you have a very, very satisfying arsenal of improvised mining tools and military hardware – a selection varied enough that the player really has a choice in which to use and specialise in. Throw it an equipment upgrade system and inventory management, and you get some solid replay value.



To be honest, I haven’t paid much attention to the story – well, I know what’s going on, at least – but it’s quite an accomplishment for a game to continually draw me back after two months of on-and-off playing. I think that counts as a ‘Recommendation’.

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